Edition 2 March 2023

Calendar of Events

MON 3/13 3pmSharp Park Library, Lockbox Challenge for Tweens
6 pmSharp Park Library, Women in Music
7 pmCity Council, Council Chambers
TUE 3/14 3 pmSanchez Library, Comic Drawings Workshop
6-8 pmDiscussion of Manor Overcrossing, Council Chambers
7-9 pmMovie Night, “Gods and Monsters”, Coastside Pride Center
WED 3/15 2:30 pmSharp Park Library, Science Action Club
THUR 3/16 3:30 pmSharp Park Library, Creepy and Crawly
7-8:30 pmBook Club, Coastside Pride, register – see calendar
SAT 3/18 11am-2pmPacifica’s Youth Summit, Ingrid B. Lacey Middle School
3:30 pmSharp Park Library, Jobs for Youth
1:30-3 pmAgin’ Well, Coastside Pride Center
MON 3/20 7 pmPlanning Commission, Council Chambers
TUE 3/21 9:30-11:30 amProtest: Divest from fossil fuels, Chase Bank, Linda Mar
6 pmHousing Element Study Session, Council Chambers
6:30 pmEast Palo Alto City Council, Opportunity to Purchase Act, cityclerk@cityofepa.org for comments, see agenda for item number, contact for talking points – Ofelia Bello Exec. Director YUCA
WED 3/22 2:30 pmSharp Park Library, Science Action Club
TH 3/23 3:30 pm
Sharp Park Library, Comic Drawing
6 pmSharp Park Library, Garden Native Plants
MON 3/27 7 pmCity Council, Council Chambers
TUE 3/28 3:30 pmSanchez Library, Creepy and Crawley
WED 3/29 2:30 pmSharp Park Library, Science Action Club
THUR 3/30 5-7 pmHop Dogma, Queer Happy Hour – see Coastside Pride calendar
MON 4/3 7 pm Planning Commission
THUR 4/6 6 pmSharp Park Library, Diamond Head Jazz
SAT 4/8 10:30 amSharp park Library, Peter and the Wolf
1 pmSanchez Library, Bee and Butterfly Garden
2 pmSanchez Library, Manga Mania
MON 4/10 10:30 amSharp Park Library, Music and Movement
3 pmSharp Park Library, Chibis and Monsters
7 pm City Council
WED 4/12 2:30 pmSharp Park Library, Science Action Club
SAT 4/15 11:15 amSanchez Library, Music Circle
MON 4/17 7 pmPlanning Commission, Council Chambers
WED 4/19 2:30 pmSharp Park Library, Science Action Club
6pmSharp Park Library, Sound Healing
SAT 4/22Earth Day of Action, see Pacific Beach Coalition calendar
11:15aSanchez Library, Mariela’s Music Time
MON 4/24 7pmCity Council, Council Chamber
FRI 5/5 11a-1:30pHIP Housing Luncheon, see invitation
WED 5/31Pescadero Pride Youth Event, see Coastside Pride calendar
SAT 6/3Pacifica Pride Event, see Coastside Pride calendar
SUN 6/11Half Moon Bay Pride Event, see Coastside Pride calendar

Pacifica Voice is eager to receive articles on issues important to our community. Please send them to editors@pacificavoice.us for consideration.
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Half Moon Bay Vigil Remarks – Eric DeBode, Abundant Grace Coastside Worker

March 2023, www.abundantgracecw.org

Tonight I want to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who’s holiday we celebrated earlier this month.

While his “I have a Dream” speech is perhaps his most remembered, his most prophetic speech was given a year to the day before his murder at the hands of gun violence. He proclaimed that the greatest moral evil was the triplet of militarism, racism and materialism.

This triplet plagues our country and our small town of Half Moon Bay to this very day. Whether it is a nation or an individual who chooses a violent solution to his problems, the innocent are killed, and families are forever traumatized.

Like it or not, our town seems most often like two towns: the affluent bedroom community of white professionals who work over the hill, and the Chinese and Spanish speaking, local farmworkers, hospitality and restaurant staff who are the essential workers in our primary industries.

Although this town would die without them, we have not stepped up to support their lives with affordable housing, a truly just wage, and the healthcare everyone deserves. If you watched any news footage, you were able to see where they lived on the farms – makeshift shacks, old campers and run-down trailers.

We’ve all read the statistics about the top 1% making millions more in average annual income since 1970, while the bottom 50% of Americans are making a mere $8,000 more in annual income. This must change.

That’s why this particular shooting has garnered such national attention… The victims are the poorest ever, look how they lived, and feel deeply how they died. We must remember them and do right by them.

We are right to feel sickened by the persistence of inequity and injustice. Some of us feel shame and guilt, also perhaps rightfully so. Our consciences are trying to tell us we must map out a path where people have enough to live a decent life.

We all want to drive past our farms and know that people are housed in dignity, paid a living wage, and safe. How do we get there? Tonight, we want to ask that we, as a community, listen first and foremost to the farmworkers, support efforts to repair, renovate and develop farm worker housing.

We also need you, our local community who has property, whether that is a three-bedroom home or an ADU to rent it to farmworkers. We need to step up. It will mean generosity and sacrifice.

We can’t live without the food they pick, and yet this has been an ongoing crisis for decades. As they say, “Don’t criticize farmworkers with your mouth full.”

We must ask the hard question that anyone who cries out to God for justice would ask: Why do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Jesus said it: I speak in parables so you might understand why it is that “to those who have more will be given, but to those who have not, even what little they have will be taken away”…Even their lives!

Those who have a skill with business and money, those who dominate the media and political worlds have rigged the game so they get more and more and more.

The poor can’t afford a team of lawyers, can’t influence politicians, can’t own the media. So it is up to you with a conscience to stand up and make common cause with the farmworkers, hospitality and restaurant workers. Those of us with more than enough must give up our privilege and share. We must embrace one another so we break down the walls that greed and racism have built. We must refuse violence, division and materialism, and we must open our hearts to share the abundant goodness and the natural bounty of this blessed creation.

We must embody loving kindness in this broken world because we are, in fact, all one, we are our brother and sister’s keeper.


Remembering Toni Boykin – Mark Hubbell

Excerpts from an article by Jean Bartlett | Pacifica Tribune

It is with great sadness that I reflect on the recent passing of an extraordinary citizen and very special person, Toni Boykin.

Many of us knew her as the proprietor of the You Name It consignment shop in Pacifica, most recently in Manor Shopping Center. Toni kept shop for 30 years before closing in March of last year, and she was a committed recycler and repurposing devotee long before it was fashionable.

 “I was raised in San Francisco and my mother was one of the first recyclers,” Toni said. “Before ‘they’ picked it up, she used to cart it to wherever it needed to go. We had 52 stairs to our basement and there were boxes of cans and newspapers. You couldn’t grow up in our house and not be a recycler.” *

Toni was also involved in local environmental activities:

“I think this town is very socially responsible and I love that about Pacifica…” adding that she also loves the ocean, the fresh air, the weather and the people. And it is very community minded, …if you have kids, it’s good for them to see how much you care about the earth. They have to live in what we leave. So, let’s make it beautiful.” *

I got to know Toni well as a friend through our participation in local political rallies and marches organized by Pacifica’s RESIST group. She was a staunch and right-minded promoter of progressive values, both locally and nationally.

 About a year ago, Toni asked me to replace the crumbling retaining wall running between her patio and San Pedro Creek. We had many long discussions about life as I worked with the timbers and concrete and she sat nearby in her wheelchair, enjoying the sights and sound of the creek she loved so much.

Toni had recently been going through some tough times. Most of us would probably never have been able to hold up with the same courage and dignity. Two years ago, her husband was hit and killed while riding his bicycle. In October of the following year, Toni was diagnosed with leukemia and given an estimated year to live. Toni went into remission but then relapsed. Two weeks ago, Toni asked for her life support systems to be withdrawn – she wished to pass with the same tough dignity that she lived by.

A Memorial Event is planned for sometime in April.

It is with great sadness that I reflect on the recent passing of an extraordinary citizen and very special person, Toni Boykin.


The Housing Element: A State Contract and a Community Commitment – Suzanne Moore

Carol Johnson of Good Cities asked me for the causes of homelessness. I believe causes date back decades: 

  • deinstitutionalization of the chronically mentally ill before an established community system of care, 
  • federal government failure to invest in below market-rate housing, 
  • failures to favorably impact public opinion to provide life necessities, housing, and a living wage to those most vulnerable.

Many of these past errors persist, but there are additional challenges:

  • increased homelessness exacerbated by the economic downturn of COVID (which disproportionately impacts the poor),
  • the expense of new construction and a system which favors for-profit development,
  • inequity in access to political systems in which decisions can often exclude those most impacted.

In spite of past and present errors, we have the opportunity to effect change. We can commit to those changes through our Housing Element.

The needs assessment in Pacifica’s Housing Element must identify groups of vulnerable community members – our homeless, elderly, disabled, and large families – and delineate a plan for housing opportunities. Pacifica has failed for decades to create low-income housing. This 6th cycle is different: the State has mandated a fair-housing component to address our housing needs for vulnerable populations and create building opportunities at all levels of affordability.

The State is saying our plan must not only include where we might build, but when, and how. Past failures tell us we need new policies and tools. The Association of Bay Area Governments listed three priorities to address the housing crisis: prevention of displacement, preservation of existing low-income housing, and production of housing at all levels of affordability.

Other communities have successfully demonstrated tools that Pacifica can adopt. 

  1. Our County Legal Aid has identified two ways to reduce loopholes in current laws to prevent no-cause evictions.
    • Pacifica could adopt an ordinance that requires a cause for eviction from the first day of tenancy, rather than allow for eviction without cause during the first year. Tenants can still be evicted for cause.
    • Pacifica could adopt an ordinance requiring permits for substantial renovations before evicting tenants. Sadly, unscrupulous property owners have evicted tenants and failed to make renovations. 
  2. Moving is expensive, and the current rental market for affordable housing is tight. Current State law provides for a month rental reimbursement to a tenant evicted without cause. Many communities increased that to three months to better cover the real costs of relocation. Pacifica could adopt this increase.
  3. There is an acute need for temporary interim housing while permanent low-income housing is being built. A pilot tiny home program with wrap around services for a path to permanent housing has been successfully demonstrated in other communities. Pacifica ranks third in our County for numbers of unhoused. Many are our neighbors previously priced out of their homes. COVID’s economic downturn caused an increase of unhoused living in cars and vans. This population does not qualify for our Safe Parking Program. We can provide interim housing to assist their effort toward permanent housing.
  4. Pacifica could create a pathway, through a dedicated housing fund, to take advantage of low-income housing projects and collaboration with nonprofit developers. Both HEART and HIP Housing recommend a dedicated housing fund, and both institutions have successfully created low-income and supportive housing. Pacifica is already a member of HEART. If we choose to create a fund with monies from a vacancy tax, in-lieu fees ($750,000 per unit), and title transfer fees, we are better prepared to preserve existing affordable housing – which can count toward 25% of our of our RHNA goal – and create low-income housing in perpetuity.

I believe housing is necessary for life and health – as essential as clean air and water and as important as public education. We have a State mandate, a County commitment for net-zero homelessness, and a moral obligation to our neighbors. There are those who may disagree, but our Housing Element should include proven tools to reduce displacement and homelessness and work with low-income housing preservationists and nonprofit developers. We can make that commitment in our Housing Element. 

Attend the Study Session on the draft Housing Element, Council Chambers, on Tuesday 3/21/23 at 6 PM

Please send comments to:
City of Pacifica ATTN: Planning Department
540 Crespi Drive
Pacifica 94044

or EMAIL to housing@pacifica.gov

Pacifica’s Short Term Rental Dilemma – Nancy Tierney

In response to the growth in short-term rentals in Pacifica, the City Council recently approved a cap of 150 permits.

 Residents of West Sharp Park feel the effects of rentals through agencies like VBRO and AirB&B. In many cases, multiple units in a building are rented. The consequences of the rentals, as described by neighbors, include noise and disruptions at all hours and a general sense of insecurity. Essentially the units operate as hotels but without the restrictions. While many people support the notion that residents should be able to rent out a room for additional income (defined as a “hosted” rental), “unhosted” rentals are a different matter. It is reported that a single corporation owns 19 rental properties in Pacifica, all unhosted.

Council has discussed other measures besides a cap on permits. Several council members understand the cap to apply to units rather than permits. Here is a sample of ordinances from Bay Area cities and counties.

  • Redwood City
    • Annual limit of 120 days per calendar year for unhosted rentals
    • No limit for hosted rentals
    • Local contact person required to respond to complaints
    • Parking to be provided
    • Registration and Transient Occupancy Tax required.
  • San Mateo County
    • ADUs cannot be used as short-term rentals
    • Annual limit of 180 days per calendar year
    • Limits of two persons per bedroom plus two additional persons, not counting children.
    • Requires parking space on-site for each STR
    • Requires a local contact person who must remain within 20 miles of the rental unit, and available to respond.
  • City of Sonoma
    • Limits of two persons per sleeping room plus two additional persons
    • Prohibits “outdoor amplified sound.”
    • Requires a property manager
    • Requires internet advertisements to include business license or TOT information.
    • Recommends annual inspection fee.

The City of Half Moon Bay recently countered the proposed requirements from the California Coastal Commission (CCC). In particular the City wants to limit STRs to primary residences, equivalent to hosted rentals, intended to preserve as many housing units for residents as possible. In their meeting of October 14, 2022, the CCC directed their staff to work with the City on a revised ordinance.

Clearly there are other requirements that could be adopted, providing residents some protections while allowing short-term rentals in the city. It will be worthwhile to see what happens in Half Moon Bay as they try to preserve housing while providing equitable access to the coast. The updated Housing Element must address the need to preserve the city’s housing stock and to provide more affordable housing options. A short-term rental policy that offers both protections and restrictions is in order.

Pescadero Housing Report Press Release

February 6, 2023

Pescadero’s Workforce Housing Organization Publishes Report 25 Years in the Making

PESCADERO, CA The publication of an 87-page report, containing information that will be shocking to many unfamiliar with local conditions, comes just as recent events have kept Pescadero, an unincorporated town of fewer than 300 residents, on front pages for weeks: disastrous weather events and a mass shooting, both shining a spotlight on squalid farmworker housing that has been allowed to exist out of view of the public and out of reach of government enforcement. 

The Workforce Housing Organization (WHO), one of the small local nonprofits under the umbrella of The Pescadero Community Foundation, has been working without much fanfare since 2002 to bring attention to the severe and growing housing shortage in this rural coastal community. Funded by a grant from The Pescadero Community Foundation, the recently released report reflects more than two decades of local community efforts to increase local housing stock and improve conditions in which the local workforce — particularly agricultural workers — live.

This report minces no words, pointing out that “Pescadero High/Middle School students can’t drink the water. Downtown Pescadero and surrounding areas regularly deal with flooding that grinds daily business to a halt. Good teachers leave the community because there is virtually no housing they can afford. Farmworkers struggle to find safe places to live and pay exorbitant rents to live in inadequate, even squalid, housing. Visitors and locals stand in line for the porta potty that enjoys pride of place on Pescadero’s primary downtown inter section. Because Pescadero is unincorporated, with no paid staff, community volunteers struggle to invest the time needed to deal with the layers of regulation around housing and coastal community issues.”

Authored by WHO officer Kelly Greenwood, the document points to “County government, institutional land owners, community organizations, local businesses and residents” who “bicker about who is in charge and who is at fault for the lack of housing, as well as the lack of a coherent plan for moving toward a more resilient and sustainable future. A sewer solution the county proposed is too expensive for local residents to shoulder. A divisive and underfunded planning process has made it difficult to achieve momentum for necessary infrastructure investments. Different community organizations with different goals approach the problems from unique perspectives, but without the funding for a professional planning process to drive community planning toward a specific plan to implement change, roadblocks to new housing like lack of wastewater treatment remain insurmountable obstacles.”

As bleak as the picture is, Greenwood points to solid next steps which it is hoped, with new attention from San Mateo County and California State governments, as well as national media, can be taken immediately toward implementing solutions.

The complete report is available as a printable PDF (click here.)



Post Office Box 906
Pescadero, CA 94060
Contact: Lynne Bowman, President
Mobile Phone: 650 619 8486

You’re invited to HIP Housing’s Annual Luncheon!

Join us on Friday, May 5th, from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm at the Grand Bay Hotel San Francisco in Redwood City for an inspiring and informative event that will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s first-ever Surgeon General. Learn how HIP Housing is weaving trauma-informed care into its innovative affordable housing programs; network with 300+ attendees from across San Mateo County; and take the opportunity to donate to our programs that put affordable housing within reach of more than 3,200 people in our County every year.


The US Voting Structure is Classist & How to Fix it – Thant Paing, Oceana High School

Midterms fell on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. This date isn’t anything new to the political timeline. Like clockwork every cycle, Election Day occurs the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. It is arguable that this structure is classist and denies equitable political participation because it is on a workday. The concept that all citizens have an equal right to vote ignores the struggle faced by the American working class.

So, why exactly is voter accessibility a problem, and how can we improve voting accessibility in America?


In 1845, Congress wrote into law that the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November was to be Election Day nationally. Before this, states could give voters up to 34 days to cast their ballot. This month-long period had an impact: the public, unsure of the leading candidate, cast last-minute votes before the first Wednesday of December. Voting eventually became a single-day event to funnel voters and create a more efficient process.

But why is Election Day a Tuesday?

Tuesday was chosen for Election Day because of the agrarian culture that ruled the United States’ economy:

  • Farmers, who lived far from polling places, needed a day or two to travel into town.
  • Weekends weren’t ideal because of the church.
  • Wednesdays were reserved for farmer’s markets (a big deal.)

With that, Tuesday was agreed upon for Election Day.

In the 1800s, approximately 90% of the population and 64% of the workforce lived on farms (pbs.org). Today, the current percentage of farmers is 1.4% (USDA.gov) out of a workforce of 157.4 million. To keep Tuesday as the national election day disregards our current workforce and the change from an agrarian culture. Today, approximately 100,421,200 (63.8%) Americans work 9-5 jobs (bls.gov).

Congress in the 1800s selected Tuesday for the convenience of the majority of the population, but this in no way relates to the current demographics of the United States. Currently, it can be a ploy to deny the vote of American workers who have time and financial constraints that impede their participation. 

Tuesday is a day that most working families cannot afford to miss. From 7 am to 8 pm on Tuesday, ballots can be cast on a day when regular voters are busy adhering to their schedules-leaving minimal space, if any, to cast their votes.

Election day affects working-class families even more: fathers and mothers cannot afford to go to a voting station, risk the loss of a few hours or a day’s work, and risk the financial security needed for rent, gas, groceries, and other necessities.

The solution seems simple, right? Simply do ballots by mail. However, some states do not offer mail-in ballots unless a person is disabled. Some states, such as Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, and New Hampshire, do not provide in-person voting for any voter before election day. Changing the structure of ballot casting – making it a national holiday or extending the voting day period – will allow more equitable access to public democracy.

However, these concerns do not apply to the wealthy. Because of that, with the ability and financial security to take a day off, Election Day is a model of a system that enables classism.

Voting accessibility unsurprisingly leads to increased voter participation. California mails a ballot to every registered voter weeks before the election, and voters can turn their ballot in before or during election day. And because of that, it ultimately correlates to increased voter participation. California has an average 68 percent voting turnout. In contrast, Arkansas, a state without mail-in ballots and only in-person voting on the day of the election has a turnout rate of 56.1, the second lowest in the United States (Statista).

President Joe Biden has stated his support for having the day off on Election Day. “If I had my way, and I think it is really important, every Election Day would be a day off,” he stated on June 24, 2021.

Still, our only hope for accessibility should not be limited to a National Election Holiday. Many people need to work to earn the necessary income; some live in states that do not align with their beliefs. There are several choices for advocacy, potentially increasing political participation on all sides.

Making voting a national holiday.

As stated, making voting a federal holiday opens the door to making voting on a weekday attainable, increasing incentives to support a person’s thoughts, ideas, and beliefs through voting.

Paid time off for workers who take the day off or double pay for those who work during election day.

Sometimes, a person has to work; while their voice is silenced, whether by choice or not, there should be compensation for workers who work while their coworkers exercise their right to vote.

Make the Weekend the Period of the election

Shifting to the weekends would make the most sense. On the weekends, most people working a regular schedule could be available to participate in politics after going to religious establishments, doing laundry, or doing everyday activities on the weekends.

However, lower-income workers are more likely to work days that are not the typical 9-5, growing a juxtaposition with the argument of classism.

Extending the period of in-person voting.

Extending the voting period to seven days nationally will ensure that all voters have enough time and resources to participate and voice their beliefs. This extension would ensure that each voter has time to cast their ballot.

Offer Mail-In Ballots to All Voters.

It is proven that states that offer mail-in ballots to all voters have a higher voter participation rate. Giving the option of vote-by-mail to all, instead of only disabled voters, will significantly increase voter participation in the United States.

Divestment and 32123 Action – Nancy Tierney

In recent years, there has been a concerted effort in the United States and around the world to persuade institutions to divest their assets from fossil fuel companies. Government pension funds, including California state pension fund CalPERS and CalSTRS, have been targeted. Students have pressured their university boards to divest, and some, like University of San Francisco, made the commitment. In 2022 San Mateo County approved a new investment policy to divest from fossil fuels. The states of New York and Maine are in the process of divesting. In Ireland, the country and the Catholic Church are proceeding to divest.

The oil and gas companies rely on banks to provide capital for their digging and drilling. The Big 4 banks—Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank—are responsible for most of the fossil fuel investments.

The Paris Climate Accord was signed in 2015, with commitments notably to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduce climate change vulnerability. Since that time, the Big 4 banks have invested one trillion dollars in dirty fossil fuel projects and companies. As the largest investor, Chase has provided over $142 billion in financing during this period.

Last year, the CA state legislature, through SB 1173, attempted to get CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest, but the effort fell short of the required votes. However, it is being reintroduced this year as SB 252, and it is again sponsored by Senator Lena Gonzalez. Together, these pension funds invest almost eleven billion dollars in fossil fuels, so there is much at stake.

Meanwhile, a group called Third Act emerged on the scene and focused on protecting our planet and our democracy. We Third Actors tend to be over 60 years old and happen to hold 70% of the wealth in this country. Third Act launched the Banking on Our Future campaign to stop these banks from lending to the fossil fuel industry polluting our atmosphere. Instead, we want the banks to invest in clean energy. In the past year, many of us have visited branch banks and delivered letters to the Big 4 bank CEOs. Many also have signed the pledge to close our accounts if these banks choose to keep lending money to the fossil fuel companies.

On 32123, also known as March 21, 2023, Big 4 Banks across the country will find Third Actors and young folks rallying at their doors. In Pacifica, we are gathering at Chase Bank in Linda Mar Shopping Center. From 9:30 to 11:30am, we will wave signs and distribute flyers about fossil fuel divestment. Please stop by to learn more and to show your support.

 For more information, contact Nancy Tierney nhtierney@gmail.com


Earth Day of Action April 22 – Pacific Beach Coalition

Earth Day is Action! The annual ‘citywide day of action’ is part of our field education programs, and has grown to become popular, family-friendly, and only one of a few in the Bay Area dedicated to inspiring, uniting, educating and building community to remove litter and restore native landscape along the San Mateo County coast. Thousands of volunteers of all ages gear up with gloves and buckets to join the hands-on action at organized sites from Daly City to Half Moon Bay and now to Foster City, on beaches and along highways and streets from Highway 35 to the coastline.

Earth Day is Education! Earth Day of Action also brings environmental education with school assemblies and a nudibranch module for teachers to use in the classroom and to the public joining in the action and the celebration at Linda Mar Beach. The Pacific Beach Coalition invites you to join the fun, to learn about nudibranchs – the ocean sea slug, and to take action from 9-11am for Earth Day on April 22nd, and to come be inspired at the celebration from 10.30-12.00pm at Linda Mar State Beach.

If you would like to register your group for a project OTHER THAN what is already organized , please contact Jim jim@pacificbeachcoalition.org. If you are an individual or a family please visit www.pacificbeachcoalition.org to sign up for one of the organized projects.  Or you can join our Street to Beach Cleanup program to clean your own individual site and log your work on the Clean Swell App.


The Green Comet – Hanna Schmidt, Oceana High School

Comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF)

As January ends, humanity has a chance to witness a sight in space. We may see something that will never appear again once it disappears from the February night sky. A comet called c/2022 E3, or the “Green Comet”, will be closest to our solar system in its orbit around February 1st. This comet is unique because it holds a big orbit in space, and the last time humanity would have been able to spot it was 50,000 years ago. Once it passes us, it will not return for another million years.

The comet will appear the brightest and closest to Earth around February 1st and it will likely emerge as a shining star in the night sky. Presumably, it will be closest to the Camelopardalis Constellation as the comet reaches its pedigree (closest point to Earth on its orbit) and then it can be seen by the naked eye; but don’t forget a pair of binoculars will be of help. If the weather treats us with a clear sky, we will be able to spot the comet’s faint green light. In space, the comet is constructed of a beautiful green coma as a result of the carbon compound gas in the comet’s core and coma – thus the name “Green Comet.” To further shine in its beauty, the comet has a shorter dust tail and a longer whitish ion tail which stretches about 2.5° wide across our field of view.

Ever since astronomers discovered the comet by a telescope in March of 2022, the comet’s light has grown as it travels closer and closer to our Solar System. However, close isn’t that close: the closest the comet comes to earth is about 26 million miles away. In December, the comet was seen in the Northern Constellation of Corona Borealis in the Northern Celestial Hemisphere. Sometime around January 12, the comet appeared closest to the Sun.

Astronomers discovered the “Green Comet” with the help of a wide-field camera at the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) at the Palomar Observatory in California. The comet was given its name because c/2022 E3 describes 3 of the comet’s traits. The “c/” refers to the comet’s classification: comets classified as “c” are non-periodic, meaning that their orbital period is so long, they are unlikely to appear in the sky more than once in a lifetime. “2022” refers to the year the comet was discovered. Lastly, E3 informs us how many other comets were discovered in the same classification prior to the green comet’s discovery. These names help astronomers keep the order of the moving bodies in the sky.

Tree City National Poetry Month

In anticipation of National Poetry Month in April, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite poems that deal with trees, including some of my own, and encourage you to consider transforming your favorite trees or natural places into art – poetry, prose, photographs or paintings.

Also feel free to send your work to treecitypacifica@gmail.com, and we’ll share your creations on our Tree City Pacifica Facebook page.

Consider this as one way to practice forest bathing, something you’ve probably read about and perhaps practiced; writing poetry also allows you to be part of the process of creation, a trait we can share with the nature that surrounds us. – Paul Totah, on behalf of us all at Tree City Pacifica

When I am Among the Trees
By Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Binsey Poplars
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

felled 1879

My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
All felled, felled, are all felled;
Of a fresh and following folded rank
Not spared, not one
That dandled a sandalled
Shadow that swam or sank
On meadow & river & wind-wandering weed-winding bank.

O if we but knew what we do
When we delve or hew —
Hack and rack the growing green!
Since country is so tender
To touch, her being só slender,
That, like this sleek and seeing ball
But a prick will make no eye at all,
Where we, even where we mean
To mend her we end her,
When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
Strokes of havoc unselve
The sweet especial scene,
Rural scene, a rural scene,
Sweet especial rural scene.

The Peace of Wild Things
By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Sabbath Poem (Untitled)
by Wendell Berry

Slowly, slowly, they return
To the small woodland let alone:
Great trees, outspreading and upright,
Apostles of the living light.

Patient as stars, they build in air
Tier after tier a timbered choir,
Stout beams upholding weightless grace
Of song, a blessing on this place.

They stand in waiting all around,
Uprisings of their native ground,
Downcomings of the distant light;
They are the advent they await.

Receiving sun and giving shade,
Their life’s a benefaction made,
And is a benediction said
Over the living and the dead.

In fall their brightened leaves, released,
Fly down the wind and we are pleased
To walk on radiance, amazed.
O light come down to earth, by praised!

Sabbath Poem (Untitled)
By Wendell Berry

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.

The Breathing of Trees
By Paul Totah

This poem gives witness
to the respiration of the forest,
exhalations of cypress and pine,
that rise after the rainstorm
to the mottled gray sky
in time with my own breath.

These upliftings of small clouds,
plumes of mist, return,
scented with evergreen,
to the source,
like salmon leaping fish ladders,
ignorant of gravity, logic, death,
believing only in resurrection.

The tips of the mist dissipate
into lizard tails, spun sugar,
then threads, masks,
patterns that defy interpretation.
These are the words the trees speak,
the secret language I strain to hear.

By Paul Totah

These were barely trees
low scrub cypresses, distressed by winds,
standing on sandy ground.
Even a typical wind
blowing off Ocean Beach
could topple them,
expose naked root nerves to just anyone.

But it was all we had, all we knew.
We built forts in the bushes below,
moving in with transistor radios,
old plates and cups that our mothers let us play with,
a Bowie knife our mothers didn’t know about.
Above we nailed two-by-fours to the trunk,
climbed to flat branches woven among three trees,
stepped on a living platform.
Springy branches supported our supple limbs.
Jays, wrens, robins laughed at us.
Sunlight, unfiltered, lost itself into twilight.

We lingered in this green world,
a place where we belonged,
exalted, at home, clear-eyed and alive.

March 2, 2023 Newsletter from Councilmember Christine Boles

Hello Pacifica friends and welcome to my newsletterQ!!

As your newest City Councilmember, my hope is to keep you all better connected to the key issues coming before the Council so that you can be informed and involved in the issues that are important to you, and that together we can work to improve our town and bring it to a better place of fiscal and environmental sustainability. As a reminder, per Brown Act regulations for open government, I can only share facts, not my opinions of anything that will be coming before the Council.

Inspiration for March: Jackie Speier spoke at a recent event for San Mateo County political leaders. Paraphrasing, she said, “We were not elected to maintain the status quo. Our successful elections mean that you have “loaned” your power to us to make your lives better. No is not an option, the question is just when.”

We are facing many challenges right now, and our budget situation does not allow us to do a lot of what we need to do, much less would like to do. The city manager doesn’t say no directly, he just says, we have limited resources (staff time and money) and we have to prioritize. If we add something to our goals and priorities, it probably means that something else gets taken away. I’m hoping to change that narrative. If we want something to happen, let’s brainstorm what we need to do to make it happen. Speaking of which:

  1. MANOR OVERCROSSING: Tuesday, March 14, 6-8 pm Council Chambers

Discussion of work to fix and widen the overpass at Manor Drive between Oceana and Palmetto with related improvements to improve traffic flow and to provide better pedestrian and bike access. This is an important CALTrans project that has taken years to get to this design stage. Postcard that was mailed to 3000 residents and businesses is attached. Here is the Link to public works website with info from previous meetings.

Any questions related to this project should be directed to Roland Yip, Deputy Director/City Engineer, at 650-738-3771 or by email at RYip@pacifica.gov

  1. HOUSING ELEMENT STUDY SESSION with Council and Planning Commission, Tuesday, March 21, 6pm. 

The state is requiring us to plan for about 2000 new units of housing to be built in the next 8 years. Half of this needs to be affordable to people with incomes below the county median of $166,000 for a family of 4.We have a dire need for affordable housing and it is also affecting our ability to hire and retain staff at our schools, businesses, police, fire, and other city staff.

Public comments on the draft will be taken at this meeting, and in written form until March 27. See City Website for more info – the draft is under the resource library tab.

  1. SHORT TERM RENTALS (STR- ie AirBnB, VRBO, etc) – This has become a major issue in town for both quality of life issues for residents as well as losing significant housing units for sale and rent to Pacificans. The Planning Commission and Council finalized changes to the ordinance to CAP our total STR permits to 150 as a stop gap measure on Monday 2/27. It still needs to be approved by the Coastal Commission to be able to be enforced in the coastal zone (west of highway 1) and this will take at least 4 months. It is clear we need a more robust ordinance and better enforcement abilities, but this will need to be put on the priority list by the council (see goal setting above).
  2.  QUARRY RECLAMATION PLAN – Planning commission will NOT be reviewing this on March 6 as advertised. The process has been delayed pending review by the California State Office of Mining until at least May. Documents, including Final EIR can all be found here.
  3. BEACH BOULEVARD INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCY PROJECT – (BBIRP, or Sharp Park Seawall project.) I fought for a seat on the Council Ad Hoc Committee for public engagement as this project affects District 2 and got appointed on Monday! Stay tuned for more information.
  4. CLIMATE ACTION PLAN UPDATE – City Council study session will be held in the spring, more info to follow.
  5. LOCAL COASTAL PLAN UPDATE – Coastal Commission just released comments on our draft that has been in limbo for two years. There are a lot of important comments that will need to be addressed before we move forward, especially related to coastal hazards and sea level rise. A huge thank you to local residents James Kremer and Pete Shoemaker for taking the CCC document, adding an index, and highlighting all the proposed changes! Here’s the link.
  6. AIRPORT NOISE – I’m working to set up a zoom meeting of concerned residents with a representative from the SFO Roundtable. Let me know if you’d like an invitation to participate. 

I am only one person, I have a full time job outside my council duties (can’t survive on the $165/week we are paid!) and my schedule has never been so full with important meetings both in Pacifica and regionally as we work with other cities and political leaders to try to bring resources here to town. I will be counting on each of you to pitch in and help as you are able! I encourage you to also subscribe to the City Manager’s weekly updates through Connect with Pacifica to learn more as I can’t possibly cover everything here! 

In your service for a better Pacifica,

Christine Boles, Councilmember
City of Pacifica


At CoastPride, love is the center of everything. Love is why the center exists. Love is all that matters. Together we can support a safe space for people to gather, learn together and serve the needs of the LGBTQ community. Youth, families and adults are benefiting from the programs and services offered at Coast pride and our communities are better because of it.

Pacifica Library Events

Power Up Afternoons: Lockbox Challenge for Tweens
Monday, March 13 at 3pm at the Sharp Park Library
Join us for our lockbox challenge! Work together to solve puzzles and unlock prizes. Read the clues carefully, figure out secret combinations, open the locks, and break into the box!

Women in Music: Folk, Rock, Soul and Blues
Monday, March 13 at 6pm at the Sharp Park Library
Please join us for this fun and informative live music program about the impact of women on music in America. From their musical contributions to their struggle for equal pay and recognition, Kirsten Thien covers the early innovators and pioneers, as well as contemporary stars of today and sharing some of her personal journey as a professional touring and recording musician. Part concert, part history, part folklore, Kirsten is accompanied by Erik Boyd on bass and guitar for this enjoyable program.

Power Up Afternoons: Comic Drawing Workshop with Oliver Chin
Tuesday, March 14 at 3pm at the Sanchez Library
Learn to draw your favorite characters like Dog Man and Cat Kid, plus other famous cartoon figures (Octonauts, Snoopy & more)! No experience necessary. Presented by author Oliver Chin.

Power Up Afternoons: Science Action Club 
Wednesday, March 15 at 2:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
Have you ever thought about the millions of tiny creatures that play an important role in our environment? Come to Science Action Club and join our Bug Safari! You’ll learn all about the arthropods that live in your local community through local field expeditions and make contributions to nature research through community science projects.

Power Up Afternoons: Creepy & Crawly 
Thursday, March 16 at 3:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
Join us for a hands-on reptile, amphibian and exotic insect program with Little Explorers Petting Zoo. Meet and learn about lizards, amphibians, exotic insects and of course, snakes!

Power Up Afternoons: Jobs for Youth – Job Search & Master Job Applications
Monday, March 20 at 3:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
The career journey is about more than getting a job: it’s about finding, and being yourself. Join us for a Jobs for Youth workshop focused on the job search and creating a master job application. This is designed for ages 14-21. In this workshop, youth learn how to find job openings that are a good fit. By the end of the workshop, participants have a basic understanding of online job search tools, the typical application and hiring process, and how to identify transferable skills that match a job description. We also cover how to maintain and use a Master Job Application, and we guide youth in reviewing sample job applications and completing an application. For youth under age 18, we cover how to obtain a work permit.

Power Up Afternoons: Science Action Club
Wednesday, March 22 at 2:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
Have you ever thought about the millions of tiny creatures that play an important role in our environment? Come to Science Action Club and join our Bug Safari! You’ll learn all about the arthropods that live in your local community through local field expeditions and make contributions to nature research through community science projects.

Power Up Afternoons: Comic Drawing Workshop with Oliver Chin
Thursday, March 23 at 3:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
Learn to draw your favorite characters like Dog Man and Cat Kid, plus other famous cartoon figures (Octonauts, Snoopy & more)! No experience necessary. Presented by author Oliver Chin.

Unlocking the Magic of Native Plants in your Garden
Thursday, March 23 at 6pm at the Sharp Park Library
This workshop, designed with the home gardener in mind, will explore the magic and beauty of California native plants, discuss how vital they are for our pollinators and wildlife, and discover how to add California native plants to existing home gardens. We hope attendees will be inspired by this informational session and begin to appreciate and add native plants to their gardens.

Power Up Afternoons: Creepy & Crawly
Tuesday, March 28 at 3:30pm at the Sanchez Library
Join us for a hands-on reptile, amphibian and exotic insect program with Little Explorers Petting Zoo. Meet and learn about lizards, amphibians, exotic insects and of course, snakes!

Power Up Afternoons: Science Action Club
Wednesday, March 29 at 2:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
Have you ever thought about the millions of tiny creatures that play an important role in our environment? Come to Science Action Club and join our Bug Safari! You’ll learn all about the arthropods that live in your local community through local field expeditions and make contributions to nature research through community science projects.

Diamond Head Jazz
Thursday, April 6 at 6pm at the Sharp Park Library
In celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, the local band Diamond Head Jazz will be bringing us some Latin Jazz. Don’t miss out on this fun and music-filled event! Registration Required – Click Here

Peter & the Wolf with the Academy of Ballet and Etiquette
Saturday, April 8 at 10:30am at the Sharp Park Library
Join us for an active program of Peter & the Wolf. In this ballet class your dancers will DART like Peter, STRETCH like grandfather, POUNCE like the cat, and LUNGE like the sleek and dangerous wolf in this short class about ballet, manners and the derring-do of Peter & the Wolf.

Master Gardeners: Bee & Butterfly Gardens
Saturday, April 8 at 1pm at the Sanchez Library
What are the basic needs of bees and butterflies and how can you provide those requirements? What are their favorite plants and flowers? Join us for a fast-paced class that covers everything you need to know about attracting pollinators to your yard, be it large or small.

Manga Mania
Saturday, April 8 at 2pm at the Sanchez Library
Chibis, cute and small character types, are taught along with standard proportions for manga style characters.



Music and Movement with Mr. Daniel
Monday, April 10 at 10:30am at the Sharp Park Library
Mr. Daniel has played music for children and adults in every place he’s lived –California, Miami, New York City, Mozambique, and Zambia. He now plays in libraries around the Bay Area inviting children of all ages to sing and dance along to classic songs in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Power Up Afternoons: Chibis & Monsters
Monday, April 10 at 3pm at the Sharp Park Library
Learn how to draw cute versions of popular cartoon characters, animals and/or monsters.

Power Up Afternoons: Science Action Club
Wednesday, April 12 at 2:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
Have you ever thought about the millions of tiny creatures that play an important role in our environment? Come to Science Action Club and join our Bug Safari! You’ll learn all about the arthropods that live in your local community through local field expeditions and make contributions to nature research through community science projects.

Music Circle Time with Cassie Levy
Saturday, April 15 at 11:15am at the Sanchez Library
Kids and caregivers are invited to join us for a musical circle time led by Cassie Levy. The class focuses on basic building blocks of music such as vocalization through melody, rhythm, and learning introductory musical instruments like rhythm sticks, shakers, and triangles, with the occasional appearance of a snare drum or parachute.

Power Up Afternoons: Science Action Club
Wednesday, April 19 at 2:30pm at the Sharp Park Library
Have you ever thought about the millions of tiny creatures that play an important role in our environment? Come to Science Action Club and join our Bug Safari! You’ll learn all about the arthropods that live in your local community through local field expeditions and make contributions to nature research through community science projects.

Sound Healing
Wednesday, April 19 at 6pm at the Sharp Park Library
Enjoy the restorative energy of crystal and alchemy singing bowls. Joseph Coffin of THE MATS Pacifica will lead a guided meditation using the sounds of crystal and alchemy singing bowls. This ancient practice has been scientifically linked to reductions in stress and anxiety. 

Please bring your own mats, blankets, or pillows. Participants will lay on the floor to experience Tibetan singing bowls being played on their chests and backs so bring what you will need for a comfortable experience.

Space is limited so please click here register to reserve your spot.

Mariela’s Music Time
Saturday, April 22 at 11:15am at the Sanchez Library
Mariela’s Music Time is an educational, energetic, and interactive bilingual performance for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and their families. It’s filled with rhythms and multicultural sounds, along with the rich traditions of our Bay Area. 

Pacificans Care Highlights

During a Pacificans Care Board discussion about the Meals on Wheels, program Senior Services Manager Jim Lange mentioned that some seniors were feeding their pets the daily meal they received because they did not have the resources to buy pet food. That comment sparked concern among board members as an issue needing attention.

Rockaway Ricky was the official canine mascot of the Lommori-Stahl Group of RE/MAX Star Properties in Rockaway Beach. When Rockaway Ricky was put to rest in 2018, owner and Pacificans Care board member Christine Stahl proposed the Rockaway Ricky Memorial Fund – a special fund of Pacificans Care, created to assist with the pet care needs for Pacifica seniors, the homeless, and families in need – in Ricky’s memory.

A major fundraising project of RRMF is the annual ‘Dog Day of Pacifica’ calendar featuring canine residents of Pacifica. The project has been a great success and has raised funds to support the needs of pets owned by Pacifica seniors, unhoused and families. In 2022 Pacificans Care donated $10,000 from RRMF to the Pacifica Resource Center and Pacifica Senior Services to support pet needs.

The Rockaway Ricky Memorial Fund is now calling all canines to enter the contest to select the 13 dogs that will be a part of the 2024 Dog Days of Pacifica calendar.

If your canine is interested in being a part of the 2024 calendar and supporting those pets in need, go to RockawayRicky.org for details about joining the calendar competition. You can also contact the RRMF via email at rockawayricky@gmail.com

Pacificans Care is the only Pacifica nonprofit organization solely dedicated to supporting social services in Pacifica from children and youth to families and seniors. Pacificans Care is a volunteer-based organization administered by an active Board of Directors comprised of community members dedicated to making a difference in our community.

For more information about Pacificans Care visit our website pacificanscare.org or email pacificanscare1982@gmail.com.

P.O. Box 875, Pacifica, California 94044

Pacificans Care, EIN 77-0004308, an exempt organization permitted by Section 501(c.)(3.) of the Internal Revenue Code

Pacifica’s Youth Summit

Mary Bier mbier@jeffersonunion.net

Sanchez Art Center

An Observant Eye, an exhibition in the Main Gallery of works by photographer Barbara Ramos, curated by Alida Bray, opened Friday, February 24 and runs through Sunday, March 26. Concurrently, in the East Gallery, Bay Area Basket Makers are showing woven pieces made with an exciting variety of materials in, Diversity. And, in the West Gallery, Art Guild of Pacifica members are sharing their work made in a variety of mediums in a group show titled, Sitting Pretty.

Barbara Ramos, An Observant Eye features mostly black and white photographic images taken in the 1970’s and new works initiated during the pandemic, curated by Alida Bray. The exhibition will open concurrently with two additional shows including Bay Area Basket Makers, Diversity, and a group show, Sitting Pretty, by members of the Art Guild of Pacifica. All three new exhibitions will open with a reception in the galleries on Friday, February 24, from 7 to 9 pm, with live music by Vivace.

Barbara Ramos, energetically connected with her photographic practice throughout the 1970’s, recognized she needed to make a conscious decision about how to make a living and raise a family. She determined that the active way in which she engaged with photography, “every waking minute, obsessed by looking, by exploring the world” wasn’t going to be possible for her to continue. Thinking that photography was part of her “former younger self” she initially began to throw away her negatives 45 years ago — to fortunately have then retrieved by her husband — and instead packed them away in boxes.

An unanticipated silver lining to pandemic shelter-in restrictions was the opportunity of time to re-engage with her negatives. An intention to review, edit and digitalize what was in the trove of boxes, also created a means to share the newly formatted photographic images on social media, where Barbara received admiration and encouragement.

Barbara Ramos was born in New York City, moving with her family at the age of six to Los Angeles. Her father worked in the film industry and it was exciting to walk through the sets with him. The black and white stills on his worktable didn’t actively draw her in, though subconsciously they likely set the foundation for her future work. In 1969, she moved to San Francisco to attend the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied with Imogen Cunningham, Richard Conrat, John Collier Jr., Jerry Burchard and Margery Mann, and received her BFA in photography. Her MA in Creative Arts Interdisciplinary, from San Francisco State, was achieved in 1973.

Barbara Ramos’ earlier works were primarily street images, documenting with intense curiosity what she saw around her, freely preserving the people and artifacts of the times from North Beach and Chinatown to Market Street. Her current work continues this focus, from walks in the Inner Richmond District and other neighborhoods. And, she’s discovered joy in taking nature photographs, stemming from time outdoors, again during the pandemic, in San Mateo and Marin Counties.

A blending of vintage photographs form the basis of the exhibition juxtaposed with new images taken over the past few years. Ramos notes, “It’s heartening to know that I’ve not lost my passion to photograph even though I’ve not photographed for decades. Knowing that so many people have responded to both my vintage and current photographs is uplifting.”

For additional insight into the artist and her work, come to the Artist/Curator Talk on closing Sunday, March 26 at 3:30 pm.

Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. Following opening night, the galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, and by appointment, through Mar 26.

The opening, talks, and gallery visits are free as part of the center’s focus on “Creating Community through Art”.