Edition 6 August 2022

Calendar of Events

9/1/22 – 10/5/22BUTT BLITZ, Pacific Beach Coalition
MON 9/6/22 7 PM Planning Commission
MON 9/6/22 7-8 PMMeet Kristina Cho, a library event
TU 9/7/22 5-6 PMMeet Frances Moore Lappe’, a library event
9/9/22 – 10/9/22Annual 50-50 Show at the Sanchez Art Gallery
MON 9/12/22, 7 PMPacifica City Council
9/15/22 – 10/15/22Latinx Heritage Month at the library
FRI 9/16/22 6 PMBeyond Vietnam: A time to Break Silence
A public reading of Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech.
Sanchez Art Center, Garden Plaza, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd.
SAT 9/17/22, 9-11 AMCoastal Cleanup, Pacific Beach Coalition
9/17/22 – 9/24/22Banned Book Week, Pacifica Library
MON 9/19/22 7 PMPlanning Commission
WED 9/21/22 5 PMInternational Peace Day
Sign wave with Pacifica Peace People
HWY 1 by the Moose Lodge
9/24/22 – 9/25/22Pacifica’s FOGFEST
MON 9/26/22 11 AMMedicare Open Enrollment, Brisbane Library
MON 9/26/22 7 PMCity Council
WED 9/28/22 6:30 – 7:30 PMSound Healing, register with the library
MON 10/3/22 7 PMPlanning Commission
MON 10/10/22 7 PMCity Council
WED 10/13/22 1-2 PMMedicare Open Enrollment, Millbrae Library

See posted calendars for:

  • Pacific Beach Coalition
  • Pacifica Library

Photos have been contributed by Leo Leon and Mark Hubbell

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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© LeoLeon_Images


VOTE! A List of candidates and ballot measures

Pacifica Measures to be voted on:

Measure Q – Advisory Vote Regarding Prohibition of Safe and Sane Fireworks:     

“Shall the City of Pacifica amend its municipal code to prohibit the ignition, use, discharge, or sale of all State-approved “Safe and Sane” fireworks in the City of Pacifica?”

 Measure Y – Enactment of City of Pacifica Sales (Transactions and Use) Tax:

“Shall the measure establishing a 1/2 ¢ sales tax for general government use to maintain the City of Pacifica’s vital services, such as police, fire, medical 9-1-1 emergency response; keeping pollution / trash off beaches; attracting / retaining jobs/businesses; street paving; storm drain maintenance to prevent flooding; preventing coastal erosion, and generating approximately $2,600,000 annually for 9 years, with regular financial audits, independent citizens’ oversight, and requiring funds be used locally, be adopted?”

Pacifica Offices to Be Voted On:

District 2 City Council – for 4years 

Christine Boles – christineforpacifica.com

Robby Bancroft – robbybancroft.com

District 3 City Council – for 4 years

Mary Bier – marybier.com 

District 5 City Council – for 4 years 

Paul Chervatin – paulforpacifica.com

Sue Beckmeyer – (no website found)

Pacifica Budget, Don’t ‘F’ the Police – Rick Nahass

What Structural Deficit?

The Pacifica City Manager has declared a long term structural deficit immediately after coming out of the economic problems caused by the pandemic without any comprehensive long range planning activity beyond indicating that in 2023-2024 the $4M American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will not be available. Based on the City Staff Report $4M ARPA funds will be used for the 2022-23 budget to project a $2M surplus next year.

The City has yet to provide an adjusted plan/forecast to justify the declaration of a “Structural Deficit”, the hypothetical 6% across the board city department cuts and the imposition of a 9 year city sales tax. See the latest published (2020) 10 year forecast below which shows a long term surplus of $6M by 2031. Where is the justification to declare Pacifica is headed to a “Structural Deficit”:

Projected $

  • Just how did the Pacifica City Manager find $10M in six months to build some new offices for themselves?
  • General Plan, Sharp Park Plan, WHAT PLAN??? Why does Pacifica NOT associate financial planning with ANY plan?
  • How could proper planning for Housing and Transportation help increase funding for the Pacifica Police?

Civic Center Campus

Between Oct 20, 2020, and Apr 26, 2021 City Council made the decision to establish a new Civic Center Capital Improvement project for $10M by allocating the following (author commentary on published documents in red underline):

  1. General Fund Unassigned Balance: $3,000,000 – Unassigned general fund monies could have been used to partially offset deficit for 2 years
  2. Excess ERAF: $1,500,000 – Monies received from the state every year calculated based on school enrollment and property taxes received – Could be used to partially offset deficit for a 3rd year
  3. American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for COVID-related safety systems (e.g., HVAC): $525,000 – Could be used to establish first year of portable offices for city staff (see Relocation Option #1 below)
  4. Insurance Reimbursement: $350,000 (minimum) – Could be used for year 2 in portables (see Relocation Option #1 below)
  5. Roy Davies Trust Fund for park amenities: $325,000 – Could be used for year 3 in portables (see Relocation Option #1 below)
  6. Wastewater Fund for wastewater employee/FTE office space: $318,184  – Could be used for office demolitions and paved parking on existing site for city staff and general public

“The remaining $4 million will need to be borrowed, and two sources were identified: A. Loan from San Mateo County: 10-year term at approximately a 1.1% interest rate. B. Certificate of Participation debt issuance: 15-30 year term at a slightly higher interest rate than the potential County loan (in the 2% range currently).” – Not needed saving City approximately $300,000 loan payment for 15 years.

There was no consideration for continuing the use of portables and delaying building, even though a budget for use of portables was in included in the original evaluation. The following is the response on the City Website on why portables could not be used. There are no details in the Civic Center planning to support the assertion below. The remainder of the following comes directly from city planning presentations at council meetings.

FAQ from the Civic Center Campus Facilities Project Page:

Why couldn’t the Civic Center get portables or move anywhere else? The cost of getting portables would be prohibitive. In addition, there are no City owned parcels that could accommodate the large portable and associated parking requirements.

The following estimates are from October 26, 2020 City Staff Report

“Relocation Option #1, Portables: This option would require the rental of a portable trailer and placing it in the parking lot located at the southwest corner of Salada Avenue and Francisco Drive. The trailer would be about 60 feet by 84 feet, which would accommodate all employees currently staffed in the City Hall and P&P buildings. The City would be responsible to obtain permits to install the trailer, the temporary power from PG&E, and install water and sewer connections to the trailer. The cost to deliver and set up the trailer is approximately $100,000, of which $20,000 would be for utility hook up and City fees. Set up could take up to three weeks and a week to move employee files and equipment and have the offices fully operational. The monthly rental for the trailer would be $26,000. After the City is completed with remediation work, the City would return the trailer and there is a return fee of $9,000. The cost to move files, equipment and furniture to the portable and then return them to the remediated building could cost up to $45,000. The total cost for the initial year of this option would be $412,000, plus moving costs. Following the first year cost of $412,000, the yearly cost would be $312,000. This option would require entitlement permits for temporary facilities prior to proceeding.”

Perhaps another question to ask is if the Pacifica Resource Center can successfully serve 1 in 7 Pacificans in need by working out of portables, why can’t our City Manager serve all Pacificans working out of portables?

#6: Plan Communities and Transportation Together

Pacifica is one of only a handful of Bay Area Cities that fail to have a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan.

A TDM drives capital improvement plan (CIP) financing and prioritization for community identified roadway, bike and pedestrian capital infrastructure projects based on projected housing growth. Provides developers for in-fill housing along CA1, some within special districts, with a clear idea of how much and how impact development fees are calculated and assessed. The only significant infrastructure fee Pacifica assesses is $40K for parking garages in the Sharp Park and Rockaway special districts. Should all potential in-fill sites along CA1 be considered a “CA1 district?”  

To illustrate, our sister cities on the midcoast created a comprehensive TDM with $77M in projects with over $40M currently funded in close collaboration with funding providers Caltrans, SamTrans, California State Parks Departments, San Mateo County Harbor District, National Parks Service, San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA), City/County Association of Governments, Congestion Management Agency (C/CAG-CMA), The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), California Coastal Commission (CCC), State Coastal Conservancy .

$5K-$20K ordinances (Belmont) for new housing Impact development fees seem to be the norm in San Mateo County with special district fees as high as $70k per unit (Millbrae.) These fees can be used to fund direct capital improvements, provide the 10-20% jurisdiction allocation for high end grants and provide the human infrastructure (staff/consultants) to establish a cadence for connecting with citizenry and re-prioritizing new projects. Instead of  Pacifica’s $40K parking fee, perhaps a $40K fee for a series of collective special district infrastructure (including parking) combined with general $5K-20K fees would net $50K for each housing unit in a special (in-fill included) district. Adding 100 housing units a year could provide $5M in CIP funding a year. Here’s the mid-coast impact fee schedule for general development (there are no ‘special districts’ on the midcoast):

Pacifica Council and Staff must set in place ‘proactive‘ planning actions and perpetual/sustainable processes that deal ‘holistically (considering funding and community)‘ for justifiable infrastructure improvements as Housing and Transportation grows.

Perhaps the recent hiring announcement of Fehr & Peers to develop a Local Road Safety Plan is a first step toward a comprehensive TDM and not simply a reactive measure to satisfy a county requirement to have a ‘Local Road Safety Plan.’

Fehr & Peers is highly recommended by the Bay Area Transportation and Housing Authorities for their expertise in helping communities establish ‘TDMs with a purpose’ by facilitating relationship building and collaboration between Housing and Transportation organizations, Communities and Developers.

The Pacifica Police

Despite Pacifica’s operational murky confusion, there are lights shining through the darkness. A shining example of how to communicate, collaborate and foster relationships with the Pacifica community and across the county, region and state is our former Police Chief Dan Stiedle.

The Pacifica Police must be included in the development of a comprehensive TDM. Chief Stiedle in 2020 presented the following important data to be used by ongoing Police Citizen meetings and collaboration activity.

For example, note that 19% of self initiated (possibly discretionary) activity was spent on traffic stops. Hypothetically might police officers and the citizenry come up with some creative alternatives that are more career fulfilling for police officers and encourage safety/closer trust bonds between community and our police force? Hypothetically might this lead to requesting a 6% ($300K a year for 100 new housing units) increase in safety infrastructure capital investment to the Pacifica Police?

How do we get Pacifica to create ‘community oriented‘ proactive plans based on forecasted housing and transportation growth?

Citizens win lawsuit against Pacifica City Council – Summer Lee

Pacifica citizens sued the City of Pacifica because the City Council did not disclose the environmental impacts of the proposed Vista Mar project. The law required the City Council to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. In a 32-page ruling, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Nancy Fineman ruled that the citizens “provided substantial evidence of a fair argument that the project may have a significant effect on the environment” and that “The City prejudicially abused its discretion in failing to conduct an EIR.” 

The victory for the plaintiffs, Coalition of Pacificans for an Updated Plan (CPUP)* and Kristin Cramer, comes after a string of Pacifica’s development decisions that ignored public input, expert opinion, and basic environmental standards. After numerous experts testified that the Vista Mar project would result in potentially significant adverse environmental impacts, the City Council disregarded their testimony and approved the project. The court instead found the City’s approval violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirement that where there is expert opinion of potentially significant impacts, an EIR must be prepared before deciding whether to approve the proposed project. 

The proposed project is on a steep, sloping lot with dense vegetation on Monterey, near Hickey. The judge noted that the project will remove 7 heritage trees and 50 other trees, and will destroy 96 feet of the ephemeral drainage and 0.26 acres of arroyo willow riparian habitat. The judge’s ruling also noted that the Planning Commission denied an earlier application because of landslides on the property.

Numerous experts wrote to the City that the project would result in potentially significant adverse environmental impacts. These experts commented:

– Steve Bond, an engineering geology and hydrogeology expert, concluded that the project would cause slope destabilization and erosion;

– Dr. Paul E. Rosenfeld and Matt Hagemann, P.G., air quality experts, concluded that the Project could result in a potentially significant adverse health risk impact. They submitted evidence to the City estimating that the excess cancer risk from this Project will be approximately 20 times higher than the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s CEQA significance threshold;

– Christine Boles (registered architect), Terry Watt (American Institute of Certified Planners member), and Jared Ikeda (retired land use planner/architect) concluded that the project would result in potentially significant aesthetic/visual impacts because the project is “incompatible with  the neighborhood”; and the project site would be “scraped of virtually all trees and other vegetation, deep graded and recontoured, drainage and jurisdictional waters/wetlands filled”; 

– Dr. Shawn Smallwood, who has a Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis, concluded the project would cause significant impacts from loss of bird nests and fledglings, habitat loss, interference with wildlife movement, and habitat fragmentation.

The City argued that the experts were not credible, but the judge ruled that they were and that as a result, an EIR must be prepared. For example, the City’s attorney claimed that Christine Boles’ report as a licensed architect was “biased” and her opinions were inaccurate. Judge Fineman disregarded the City’s argument because there was no basis for it in the record of City proceedings before project approval. 

Coalition of Pacificans for an Update Plan and Responsible Planning (CPUP)

Contact: Summer Lee, CPUPlan@gmail.com

*CPUP is a project of Pacifica’s Environmental Family, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports environmental stewardship and education in the City of Pacifica.

© LeoLeon_Images


City Staff’s Timeline for the Housing Element – Suzanne Moore

Every eight years, by state law, communities are obligated to evaluate their future housing needs and develop a plan to meet those needs. According to the City, Pacifica’s 6th Cycle allocation is 1,892 housing units across various levels of affordability. 

The deadline to update our Housing Element is January 31, 2023. At the 8/8/22 City Council meeting, city staff released Pacifica’s timeline. The report acknowledges that many cities and counties in the ABAG- Bay Area region started work on their Housing Element updates in mid- to late- 2021. 

What can our community expect? To meet the January 2023 deadline, Staff intends to use some portion of a “120-day grace period” provided in state law. Staff admits that “the Housing Element update process will require efficient work by staff and engagement with the community.” 

Is this timeline feasible? According to Jeremy Levine of the Housing Leadership Council, 

“Pacifica is in a tough situation. If Pacifica submits its housing element to California’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) for the first time in February, they almost certainly won’t get a letter back from HCD until May. HCD gets a 90 day review period maximum, and they tend to use most of it. It seems a bit unrealistic for the City to “Incorporate HCD Comments” in April 2023 when it probably won’t get those comments until May.  

“Furthermore, HCD has approved very few housing elements after their first draft. Unless Pacifica presents a truly exemplary housing element, the City’s draft will likely be rejected, which could extend the timeline significantly further.

We know that it is important for our Housing Element to be certified. There are significant repercussions if we fail. Megan Kirkeby, deputy director for housing policy, California HCD, lists penalties for noncompliance that range from loss of permitting authority, financial penalties, and potential lawsuits. 

There is a deja vu feeling to this. The rush for completion of our General Plan was also pressured. Pacifica appears to be in for a repeat performance. 

What actions can we take? 

1. Contact City Council and Staff and suggest a City-wide mailer to educate the public on the importance of the Housing Element and community engagement. A mailer seems the only effective way to reach all residents including those with computer access challenges. Specific outreach efforts to special needs populations, such as farmworkers, disabled individuals, and very low-income households are required by AB 686 and the Fair Housing mandate. Although there are technical challenges, community meetings should provide hybrid options for in-person and virtual attendance. 

2. Suggest early utilization of HCD consultants, tools, and examples of best practices from other Housing Elements. Let’s create a draft that includes mandated Fair Housing expectations including anti-displacement actions, preservation of existing low-income housing, and construction of moderate to very-low income housing. The City can reach out to nonprofit developers for policy suggestions. 

3. Participate in the Housing Element. The City should be reaching out to us for input. 

Pacifica has suffered displacement of essential workers. Many Pacificans are financially at risk due to the increased cost of housing. The economic downturn due to COVID has increased homelessness. Pacifica has failed to build low-income housing in the last three decades. 

Pacifica’s Housing Element is our plan to meet the housing needs of our community. Housing is necessary for life and health – of the individual, the family, and the community as a whole. Please lend your voice and participate in the Housing Element.

Hillside Meadows is Linda Mar Woods, an update from Protect San Pedro Mountain – Nick Lusson 

Yep, we’re still here. The fight continues to preserve San Pedro Mountain and will most likely continue for years. We’re in a marathon here; and as any good distance runner knows, a key ingredient is pacing yourself. We took a breather this spring to recollect, recharge, reorganize. We returned in August with an amazing community gathering at Shamrock Ranch. The day featured local music, food, businesses, and beautiful community spirit. Over 150 people attended to raise funds and serious awareness for the battle ahead. 

What sparked us back up? Watch Dogs caught a discrepancy on the city’s website. “Hillside Meadows” is actually further along in its application as a development than our community had been told. The project, listed as an “incomplete application” for over two years, is actually complete and “pending environmental review”

Civic and staff leadership have apologized for this error. Although our team believes this mistake is due to inadequate staffing and human error rather than malice or fraudulence, we now recognize this project is further along in the process. That has important implications. 

It is the City’s leadership and staff’s legal responsibility to provide accurate information to the citizens they serve. While this error may not have been intentional, it has caused significant harm and was born out of the City’s failure to follow proper protocol. It’s still a long way from being an approved project, but it’s a step closer and one that has important implications.

But wait you say, “I thought you were fighting against the Linda Mar Woods development”. We are, and this is where things get tricky. The international real estate speculators behind this push to turn our southern hillsides into luxury housing, massive roadworks, and a safety/environmental/cultural disaster are trying to pull a time-honored trick in the real estate development world called “piecemealing”. In simple terms, that means they’re trying to break a large project into smaller projects to navigate the system of approval more easily with our city. 

In this case, there are two separate applications: “Linda Mar Woods”, highly promoted and still accurately listed as an “incomplete application”; and “Hillside Meadows”, a housing subdivision along the western side of San Pedro Mountain, bordering the historic Shamrock Ranch. These “two” projects share the same owner investors, same developer, same engineer, same timing, connected traffic flow, connected environmental impacts, and physically adjoin one another. Unfortunately, our city staff is currently going along with this developer’s approach and processing these as two separate development applications. Remind you of an old magic trick? 

Hillside Meadows is the gateway to Linda Mar Woods; and on its own, represents a problematic and damaging project that is not in line with the city’s values or direction. Taken together, these two projects would destroy one of the community’s most cherished open spaces and take us further down the road of urban sprawl. Our newly adopted general plan specifically updates the zoning of this parcel to disallow the volume of development that is being proposed; BUT due to the city’s failure to process their application on time, Hillside Meadows is deemed complete by default since August 2020:. The impact is this: Hillside Meadows is subject to our 40+ year old General Plan, not the plan recently updated. 

So what comes next? Mostly, more of what we’ve already been doing.

  1. Inform the community and wake people up to the current threat of international speculators building out our remaining open-space hillsides. 
  2. Fundraise for what could certainly be a lengthy legal battle. 
  3. Gather our forces of local experts to help on the various fronts of these efforts.
  4. Advocate with local and regional politicians to promote the importance of open-space preservation and community fire/landslide safety. 
  5. Challenge tactics, like those of current developers, to divide projects to their advantage rather than provide for community discourse. 

Pacifica’s super-power is the people that live here. Community is an amazing resource. Come join us at ProtectSanPedroMountain.org

© Mark Hubbell


Theme for International Peace Day 2022: End Racism, Build Peace – Pacifica Peace People 

Pacifica Peace People invite you to celebrate September 21, International Peace Day  all week long!  

September 14 Peace Day Article in Pacifica Tribune  

September 16 Public reading of MLK’s “ Beyond Vietnam”, Sanchez Art Center  6:00p 16 readers from the Community will read a section of the speech.  

September 21 Sign-Waving on Hwy#1, near Moose Lodge, 5:00p Display your message of peace on your sign!  

All week long there will be displays at the Sharp Park Library and Florey’s promoting  International Peace Day.

Beyond Vietnam: hear the words of Martin Luther King

The $850,000 mistake: what can we do? – Suzanne Moore

At the August 8, 2022 council meeting, City Council members voted unanimously to pay an additional $550,000 in attorney fees (now totaling $850,000) as part of a federal court settlement. This out-of-court settlement was reached after unhoused plaintiffs sought court clarification of their civil rights. The City agreed to pay the  attorney fees and create a Safe Parking Program (SPP). 

Pacificans have every right to be upset. This suit could have been avoided and the City made mistakes. I want to take a moment to look back.

In 2017, Pacifica unhoused motorhome residents and members of the community, including faith-based leaders, came to City Council and asked for a pilot SPP. Long-time Pacificans had been priced out, were living in motorhomes to stay close to family and work, and were unable to find affordable housing. The office of Board of Supervisor Don Horsley made it clear that funding was available upon Council request. A program could provide trash and wastewater services (chief concerns in the community) and a pathway to permanent housing.

Council agreed to create a Task Force which began its work August, 2019. By November, the Task Force, without a budget, brought the community together to discuss options. In December, the Task Force submitted their findings to Council in a presentation and report. Over 70% of residents who attended the forum supported a Safe Parking Program as a contingency to an Oversize Vehicle Ordinance. The submitted report contained several successful SPP models.

Council instead chose to separate the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance (OVO) from any contingency and moved forward to pass and begin enforcement of the ordinance. The first COVID surge occurred that winter. The unhoused in motorhomes experienced isolation, harassment, vandalism, and displacement.

The City, at that time, made it clear they would not support use of city property or provide permits for use of private lots. Before disbanding, the Task Force made one last recommendation – to designate assigned spots on city streets for a SPP. Council again declined to act.

The City had been warned by San Mateo County Legal Aid that their actions could be legally challenged and infringed upon the civil rights of the unhoused. When efforts to provide for Safe parking failed, those impacted were left no other recourse than to seek their rights in a court of law.

The City’s decision displaced residents from their hometown, delayed solutions to reduce environmental impact, escalated harassment of the unhoused, and likely precipitated documented homeless deaths in Pacifica. All of this could have been reduced with earlier intervention. 

What now? 

  1. We have a program, based on successful models elsewhere, that can solve homelessness the best way possible – find people homes. Let’s share our support.
  2. We can name those responsible for their mistakes – council members Sue Beckmeyer, Sue Vaterlaus, and Mike O’Neill and City Counsel.
  3. We can understand the role of political action committees, their campaign contributions, and how legislative seats are bought to push forward a special interest agenda.
  4. We can understand the impact of real estate speculation in our housing crisis. Unlike many property owners, speculators are profiteers who compete for and reduce low income housing, displace essential workers from the community, and increase homelessness.
  5. We can choose to become better engaged in our community to promote fair housing for families, elders, essential workers, and the disabled. Please participate in Pacifica’s Housing Element.
  6. We can vote! Expect ballots in early October.

© Mark Hubbell


Trees and Climate Change – Paul Totah, Tree City Pacifica

Key take-aways:

  • Climate change is proceeding faster than expected.
  • Urban areas need trees more than ever to cool us down thanks to their shade and a process called evapotranspiration.
  • Marginalized communities continue to suffer from lack of trees and green space.

Two years ago, the weather service for the United Kingdom predicted what our climate in 2050 might look like, repeating what a French forecaster had done in 2014. Their models predicted temperatures far in excess of typical climate patterns.

They guessed wrong. Those scenarios of excessive heat, drought and fire happened in 2022, rather than 2050, 28 years sooner than expected.

Much of Europe is still sweltering this summer, with July temperatures hitting all-time records. One city in Spain, Ourense, was just a shade below 110 degrees, and the town of Lousã in Portugal exceeded 115 degrees.

Fires raged through those countries, too, as well as France, forcing evacuations and adding to the health problems brought on by excessive heat.

Extreme heat which gripped large parts of India and Pakistan was made 30 times more likely because of climate change, according to a new rapid attribution study by climate scientists, and much of China and the U.S. are struggling under temperatures far hotter than normal.

Those of us involved with Tree City Pacifica know that one of the many ways we can mitigate climate change is by looking down at the ground below our feet, digging holes and planting trees that will cool our cities in dramatic ways. The US Forest Service notes that “the net cooling effect of a young healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” They do this by providing shade and through a process called evapotranspiration, as sunlight hitting a tree’s canopy causes water to evaporate from the leaves, cooling them down “just as sweating cools our skin, thereby reducing the amount of energy left to warm the air.” Trees also cool down buildings as their shade “prevents solar radiation from penetrating windows or heating up external walls,” according to theconversation.com.

The USDA also created a document called “Sustaining America’s Urban Trees and Forests” that’s worth looking at. It starts by noting that “close to 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas and depends on the essential ecological, economic, and social benefits provided by urban trees and forests. However, the distribution of urban tree cover and the benefits of urban forests vary across the United States, as do the challenges of sustaining this important resource. As urban areas expand across the country, the importance of the benefits that urban forests provide, as well as the challenges to their conservation and maintenance, will increase.”

One challenge lies in who has access to these urban forests. You probably won’t be surprised that wealthier neighborhoods have more green spaces than poorer ones. In fact, according to one report “urban trees may be unequally distributed among poor and minority urban communities, meaning that these communities are potentially being deprived of public environmental benefits, a form of environmental injustice.”

A report from The Pew Charitable Trusts also notes that while Seattle may be mainly green, “on the south side, you see nothing but rooftops and asphalt and not a green thing anywhere. It’s strictly a matter of socioeconomics and race.”

It goes on to note that this “disparity is not unique to Seattle. American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based conservation nonprofit, released a nationwide analysis last month showing that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have significantly less tree canopy. Those areas also are more likely to suffer from the urban heat island effect caused by a lack of shade and an abundance of heat-absorbing asphalt. Heat islands can be as much as 10 degrees hotter than surrounding neighborhoods.”

What’s the final take-away? Plant more trees, especially in cities and especially in underserved areas that lack green spaces. Even in Pacifica.

San Pedro Creek Steelhead – Mark Hubbell

The Central California Coast Steelhead is a threatened species. NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region, along with the Science Centers, work to protect and conserve this species under the Endangered Species Act.

This is important because:
For thousands of years, large steelhead up to 30 inches or more in length have returned to their place of birth in the San Pedro Creek Watershed to spawn. Unlike other species of salmon, steelhead can be repeat spawners — up to three times. After spawning, adult steelhead return to the ocean during periods of lower flows from dryer weather. 

The problem is:
Recent reconstruction on bridged sections of the Coast Highway have altered the flow of the creek. There are unusually shallow, low flow channels, sections of reed beds too thick for the fish to pass through, and potentially invasive varieties blocking the front of the creek. 

The good news is:
A local Pacifican stewardship group, the San Pedro Creek Watershed Coalition, is partnering with Federal, State, and County organizations – NOAA Fisheries, California Fish & Wildlife,and the San Mateo Resource Conservation District. Together they will address conditions which prevent adult steelhead and their smolt from returning to the ocean. 

The bad news is:
An International Real-Estate Speculator has submitted plans for luxury hillside housing to be constructed directly above and within the San Pedro Creek Watershed. Construction site preparation, and ongoing pollution from occupied activities will have a devastating impact on San Pedro Creek.


© Mark Hubbell


San Mateo County Library Events

Author Events

Meet Christina Cho – Mooncakes and Milk Bread
September 6, 7:00PM – 8:00PM

Join us and virtually meet Kristina Cho as she does a live mooncake demo and discusses her book, Mooncakes & Milk Bread features over 80 recipes and highlights the incredible range of items that can be found inside Chinese cafes and bakeries, including sweet and savory baked buns, steamed buns, breads, unique cookies, whimsical cakes and juicy dumplings. It’s the very first English language book to extensively cover Chinese baking and celebrate this sweet facet of Chinese American culture. Get a glimpse into Chinese bakeries across America and learn from the bakers and owners themselves about why these businesses are so important to Asian American culture.

Meet Frances Moore Lappe – Diet for a Small Planet 
September 7, 2022, 5:00PM – 6:00PM

In 2021, Frances Moore Lappé released a special 50th anniversary edition of Diet For a Small Planet. Here, she shows how plant-centered eating can help restore our damaged ecology, address the climate crisis, and move us towards real democracy. With recipes spruced up for today’s palate and including offerings from renowned chefs, Lappé offers a fascinating philosophy on changing yourself—and the world—that can start with changing the way we eat.


Medicare Programs for Open Enrollment – IN PERSON

New to Medicare? Enrolled and still confused? Join us to learn about the basics of Medicare Parts A-D, including benefits, enrollment dates and ways to avoid lifetime penalties. Trained staff from HICAP will explain the differences between Supplemental vs. Advantage plans and much more. Don’t wait. Get help understanding Medicare now!


Latinx Heritage Month begins in mid-September because September 15 is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and 18, respectively. Día de la Raza, opens a new window, which is October 12, also falls within this period.


Sound Healing 
Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 6:30PM – 7:30PM
Pacifica Sharp Park

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 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.


Pacifica Peace Group will be celebrating Peace Week from the SEPTEMBER 14th -21st, and we will have a display of Peace Books in the Library. The theme is End Racism, Build Peace. 

Banned Books Week 
This is the week of Sept 17th. We will have a banned books display. 

14th Annual 50|50 Show Opens Sept 9 – Sanchez Art Center

50+ artists * 50 small works * in 50 days
Sept 9 – Oct 9, 2022
Juried by Julie McCray, SHOH Gallery

Sanchez Art Center is looking ahead to the most wonderful time of year… the Annual 50|50 Show, Sept 9–Oct 9.  Participating California artists create 50 small artworks within a time span of 50 days, an artistic journey requiring daring, creativity, and perseverance to undertake.  The result of the 50+ artists accomplishment is a dazzling array of original art, that along with the affordability of the small (6” x 6”)  artworks, makes the 50|50 Show, now in its 14th year, the most highly anticipated exhibition at Sanchez Art Center that has grown in acclaim throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Julie McCray, SHOH Gallery, Berkeley, took on the stimulating challenge of selecting just over 50 artists from the pool of 160 entrants, after reviewing each artist’s submitted images of past works along with their medium and proposed theme. The resulting show contains over 2,700 original artworks—paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylic; mixed media pieces; clay; glass; photographs; cyanotypes; and more.

For the artists, part of the challenge is developing their overall theme, and succinctly describing it in ten words or less.  Story-telling, the natural habitat, and re-grounding and connecting in these times are themes that weave their way through the show. Sanchez Studio Artist Susan Friedman, working in mixed media, has developed her artworks with the idea of “artistic inspiration from my childhood impressions of birds”.  Beth Fein, Berkeley, found motivation in a quote by artist Georgia O’Keefe, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I had no words for”.  Based in San Francisco, Bruce Hallman, created gypsum castings and developed “19th Century Tingit Totemic Face Paint Crest Designs, a study”.    A color story in acrylic, “Fifty Not So Gold Goldfish” has been playfully produced by Ryan Martin, Richmond.  Archival pigment prints on vellum, backed with 24k gold leaf, by Anne LeMay Burke, San Jose, are “Unearthing the Deep Divide Along the San Andreas Fault”.   Incorporating the local environment, Oscar Lopez, Pacifica, worked in oil to create “Paintings of Pacifica Landscape Encapsulating Memories of Time”.           

Sanchez Art Center will hold a two-day Opening Fundraiser on Friday, Sept 9 and Saturday, Sept 10. Ticketed and timed entries will allow supporters to safely and comfortably see the show in its entirety and make purchases. There will also be the opportunity to talk with the many 50|50 artists who will be in attendance, and to enjoy the live music and a beverage (for donation). Tickets are limited — and Friday is already sold out — so secure yours early at Eventbrite.com.

After the fundraiser, Sanchez Art Center will welcome visitors at no cost for extended hours on Sunday Sept 11, Noon–6 pm, and thereafter galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, through Oct 9. Beginning on Sunday, Sept 11, art buyers get to immediately take purchases home with them. Art enthusiasts often visit multiple times to take it all in, and we welcome you to return again and again. Facemasks will be required indoors, and we ask visitors to remain mindful as to personal space. Visit our website, SanchezArtCenter.org, for updates.

Proceeds from the 50|50 Show support Sanchez Art Center’s programs that, for 25 years, have created community through art. Special thanks to exhibition sponsors: Art Guild of Pacifica, Bleyle Elevator, and Shelldance Orchid Garden.

Don’t miss this inspiring celebration of art and artists! Order your ticket to the Opening  Fundraiser at Eventbrite.com. Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. For more information: info@SanchezArtCenter.org, SanchezArtCenter.org.

Pacific Beach Coalition Update

Fog Fest – Sept 24 – 25 – come march with PBC as we celebrate Mission Blue Needs You and the Mission Blue Butterflies!  Find our PBC booth and our awesome float somewhere among the vendors (maybe north end by IBL)

Pacificans Care recognize Pacifica People Who Care – Ginny Jaquith

The purpose of the People Who Care Award is to recognize community groups, businesses, or individuals in Pacifica who have significantly contributed to the well-being of the community, and, through their actions and contributions, have exemplified Pacifica as a “Community that Cares.” 

This was a special year for the People Who Care Awards as we did not have an Award ceremony during the pandemic.

Oceana Market has a long history of giving back generously to this community and to Pacificans Care and has continued its philanthropic efforts over the years despite the hardships the pandemic inflicted on the business and staff. The market has donated gift certificates for over 100 homebound seniors in the Meals on Wheels program, for 70 Child Care families, and for year-end gifts to help families in need across our community. Oceana Market was the Presenting Sponsorship for the Pacificans Care Double Gold Day Wine Tasting fundraiser.

In 2016, Chan and Diana Chu became the new owners of the Grocery Outlet in Pacifica and quickly fell in love with our seaside city. The store has partnered with the Pacifica Resource Center on the Grocery Rescue Program and its ‘Independence from Hunger’ Food Drive, and became a major sponsor of PRC’s annual fundraising event, Palm-a-Palooza. Grocery Outlet has also partnered with Pacificans Care to contribute gift cards for much-needed support to local families through Pacifica’s Senior and Childcare services. The store sponsored the Pacificans Care’s recent Double Gold Day Wine Tasting fundraiser. Grocery Outlet was the recipient of this year’s ‘Independence from Hunger’ Drive.

As a volunteer at Cabrillo School, Keira Robolino served as PTO President for 4 years and created a volunteer-driven Creative Arts program, maintaining these important activities at Cabrillo School when art programs were being eliminated. Keira  also volunteered at Spindrift School for the Performing Arts and worked to create a partnership between the Pacifica School District and SSPA – this provided a performing arts summer camp program for children and youth. In 2006 Keira worked to partner Sunset Ridge School JUHSD for free dance programs in exchange for summer space at Oceana. Keira was such a great volunteer at SSPA, she was hired. Today she is Operations Manager celebrating 24 years with SSPA.

Fog Fest Organizing Group (FFOG) has had a significant impact over the last 20 years to improve the image of Pacifica and encourage economic development, but the most important outcome of the Fog Fest over the years has been its support of community organizations and their programs. FFOG is an all-volunteer board that works throughout the year to produce a safe and successful experience for the 40,000 to 80,000 Fog Fest goers visiting Pacifica during Pacifica’s  sunniest weekend of the year. The first Fog Fest consisted of 6 community groups. The festival has since grown to include over 50 community groups and hundreds of volunteers. Since 2000, the Fog Fest Organizing Group has contributed $1.2 million to the community making it an organization that genuinely cares about Pacifica.

Pacificans Care salutes these wonderful businesses, organizations, and individuals for their service to and support of our community. We honor them with the People Who Care Award for 2020-21.

Other Pacificans Care News: 

Through the generosity of Grocery Outlet and their wonderful customers, Pacificans Care participated in the annual July ‘Independence from Hunger’ Drive sponsored by Grocery Outlet. The Drive gave shoppers an opportunity to make a $5 donation to Pacificans Care, and, in return, receive a $5 coupon for a future trip to Grocery Outlet. It was a WIN/WIN for Pacificans Care, the agencies they support, and the customers of Grocery Outlet. Customers also donated bags full of groceries to the Pacifica Resource Center for Pacifica families in need. Pacificans Care board members and Champions bagged groceries and interacted with customers during the Drive.

The Pacificans Care volunteer group known as the Champions enjoyed an afternoon of food, fun, friendship, and thanks at a gathering hosted by Pacificans Care Board member Alice Bull, Chair of the Champions Committee. The gathering provided an opportunity for Pacificans Care to thank our dedicated volunteers who are always ready to assist –  at events like our recent Double Gold Day Wine Tasting event and our recent ‘Independence from Hunger‘ Drive at Grocery Outlet.

Pacificans Care 40th Anniversary Celebration is coming so mark your calendars for Saturday, November 5th from 2:00 to 4:30pm at the Pacifica Community Center. We will be celebrating our 40 years of supporting and contributing over $1.3 million to the core social service agencies we support including Pacifica Senior Services, Pacifica Child Care Services, Pacifica Resource Center, and Pacifica Youth Service Bureau. Come join the celebration. Details to follow.

For more information about the work of Pacificans Care visit our website at www.PacificansCare.org or contact us at pacificanscare1982@gmail.com.

© Mark Hubbell