Edition 1 February 2022
Welcome to the February 2022 edition of Pacifica Voice
- FOR CONSIDERATION
- THE GENERAL PLAN AND DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
- Pacifica’s Draft Environmental Impact, General Plan, and Sharp Park Specific Plans are open for community review and feedback – Suzanne Moore
- Planning for a Safer Pacifica – Christine Boles with Gregg Dieguez
- Take the Coastside Transportation Survey – Rick Nahass
- Transportation Demand Management and the General Plan – Rick Nahass
- Wildfires, fire safety, and the General Plan – Mark Hubbell
- Pacifica’s Environmental Family “Open Space, an Essential Part of Pacifica’s character”
- What’s happening at the Pacifica Coastside Museum and with PHS Virtual Events – Patricia Kremer
- Letter from San Mateo County Silicon Valley – John M. Hutar, President & CEO
- COMMUNITY SHARES
Calendar of Events
|SAT 2/12/22||The Pacifica Resource Center is reopened|
|MON 2/14/22 7PM||City Council Meeting|
|FRI 2/21/22||Unless extended, the final day for public input to Pacifica’s Draft Environmental Impact Report|
|SUN 2/25/22||Sanchez Art Gallery Event (see article)|
|SUN 2/27/22 4PM||Pacifica Historical Society event (see post)|
|FRI 3/4/22||Coastside Transportation Survey Deadline|
|MON 3/14/22 7PM||City Council Meeting|
|WED 3/23/22 7PM||PPA General Meeting|
|FRI 4/1/2022 7 PM||Pacifica Talks Racism TBA|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
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To our dear Jewish siblings – Revs. Penny Nixon and Marlyn Bussey, PSC Co-directors Tovis Page, Cohort planning team
Reprinted from the Daily Journal with permission of the authors.
We are writing to you to express our solidarity with you and support for you and your entire community after the harrowing events at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville this past weekend. Some of us who are not part of the Jewish community may not be able to fully understand the depth of trauma experienced by witnessing this event live over an 11-hour period nor the historic wounds opened by an event like this, while some of us remember too well the trauma of Charleston, South Carolina. Being attacked as a result of being welcoming is the deepest type of betrayal. We must however, recognize, name and work against anti-Semitism and racial hatred in all its forms.
While we may not have experienced the desecration of our sacred spaces, or face ongoing threats to our houses of worship, we can imagine what it might feel like to have our own houses of faith attacked. We are heartbroken and outraged with you that your places of worship, your sanctuaries, do not feel safe. Though tragedy was averted in Texas, due to the active shooter training the rabbi and synagogue had undergone, we all know it could have had a different, unthinkable ending. We ask along with you, what has our world come to that rabbis, and teachers, need active shooter training and that synagogues can no longer offer a welcome through the front doors of their sanctuary, and that their general budgets must now include armed guards and security services? What has our nation and society come to that, in the experience of many, attending their house of worship is an act of courage?
We know that this latest episode is one in a long history of hatred and bigotry toward the Jewish people and that it deepens the wound of anti-Semitism that is your constant reality.
There are few words to console at a time like this, so we simply want you to know that we are in complete solidarity with you and stand against all forms of hate and of “othering”-so prevalent in our political and social climate.
Along with you, we believe deeply that we are all siblings made in the image of God, part of one great web of belonging.
We see your trauma. When you hurt, we hurt.
We will stand with you, cry with you, pray with you and work for justice with you as we seek together to create a world of peace and belonging for all.
With love and respect,
The Pacifica Peace People recommends World Beyond War website.
The world spends about $2 Trillion a year on wars and preparation for wars. Pacifica Peace People wants to invite readers of Pacific Voice to join us in promoting the redirection of money allotted for military spending to healing our world and saving our planet. Here are some ideas from World Beyond War website in an article titled “We need $1 Trillion/Year for Other Things.”
“It would cost about $30 billion per year to end starvation and hunger around the world. That sounds like a lot of money to you or me. But if we had $2 trillion it wouldn’t. And we do.
“It would cost about $11 billion per year to provide the world with clean water. Again, that sounds like a lot. Let’s round up to $50 billion per year to provide the world with both food and water. Who has that kind of money? We do.”
We hope you will visit World Beyond War website, https://worldbeyondwar.org/2trillion/ to read the entire article and to learn many more ways that we can exchange the war economy for a peace economy. And end the forever wars.
THE GENERAL PLAN AND DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
Pacifica’s Draft Environmental Impact, General Plan, and Sharp Park Specific Plans are open for community review and feedback – Suzanne Moore
Pacifica’s Draft Environmental Impact, General Plan, and Sharp Park Specific Plans are open for community review and feedback. These documents are the foundational guidelines for Pacifica’s vision and development. The General Plan has not been updated for 40 years.
Kevin Woodhouse notes in Connect with Pacifica that:
“The General Plan Update modernizes land use and improves environmental resource policies and protections, and the Sharp Park Specific Plan will help improve vibrancy in the West Sharp Park neighborhood.
“…documents that will shape the future of development in Pacifica (including) transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, public safety, and more. The Draft Environmental Impact Report provides an analysis of potential environmental impacts associated with the policies contained in the planning documents.”
The importance of all three documents, particularly the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), cannot be underestimated. These are resources used as references by many who hope to build, work, and play in Pacifica. The document release was impeded by a City draft that was not interactive and was compressed: that made it impossible to search the 1400 page documents, choose a chapter in the Table of Contents, or cut and paste a section of interest. The City has since released a more user-friendly WORD version, but the deadline for City feedback remains unchanged at MON 2/21/22.
Here are important links to review documents, provide public comment, and view alternative discussions:
City site – https://www.planpacifica.org/project-docs
PLEASE NOTE PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT ARE DUE 2/21/22, and must be posted to: email@example.com
I understand hard copies are available at the libraries and the community center restricted to on-site use only. Mail or in-person delivery can be made to the Planning Department
Christian Murdock, AICP, Deputy Director of Planning
City of Pacifica Planning Department
540 Crespi Drive
Pacifica CA 94044
Here are alternative sites and links which discuss these documents:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/15H3IrA8-Zqo50A8lTOmd6CxWVyS8cyiZ/view?usp=sharing – this is a searchable, interactive link to the City documents. It is too large to preview and will require download.
https://you-are-pacifica.mailchimpsites.com/ – this website, from a grassroots organization, provides discussion on these documents.
Please do what you can to participate. If you are unable to read the entire 3 documents, review the portions most important to you. If you were not notified of the City’s request for participation, please ask for an extension. If you have comments, be sure to post them before the 2/21/22 deadline to firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning for a Safer Pacifica – Christine Boles with Gregg Dieguez
Reprinted from Coastside Buzz and amended with permission of the authors.
As an architect, one of the requirements for obtaining a license is a commitment to public safety; we commit to reporting unsafe issues we see, even those that aren’t related to our work. I’ve spoken at many Pacifica City Council and Planning Commission meetings; colleagues have told me that I am persistent and sometimes angry. The City has repeatedly dismissed my concerns about safety, which I refuse to accept.
In August 2020, I reviewed a project in my neighborhood called Vista Mar. It had a lot of problems. The site is very steep, and the soils vary – some are hard rock, some soft wetlands. The current Pacifica General Plan calls for a thorough study of the soils before approving projects here. For this project, the city planning department didn’t require that information, though it is a routine requirement in other cities I work in. I went through proper channels to be helpful. I commented on the environmental documents, I wrote letters, I spoke at Planning Commission meetings, I met with Planning Director Wehrmeister, I even hired a civil engineer myself to comment. No one listened.
Digging into city records, I found that the same engineer, Javier Chavarria, had submitted a similar application for this property in 1991. Guess what? He was required by the Planning Department to do proper soils analyses as part of the development application (12 soil borings in different areas of the site where the buildings were actually proposed, versus the two borings by the sidewalk allowed in the current application), and those reports found four landslides on the site, one described as active! The City’s geotechnical consultant in the 90’s called for digging pits into the landslides to study them. Chavarria responded by cancelling the project on March 31, 1992. Then the City somehow forgot about these hazards.
Since the General Plan Land Use section was so specific about this property, I wondered what else it had to say. The section on safety was especially interesting, and terrifying. While the General Plan was adopted in 1980, the Safety Element was completely rewritten just three years later in 1983 after the horrific El Nino winter for Pacifica – 475 landslides, evacuations, flooding, whole communities that lost their road access, 3 children killed in landslides, many homes damaged or destroyed – all in one winter. The Howard Donley Report called for new landslide maps to be created and yet even now, 38 years later, the City still has no new landslide maps in the General Plan. We presented this information to the City Council in our appeal, but Council members Beckmeyer, O’Neill and Vaterlaus, voted to approve the project anyway.
A group of us then sued the city to update our General Plan before approving any more projects in hazardous areas. We knew we weren’t hurting Pacifica financially as the developer was responsible for the city’s legal bills.
We were very excited when City Manager Woodhouse released the new General Plan on January 7th. I was anxious to see if new landslide maps are included in the new General Plan. There is some new information, but they did not even map the nine major slides thoroughly studied in 1983…The northern section of Pacifica seems to be completely free of debris flow landslides in the city’s map, but the US Geological Survey data tells a different story.
What about other hazards? Fire risk maps in the draft General Plan are now largely blank.
There are no maps showing projected sea level rise. Esplanade Avenue, where apartment buildings literally fell into the ocean just a few years ago are not shown on maps as being in areas prone to coastal erosion. Video It appears the city mostly used old documents from 2009-2014. There is some new information in the draft EIR (DEIR), but much of these recent environmental assessments have not been incorporated into the General Plan. With climate change, our risks of fire, flooding, landslides, and coastal erosion have increased since 2014 and will continue to increase. Without using best available current data to understand our hazards how we can plan responsibly for the future?
In fact, according SB379, the state requires cities to integrate climate change adaptation and resiliency in their General Plans by January 1, 2022. This starts with a vulnerability assessment for the whole city, which, you probably guessed it, is missing from the draft EIR for Pacifica.
This hazard information is also essential for some applications in obtaining funding for our roads and other infrastructure. The County has a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP), to which the vast majority of San Mateo County cities, towns, and agencies contribute information on their disaster risks. That vehicle allows application to FEMA and other agencies for funds to mitigate, in advance, many risks, and to repair them as needed. Pacifica actually updated it’s LHMP late last year. I and other Pacificans commented on several errors and omissions, including fire map inaccuracies. At the November 22nd City Council Meeting City Manager Woodhouse said, and Council Member Beckmeyer agreed, that the issue of accuracy in these documents is not critical as they will be worked on soon with the General Plan update; we just needed to file the LHMP to be eligible for disaster funding. But now if you read the new DEIR, you’ll see it quotes the deficient LHMP as source material in several sections, including fire and landslides… People are not doing their homework, and it could be deadly.
Pacifica is certainly the poster child for disaster risks: earthquake, landslide, sea level rise, wildfire and tsunami. One would expect the City of Pacifica, in the best interests of its residents, to be the most current on its hazard assessment information and to submit it in support of those funding initiatives. And yet, clearly, Pacifica is not using that information when assessing its own development. Why would the City ignore such obvious risks in permitting new developments?
How can you help the City better understand our hazards?
1) Here’s a super easy way, Help Identify Hazards: my kids and I created a simple GIS hazard mapping tool. All you have to do is answer a few questions on this Google form, and your information will go onto this hazard map. You know best if landslides, fires, flooding, sink holes, or erosion have happened near your home – it will just take you 5 minutes to provide this information, and you can even upload photo evidence. I’ve been collecting flooding data from my neighbors on Monterey Road the last few months to help the city understand our issues as part of a local drainage study they are doing, and so that data is now mapped there. If you live in Linda Mar, for example, you certainly understand Pacifica’s deficiencies in sewer and storm water management.
2) Review the General Plan documents. This is supposed to be our vision of what we want for our city’s growth and future. You don’t have to do everything – this is the beauty of being a community – we each have our own interests and capabilities. One person can look at wild animal corridors, one person can look business districts, one person can look at roads and evacuation routes, etc. Find something that interests you and submit your comments and questions to the city at email@example.com
3) Insist your elected officials perform their primary duty: to protect the health and safety of Pacifica’s residents. And vote until you have officials who do so.
As for me, you know I’ll be focused on your safety.
Take the Coastside Transportation Survey – Rick Nahass
Commute.org’s mission is to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by commuters to decrease congestion, improve the environment, and enhance quality of life.
Spearheaded by commute.org Board Members Mike O’Neill, Pacifica, and Deborah Penrose, Half Moon Bay, the feedback from this short survey will be used in conjunction with previous county outreach programs, such as Reimagine SamTrans, to determine next steps for better enabling people to use alternate transit methods.
The last question is intended for free form open comments. Please take the time to consider how you might answer this question:
“If you have any other comments or suggestions for how to support and encourage Coastside residents to use alternatives to driving alone, please use the space below to let us know.”
Help us Get the word out to get full representation from all coastside residents from Pescadero to Pacifica by forwarding the survey link.
Transportation Demand Management and the General Plan – Rick Nahass
Senate Bill SB-743 requires the use of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as the metric for assessing transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
VMT per capita is calculated as the total annual miles of vehicle travel divided by the total population in a state or in an urbanized area. Pacifica VMT documented in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) comes from Federal, State and County data collected over the past 20 years all of which say what we already know, the two busiest interactions in town are at Rockaway Beach and Vallemar and traffic sucks on warm weekends. And traffic is increasing year by year.
So why do our City Council Members keep asking transit operators to continue collecting the same data, instead of developing an ALL City specific Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program that addresses housing development, business development and hospitality/tourism in relation to the less than stellar transportation options that exist on coastside today?
The TDM program should be developed in relation to VMT reduction that restrict action pending our regional transportation authorities establishing a high quality transit corridor, per SB-743, land use “within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor” and “a high-quality transit corridor means a corridor with fixed route bus service with service intervals no longer than 15 minutes during peak commute hours.”
A possible plan might look like this: Step 1 – work toward promoting Regional Bus transit and establishing a high quality transit corridor on state route 1. When Step 1 is completed, Step 2 – Work to make Rockaway to Sharp Park a Priority Development Area, making Pacifica a priority for major regional, state and federal transportation funding.
A county grant call for projects is becoming available April 7, 2022 that would give Pacifica $100,000 to kick off TDM Program planning. The call for grants prioritizes 30% of the funding for coastal and unincorporated jurisdiction and specifically calls out Pacifica for prioritized funding.
The current plans presented by the city lack any due diligence for VMT reduction to mitigate environmental impact, but instead use the following boilerplate language that might meet the lowest bar of legal obligation (lazily checking off the boxes):
- Merchants with 20+ employees are required to have showers and provide public transit passes
- Large developers can waive parking space requirements to discourage automobile ownership by residents. Perhaps instead of just waiving parking make it dependent on the establishment of a high-quality transit corridor. In this way Developers and City Council have an incentive to promote regional bus transit for the entire Bay Area.
- Supporting mixed-use transit in proximity to transit stops (this only works if Pacifica has a high quality transit corridor)
- Replacing the city owned vehicles with electric vehicles (not sure how this improves VMT)
The words “Transportation Demand Management” scattered throughout the General Plans serve only the City Manager, who can point to those words and say “I’ve done my job, I’ve checked off the box, I’ve done the least work possible to say Pacifica has a TDM program.” The plans do not constitute a well constructed TDM Program for the benefit of Pacifica and our sister coastside cities. Perhaps it’s time to consider a change in municipal governance.
Wildfires, fire safety, and the General Plan – Mark Hubbell
It is way past the time for Pacifica to begin taking wildfires seriously. Too many mistakes were made while cool misty days and foggy nights lulled us into thinking we were impervious to the meanest of all natural hazards.
— First, let’s dispel the notion that eucalyptus trees aren’t flammable: “The leaves produce a volatile highly combustible oil, and the ground beneath the trees is covered with large amounts of litter which is high in phenolics, preventing its breakdown by fungi. Wildfires burn rapidly under them and through the tree crowns. It has been estimated that other than the 3,000+ homes that burned in California’s 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, about 70 percent of the energy released was through the combustion of eucalyptus” — Bill Gabbert (Author of Wildfire Today)
— The North County Fire Authority’s Chipping Program should be a very good program. This is the program that City Manager Woodhouse and the NCFD Chief were congratulating themselves on recently in a Council meeting. In reality, the program didn’t go that well — it was advertised so inadequately that it had to be restarted at a later date. On the second time around, our City Manager Woodhouse publicly announced it a couple days after it began in our neighborhood. I emailed Woodhouse on the delayed notice; he acknowledged the oversight, but did not apologize.
— Back in the ’70s, Pacifica, like so many other California cities, started Trees For A Dollar campaigns with Planting Parties. Many trees were planted in the indefinable spaces between fence lines weaving through hillside neighborhoods in The Valley. Today, most of those trees are dead or dying tinder-towers, and they are fire and falling hazards costing between $5,000 to $9,000 apiece to remove. If only it had been a more enlightened program providing fire-resistant native species, like coastal live oaks or redwood trees, we wouldn’t be having this problem. Understandably, so many years later, it is hard to get neighbors to agree on responsibility; so the trees become an increased danger for everybody. Somehow and soon, those trees will have to be equitably removed for the safety of thousands of people. Will the City help with that? So far I’ve been unable to locate any mention of fire mitigation and tree removal in the new General Plan, unless it is buried under the voluminous “Economic Opportunities.”
— In the 1980s, the California Conservation Corps brought in hundreds of common pine trees interspersed with cypress in an attempt to stabilize the soil after a major landslide behind my home. At that time, the property was owned by the GGNRA. The Corps believed the pines would grow fast and die within their lifetime of thirty years, and then decompose to provide fertile soil for the slower growing cypress trees. After more than thirty years, the dead and dry pine trees formed a giant tinderbox. The GGNRA sold this unincorporated land to a major condo development group, and the current owners have yet to state their intentions or suggest ways to mitigate the fire hazard – the location is clearly delineated on the County Fire Hazard map. If only native species of foliage were used as replacements, the hazardous condition could have been avoided.
— Our meantime is spent dreading those days when the fence boards are crackling in the dry heat of a strong southerly breeze. A lot of us in The Back Of The Valley are feeling that helplessness from lack of attention here on the front line of the Urban Wilderness Interface. We greatly appreciated when, on June 8th, 2021, the North County Fire Authority, Pacifica Police Department, and the California Department of Insurance conducted a webinar, The Pacifica Wildfire Awareness Event. They presented WildfireTopics including a new, reputable program called the Zonehaven Evacuation Plan. Most people I’ve spoken to have never heard of this, and those who have are not clear on the specifics of the plan. The City does not mention it in their new General Plan.
’Zonehaven’ is a very popular idea with most of California’s Fire Authorities: it identifies smaller, widely distributed evacuation zones, which are more readily defensible by firefighters. In the event of a wildfire or an emergency situation, law enforcement and fire agencies issue texted warnings or evacuation orders for impacted areas. These notices are issued for a particular zone with an evacuation status. For example, should a hazardous condition arise, my assigned evacuation location would be just a couple blocks up the street at Terra Nova High School. Fire fighters, police, ambulances, and medical staff would also be dispatched there to protect me. The alternative would be for a couple thousand cars, simultaneously rolling out of The Valley toward the beach. The lucky ones could fight over the few remaining parking spots while others remain at high risk in cars back at Peralta Road. If the Linda Mar Woods development is built, evacuation on Linda Mar would be far more dangerous.
—My understanding is that the Environmental Impacts from this General Plan will apply to a span of twenty to thirty years. What will happen in that time span? How hot and dry will it become? It was 77 degrees in Pacifica while writing this in mid February. There already are wildfires ablaze in Southern California and some recently extinguished in the East Bay. In mid January seven years ago, there was a significant evacuation from a blaze near the condos on Fassler Avenue in Pacifica. As it becomes warmer over the duration of The City’s new General Plan, we will lose our protective moisturizing atmosphere that has dampened the frequency of wildfires here.
I am angry that our city government quantified, for the San Mateo County Hazard Risk Ranking, Pacifica’s potential for wildfires as less than that of a dam breaking. (see accompanying image). Pacifica has no dams, but has significant fire risk.
— After a fairly comprehensive review of our City’s new General Plan, I can confirm that most of the standard causes of wildfires – lightning strikes, overhead power lines, etc – are listed. One particularly concerning potential cause of wildfires was noticeably missing — FIREWORKS — “Safe And Sane”… let’s just leave it like that. I don’t mean to be glum. Facing the hard facts is the best first step in finding real solutions. “Every acre in California can and will burn someday,” announced Cal Fire Chief Them Porter, even as the Dixie Fire was spreading. Chief Porter’s advice: “Just make sure that you’re ready when it does.”
Pacifica’s Environmental Family “Open Space, an Essential Part of Pacifica’s character”
Pacifica’s open space is an essential part of our city’s character. How did we get here? Diligent citizens from across the community have kept a watchful eye out for decades and with broad (though not universal) support have protected and preserved many hillsides and coastal areas into perpetuity.
To celebrate and showcase the work of Pacifica’s incredible legacy of environmental activism, and the community members and public officials who tirelessly worked to preserve the hillsides, Pacifica’s Environmental Family hosted a gathering on Thursday, January 20, 2022. If you weren’t able to attend, or would like to watch again, here is the link –
Did you know that there were plans to build thousands of structures along the hillsides and oceanfront? Did you know Pacificans from all walks of life pulled together to save Sweeney Ridge, Milagra Ridge, Mori’s Point and more? In addition to the two Pacifica Historical Society “Footprints of Pacifica” episodes on Open Space, don’t miss the historical view of developments that didn’t happen (so far).
Over decades, development pressures have not only continued but in recent years have seen a spike in project proposals that could devastate fragile hillsides and viewsheds, impact natural habitat and wildlife corridors, and create unsafe conditions by increasing congestion and building into wildland-urban interface areas. What can you do? Visit our website –
What’s happening at the Pacifica Coastside Museum and with PHS Virtual Events – Patricia Kremer
The Pacifica Historical Society has a new exhibit at the Pacifica Coastside Museum. It features five Posters with information about the history of the Pedro Point and Shelter Cove neighborhoods. Part of their colorful history was active bootlegging during PROHIBITION. An informative 30 min. video made in 1987 is also being shown at the museum (Tu. Th. Sa. 1-4 PM), featuring local Pacifica residents who had first-hand experience living on the coast during those wild days. The video also includes information from the “Prohis”, law enforcement who tried to keep the liquor from coming ashore from the Canadian ships that anchored offshore, and who confiscated thousands of bottles when they could.
On Sunday, February 27 at 4PM, we will be having a Virtual Panel Presentation via Zoom: “The Hazards of Living in Scenic Pacifica”. Four panelists will share their first hand experiences with storm waves destroying houses in Shelter Cove in 1960, the flooding of West Linda Mar in 1982, falling trees damaging property in Vallemar, and cliff erosion on the west side of Esplanade causing destruction of several homes. To register for this event send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the email address you will use to watch the presentation. Put “register” in the subject line.
Another new exhibit entitled “To Build or Not to Build, THAT is the question” will feature posters with information about Pacifica’s residential development over time since 1915, the history of the Pacifica Hillside Preservation Ordinance, and developments and highways that were proposed but not built. Three videos about Open Space Preservation may be viewed through the website of the Pacifica Environmental Family (PEF)
Letter from San Mateo County Silicon Valley – John M. Hutar, President & CEO
February 11, 2022
Dear Readers of the Pacifica Voice,
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Mateo County’s tourism economy was the envy of much of the world. Being a hub to both the biotech and high-tech sectors, our temperate climate, vast open spaces and terrific culinary offerings were just part of the appeal which made us THE place to visit. Prior to COVID, our hotels consistently outpaced the rest of the U.S. market by well over 20%. During April 2020, the abrupt elimination of worldwide travel erased nearly 75% of our local tourism economy. As we now enter year three of the pandemic, the local travel sector has experienced small improvement. Experts agree that full recovery will not be achieved until 2025-2026.
The City of Pacifica, its elected officials and residents are to be commended for doing the hard work of developing, and now finalizing, its updated General Plan. In addition, as the leader of our region’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, I commend everyone involved for making tourism part of Pacifica’s long-term economic growth strategy. It’s refreshing to see a community understands the economic importance of tourism. Data published by the state’s tourism agency, Visit California, shows that every three tourism industry jobs create two additional jobs in other sectors of our local economy. Pacifica offers what so many visitors find appealing: beautiful beaches and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean – which all translate into that quintessential and appealing California lifestyle. Add to this unique retail shops, great dining experiences and many lovely hotels, which all work together to create an unparalleled visitor experience. We salute establishments like the Fairfield Inn & Suites, which used this COVID time to expand and renovate their hotel. Unfortunately, many businesses were not able to survive during this period. Collectively, it will take time to rebuild.
While the effects of COVID were devastating to tourism, I’m excited about our future for many reasons:
- Our post-Omicron re-start feels more stable than previous re-start attempts.
- Serious advertising dollars were appropriated in this year’s state budget to promote California tourism. By partnering with the state’s agency, Visit California, our advertising dollars promoting San Mateo County were stretched by 50%.
- While some prominent employers chose to leave the area, others have quickly stepped in to fill the vacancies.
While the COVID crisis forced our organization to significantly downsize, we have been hard at work preparing for the recovery period to begin. We are now putting the finishing touches on our plan, which we will reveal at our April 28 Annual Tourism Luncheon. Our first order of business that day will be to acknowledge hard working tourism industry employees via our PROPS (Peninsula Recognition of Passionate Service) awards. We will then provide an update on the state of tourism and share our calendar of planned promotional activities.
To prepare for this event, our CVB team recently spent a day reacquainting ourselves with Pacifica and its new offerings. We walked away both excited and energized. Everyone we met with was extremely proud of their city, the city’s history, and all of the amenities that Pacifica offers visitors. We are excited to weave all of this into our sales pitches and social media campaigns and share these stories with travel journalists who will help us communicate to prospective visitors.
Together, we can build back better and come out of this stronger than before!
Economic Recovery and the 3/31/22 End of the Eviction Moratorium – Suzanne Moore
As the Omicron surge lessens, we face a spring of transitions. Economic recovery in the pandemic is not equitable. What will happen as the State’s Eviction Moratorium ends 3/31/22?
Here’s what we know:
- Pacifica still has many landlord and tenants waiting for State Economic Recovery (ERAP) funds. As of 2/8/22, 413 applications were received, and 193 Pacifica households have been served. That leaves 220 households still waiting for their checks.
- The Pacifica Resource Center continues to assist greater than 8% of baseline pre-pandemic levels. Our neighbors are still in need.
- We do not know the numbers who lost or had reduced work hours related to the pandemic, but we know that households with lower income are disproportionately impacted.
- Many families lost childcare during the pandemic and had to make tough choices between work and caregiving.
Here’s what we can do:
- It is still possible to apply for ERAP funds. Go to housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/ If you need help with your application, please contact the Pacifica Resource Center.
- If your ERAP application is being processed, you will have protection from eviction as long as you pay your April rent in full.
- It is unlikely that the State will extend the eviction moratorium, but our County Board of Supervisors could choose to do so. Contact the Board of Supervisors and request an extension of the eviction moratorium.
- Feel free to print and distribute the one-page flier which follows
BEHIND IN YOUR RENT? UTILITY BILLS PAST DUE? WORRIED OF EVICTION?
California Covid-19 Rent Relief is Still Available: APPLY NOW for California COVID rent relief program – housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/
YOU MAY RECEIVE:
- 100 % of unpaid rent, April 2020 through March 2022
- 100 % of future rent, April 2020 through March 2022
- 100 % of past and current utility bills, through March 2022
- up to 18 months total assistance
- protection from eviction
YOU CAN STILL APPLY IF YOU:
- rent a room from another tenant and did not sign a lease
- live with other tenants but cannot pay your share
- are not documented
- do not speak English
- moved but owe back rent to former landlord
FOR HELP WITH YOUR APPLICATION:
Pacifica Resource Center: (650) 738-7470
Project Sentinel (800) 339 6043
(or call 883-687-0967 to schedule appointment with a local agency)
San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
could still choose to lengthen the moratorium to provide more time for economic recovery. Contact the Board of Supervisors and ask them to extend the moratorium.
District 1 – Dave Pine email@example.com
District 2 – Carole Groom firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3 – Don Horsley email@example.com
District 4 – Warren Slocum firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5 – David Canepa email@example.com
Your Spare Room Can Change a Life – HIP HOUSING
HIP Housing is a non-profit based organization in San Mateo County that matches homeowners or renters who have extra space or a second unit with people who are looking for a place to rent or have a housing voucher to support their rent.
HIP Housing is here for you, even as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, using Zoom for virtual appointments and HelloSign to accept digitally signed applications online. Our Home Sharing Coordinators can teach you how to use Zoom and HelloSign over the phone. Those who qualify for the program have their completed applications processed, leading to the next step of searching for potential housemates.
We give you their name, phone number, profile information, and an interviewing guide that includes an Inventory checklist and valuable community resources. After your phone interview with a potential housemate, we suggest contacting the references of the potential housemate. Some of our clients have also arranged virtual tours for their potential housemate. If you decide to match with one of our clients, we facilitate a virtual meeting for you and your new housemate to sign a Living Together Agreement that puts your living arrangement and rental terms in writing. After you match, we provide on-going follow-up support.
Opening up your home to a prospective tenant is beneficial in many ways. HIP Housing’s extensive screening and matching process helps to ensure that your home is shared with someone you could get along with, and perhaps, even call a friend in the future. Success stories have included the making of lifelong friendships between home seeker and provider. In Pacifica alone, there have been over ten matches between home providers and seekers. The surrounding area, from the North to South Coast of San Mateo County, has had even more! By opening up your home you can join a long list of local residents who have benefitted from home sharing.
HIP Housing also provides financial incentives to home providers, should certain criteria be met. You can be a part of the housing solution in San Mateo County, and be recognized for such efforts by way of incentives that HIP Housing makes available. A spare room can indeed change a life, and perhaps change yours as well!
To schedule a virtual appointment or to learn more about the Home Sharing Program, please complete our inquiry form at hiphousing.org/programs/home-sharing-program/ or call HIP Housing at (650) 348-6660.
Pacific Beach Coalition Updates
Sanchez Art Center
On February 25, Sanchez Art Center will open three new exhibitions with a reception from 7 to 9 pm. The Main Gallery will feature The Tin Men, sculpture and assemblage works by artists Robert Haemmerling and Dave Yoas, in a show curated by Jerry Ross Barrish. The East Gallery will present Arbitrary and Capricious, a show by Tangerine Arts, a bay area group of women artists, who meet for camaraderie, and to share resources, ideas and artwork. The West Gallery will be exhibiting work by the Art Guild of Pacifica in a show titled Little Things. The opening reception for all three is on Friday, Feb 25, from 7 to 9 pm, with live music by Blue City Jazz.
Robert Haemmerling uses found objects and materials to create works that cohesively meld different images into one unique figure. For several years he has focused on the human figure, as well as an occasional dog or two! He describes his artistic process as an “attempt to create something that has a universal feel to it. A familiar turn of the head or a hand gesture can be the catalyst that starts it all off”. As individual figures evolve they can take on roles, complete with names and histories.
Haemmerling maintains a vital openness, necessary with the variety of objects he utilizes, for his works to develop through accident and chance. Adding and removing materials throughout the process also allows the piece to emerge as something new and unexpected. Through his practice he has learned to trust his intuition, and ultimately to be personally surprised, which motivates him to continue with his work.
After studying psychology and art at the College of San Mateo, Haemmerling transferred to San Francisco State University where he studied under Paul Pratchenko, John Ihle, Seymour Locks, and Stephen DeStaebler who helped him earn his B.F.A. in 1985. In 1989 he enrolled at San Jose State University where he studied Painting and Printmaking under Leigh Hyams, Pat Surgalski, and Rupert Garcia.
Dave Yoas uses visual hooks to capture the attention of the viewer. From across the room, his beguilingly campy assemblages beckon through color, drawing the viewer in to explore at closer range and captivating them with the depth of detail that compose the narrative. His highest hope is “when people view my work, they will find some element that engages and affects them.”
Yoas began working in tin over 20 years ago, following a period of making low fire ceramic sculptures. Almost anything — from a vintage piece of tin to a phrase — inspires the stories told through his works. With the thought in his head, he begins to bring together bits and pieces from the riotously colorful storehouse of tin found in his studio, seeking out any missing elements to fully elaborate on the theme.
Following graduation from U.C. Santa Cruz, Dave traveled in Europe and the Far East, observing the colors, architecture, and patterns of other cultures. Landing in the Netherlands, he was exposed for the first time to the life of working artists when he stayed with a family that had two practicing artists and two who also did art on the side.There as a “guest worker”, it wasn’t until moving back to California that he was able to fulfill his own personal creative passion.
Bringing these two artists together for The Tin Men Sanchez Art Center Artistic Director Jerry Ross Barrish notes that both artists use tin in different ways, but there seems to be a spiritual connection between them and the pieces they create. To experience their work and to get to know the artists, visit the show and then come to their Artists’ Talk on Sunday, March 20, at 3:30 pm in the Main Gallery.
Opening concurrently is a very special group show, Arbitrary and Capricious, with works by the women of Tangerine Arts. Founded in 1999, members create in a variety of mediums, including ceramics, drawing, mixed media, mosaic, painting, pastel, photography, and printmaking and all will be represented in this lively exhibit. The show will include pieces by: Jennifer Alpaugh, Alice Kelmon, Melinda Lightfoot, Kathy Miller Peix, Nancy Mona Russell, Charlotte Seekamp, and Sharron L Walker. Each artist will be showing five works.
Well-known for her cyanotypes, Ms. Alpaugh has chosen to show a selection of oil paintings including florals created with a soft flow of blended color. Alice Kelmon will highlight the diversity of her artist practice with pieces ranging from watercolor and encaustic to printmaking techniques and mixed media. Melinda Lightfoot has noted she is “fascinated with the expressive power of colors and shapes.” She’ll be showing works created with her first love, pastels, as well as acrylic. Kathy Miller Peix will add dimension to the show with ceramic and mosaic pieces. The process for Ms. Russell’s abstract acrylic paintings start with charcoal on the gesso surface. Sometimes it is a road map for the painting, and other times the drawing is only the departure. A collection of silver gelatin prints of chairs shown in unanticipated settings will be presented by Charlotte Seekamp. A love for nature and the environment is evident in Ms. Walker’s photographs and are supplemented by additional works in ink .
In addition to the current members, the exhibit will provide the special opportunity to once again view the art of and fondly remember two long-time members and close friends, Gale Frances (5/5/37-6/2/21) and Linda Salter (12/23/39-8/3/20).
Gale was always studying and exploring new techniques. From evocative portraits and figurative work, to multi-media creations, her eclectic interests took her in all directions. Truly one-of-a-kind, she described herself as a “neo-post-modern-reactionary-liberal-feminist-seeker-of-origin-and-destiny portraitist.”
After retiring from a successful career in academics, most notably as the longest serving president of Skyline College, Linda had her first art studio at Sanchez Art Center. Always fascinated by art, she enjoyed painting and drawing throughout her life. Linda’s indomitable spirit took her on many journeys including expertly trying her hand in mediums as diverse as oils, watercolor and Chinese brush painting.
A gallery walk and talk will be held on Sunday, March 13, beginning at 3:00pm to celebrate the women and work of Tangerine Arts.
Not to go without notice, the Art Guild of Pacifica will present Little Things, a themed exhibition by AGP members. Open to each artist’s interpretation, the show will be composed of works in a variety of mediums and even sizes! Small artworks and art cards will also be available in the AGP Shop at the front of the West Gallery.
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 March 20. Sanchez Art Center continues to provide a safe and welcoming place to enjoy a variety of visual arts; all State and County guidelines are followed for the health and wellbeing of visitors, volunteers and staff. For more information, call 650.355.1894 or visit SanchezArtCenter.org.
1220 Linda Mar Boulevard, Pacifica