Edition 4 June 2021
Welcome to the June 2021 edition of Pacifica Voice.
In this edition → link to articles:
- FOR CONSIDERATION
- BOARD OF SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES for District 3 in 2022
- SOCIAL JUSTICE
- CLIMATE CHANGE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT
- THE COMMUNITY SHARES
CALENDAR Month Events
- MON 6/14 5:45 PM PM City Council
- MON 6/21 7:00 PM Planning Commission
- MON 6/28 7:00 PM City Council
Please refer to event calendars for the Pacifica Library, Pacific Beach Coalition, and the Sanchez Art Gallery listed under COMMUNITY.
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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LGBTQ Flag Raised at Pacifica City Hall
Author Terri Echelbarger
On June 1st, the City of Pacifica raised the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag for the first time. Other cities in San Mateo County also participated. Pacifica’s flag raising happened midday and was celebrated by a small crowd both young and old. I saw three younger people present, and I thought about how much it would have meant if I could have experienced that kind of welcome in my youth – I know it would have saved me years of struggle. This moment is a reward for us all: for our years of perseverance, for insistence that we are as normal, for our demand for equal treatment under the law, and for our right for equal freedom to “be”.
It may be hard for some to imagine why it matters so much. Maybe 20 years down the road, we’ll take it all for granted… but, not yet. In my own lifetime being gay was an offense for which one could lose their job (I did). Flying a pride flag could have had negative repercussions.
Today, my pride workshops about LGBTQ Ancestors in the Bible still get a big turnout. Although some LGBTQ experience less welcoming environments, our community receives greater public support than in the past. Public disapproval is mostly limited to stealing flags from the yards they stand in, but one doesn’t need to go to the “one right store” to find another pride flag.
The day after the official raising at City Hall, I walked down to the pier, and found a second pride flag waving on our community’s pole. As I write this tears well up on my eyes – and I assure you I am not the only one.
And then a third flag appeared at the Pacifica School Board proclaiming welcome! What’s more, my neighbor a few homes down is also flying a pride flag – and I see an ally where I didn’t know I had one. When flags fly, more and more LGBTQ+ people won’t feel alone in our struggle to live, eat, work, pray, and love as we choose. We see our allies.
This year is the first year that every party has majority of approval for Same-Sex Marriage. While marriage is not for everyone, I am so grateful for a turning tide.
This year Coast Pride, an organization founded last year in Half Moon Bay, opened a beautiful, new center for Pride. This all-volunteer effort is bringing support up and down the coast. Please take a minute to check them out: coastpride.org Fly a flag or consider a boost to Coast Pride. Their work truly matters, because even today, a welcoming place and a welcoming community saves lives.
FPPC investigation of Pacifica campaign finance violation enters 4th year
Author Peter Loeb
The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) enters its fourth year of investigation of missing campaign records in Pacifica, CA.
In April of 2017, the Pacifica City Council adopted interim ordinance 814 to impose a temporary moratorium on rent increases in order to protect renters from enormous rent increases while a rent stabilization measure (Measure C) was placed on the ballot for the November 2017 election. The moratorium was a normal ordinance, not an emergency measure, meaning it could be passed with only 3 votes. The moratorium ordinance was adopted on a 3-2 vote. Accordingly, it could not take effect until 30 days after it was approved. The moratorium could be cancelled if enough signatures of registered voters were gathered on a petition. The California Apartment Association (CAA), in collaboration with the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR), sponsored a paid signature gathering drive to cancel the moratorium and allow rent increases to happen prior to the November vote on the rent stabilization ordinance. The CAA hired the firm of Griffiths Olson to coordinate the signature gathering effort. In turn, Griffiths Olson hired paid signature gatherers to canvas in Pacifica. Two of the signature gatherers forged signatures. William and Jentry Jasperson were extradited from Nevada, prosecuted for perjury and identity theft, convicted, and jailed.
Pacifica Ordinance 814 was cancelled by the petition drive and repealed in August of 2017. The petition drive overturned Ordinance 814 by a mere 63 signatures (by 13 signatures if 50 letters of signature rescission signed by Pacificans had been accepted). District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said, “The Jaspersons, who were paid $5 per signature, are suspected of forging more than 100 of them.” In addition to the forged signatures, the petition campaign failed to submit campaign records as required by the Political Reform Act. In June of 2018, I filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for violation of the Political Reform Act. This June, the FPPC investigation will enter its fourth year with no results in sight.
Campaign Disclosure Manual 3 says that, “When petitions hit the street, the proposal becomes a “measure” and reporting applies.” Campaign finance reporting for the paid petition signature gathering therefore applied and the entities that financed the petition drive failed to report. This is a serious violation of the Political Reform Act. There is no way to determine who financed the petition campaign, what the sources of the finances were, how much was spent, and who received the money that was expended.
Jay Wierenga, FPPC Communications Director, said that the FPPC does not comment on open cases. “Cases are divided into one of two categories, mainline or streamline.” Streamline cases are “lower level, more minor technical violations with no harm to the public … two thirds of all cases fit this, and most are done within a few months …. Mainline is where the more serious, complicated, complex cases end up, cases that do cause harm to the public. What that means is the public is/was deprived of information it was legally entitled to have, that voters should’ve had before an election, violations that are more willful, calculated, and the like.”
Because required campaign reports were not filed, voters were prevented from knowing who financially contributed to the defeat of ordinance 814 and how much money was spent. Failure of the moratorium was followed by rent increases and displacement which was harmful to many Pacificans.
Transparency about who is behind campaign spending and the amount of money spent is very important information for voters to have as they cast their ballots.
I hope the FPPC investigation will eventually be concluded and we will know who paid for the petition drive that defeated ordinance 814 and which organizations were responsible for the missing campaign finance reports. But I have lost faith in the FPPC’s ability to close this investigation. My fear is that the perpetrators got away with a significant violation of the Political Reform Act. And they can get away with it again.
Legal challenge to Pacifica’s Oversize Vehicle (OSV) Ordinance:
Author Suzanne Moore
Five unhoused Pacificans filed a legal challenge to Pacifica’s Oversize Vehicle Ordinance in federal court. The plaintiffs assert that their legal rights – to freedom of movement, due process under the law, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, freedom from state-created danger, and freedom from discrimination as disabled individuals – are threatened by the OSV Ordinance.
On May 27, 2021, attorneys for plaintiffs and attorneys for the City met in the federal court of Judge Chhabria. Within minutes, the Judge suggested the city had done a poor job of notifying residents where legal RV parking was permitted in Pacifica. Over the next two hours, parties debated:
- the adequacy of the City’s list where parking was not permitted,
- whether this list was easy for an average person to understand,
- why a map showing spaces for legal parking had been removed from the City’s website,
- and whether the remaining estimated 4+ miles of Pacifica’s roads actually provided safe RV parking.
By the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge wanted to learn more about the lay of the land (literally) and the manner of implementation of the ordinance.
On 6/3/21, Judge Chhabria contacted attorneys and reported he “reviewed the evidence submitted by both parties, heard oral argument, and conducted a site visit to view the locations where the City says OSV parking is allowed.”
“To the extent that the constitutional claims presented in the motion for a preliminary injunction are based on an assertion that the ordinance on its face leaves no reasonable options for parking OSVs in Pacifica, it appears that the plaintiffs have not established a likelihood of success.”
“However, to the extent that the plaintiffs’ claims are based on an assertion that the City is implementing the ordinance in a manner that effectively drives homeless people who sleep in vehicles out of Pacifica (perhaps even with the intent of doing so), the plaintiffs may be able to demonstrate a likelihood of success.”
The Judge has ordered an evidentiary hearing for further testimony. Associate City Engineer Ryan Marquez, Pacifica Police, and City Manager Kevin Woodhouse will testify at the hearing. The hearing is scheduled for July 20, 2021 at 9:00 AM. Between now and then, it still may be possible for parties to agree to some form of settlement.
To be clear, Safe Parking Programs have been successful in helping unhoused people get permanently housed. We have regional programs in East Palo Alto, Mountain View, and most recently, in Redwood City. All three programs meet their clients “where they are at” in their life process, provide a safe place to park with access to hygiene and healthcare, use case management to identify the barriers to housing, and create a plan with a goal of permanent housing.
Affordable housing in Pacifica for those of low income is scarce. It is estimated that for every low income unit of housing, there are 6 families competing for it. The pandemic and its economic downturn has increased homelessness. It is necessary to come up with intermediate steps between the street and a permanent home that can provide safety and the support to move forward.
Low and fixed-income individuals, people with disabilities, elders, youth aging out of foster care, victims of domestic violence, single-parent households are all at increased risk for homelessness.
Our homeless are more likely to have a shortened life span, be victims of crime, and/or suffer chronic mental and physical health problems.
We can and must do better. Our City Council prioritized affordable housing and homelessness in recent goal setting, and Council recently resolved to work with the County for a Safe Parking Program. Both the State and County have set aside funding to establish Housing programs including Safe Parking. We have both the opportunity and the obligation to move forward. Let’s make that happen.
Cyber Crime Chronicles: What the heck is a BEC?
Author Robin Stuart
A news item came to my attention in which a Bay Area nonprofit lost $650K to cyber criminals in a cookie-cutter example of a threat known as business email compromise, or BEC. In a BEC, a scammer impersonates a trusted individual to trick the victim into providing something of value, typically money or gift cards. Common impersonation examples are a company VIP or vendor asking an employee to wire money to an attacker-controlled bank account; a company VIP asking an employee to buy a bunch of gift cards to reward employees; and a mortgage lender or realtor giving a homebuyer instructions to wire a down payment to a new or different bank account. The scammers prey on human nature, using language intended to heighten urgency, fear, or a desire to help.
BECs are a multi-billion dollar criminal industry, brought to us by the same groups behind the “Nigerian Prince” scams of the early-to-mid 2000‘s. Until recently, the Nigerian government turned a blind eye to its underground economy of fraud (yes, some of those “Nigerian Princes” really were based in Nigeria). Pressure from international law enforcement agencies has succeeded in (slowly) changing that. Nevertheless, the Yahoo Boys, named for the internet company because they make their fortunes online, continue to operate largely in plain sight. They offer tutorials and how-to videos, sharing tips and tricks on duping victims into parting with their life savings, on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. They offer tech support to fellow scammers on these same social networks. They also use these same channels to recruit help to launder their ill-gotten gains, known as money mules. Sometimes mules know what they’re doing, often they don’t. But that’s another topic.
The scam first gained notice around 2014 with an email lure impersonating CEOs, targeting employees (easy to do, thanks to LinkedIn) bearing the now infamous, grammatically incorrect subject line, “Are you on desk?” Cyber crime investigators collaborate all the time behind the scenes, sharing research and counter threat techniques and ideas. Through this collaboration, we noticed similarities in the initial emails and language used in subsequent interactions with the scammers that led to several discoveries. Use of email templates and scripts became obvious. In the last couple of years, we noticed deviations from established patterns of language and targeting. They’ve also branched out into using mobile devices to add texts and chat messages to their quiver. These and other deeper technical details pointed to a growing body of scammers getting in on the action.
As BECs made headlines, and the FBI reported financial losses with an increasing number of zeroes, more financially-motivated cyber criminals took notice. The scam is now run from points all over the world, by individuals and groups, from newbies dipping a toe in the waters of fraud to sophisticated organized criminal operations and even nation states. Everyone likes money.
So what can you do to avoid becoming a victim?
First, understand that email providers are trying to fight for you. They scan emails for the known hallmarks of fraud lures, flagging certain details in the messages and stopping them from getting through. But the automated defenses are only as good as their foreknowledge. Cyber criminals change up their tactics often to avoid detection in this manner. That’s why these scams can and will continue to find their way to your inbox, texts and chats.
The single greatest defense is you. Never never NEVER send money to someone solely on the basis of an electronic communication. Scammers may push, they may try to nudge you using fear or desire to help to add a sense of urgency. The same rule still applies – if you’re not expecting the request, or even if you are, always validate the requestor in real life with real humans in a position to verify the request.
If you do fall prey, the FBI might be able to help you recover your lost money. They have a nationwide task force working to combat this threat. Contact the Internet Computer Crime Center (“IC3”) to file a complaint. The IC3 also recommends contacting your financial institution as soon as possible to report the fraud and attempt a reversal.
Always think before you click. And let’s all stay safe out there.
Robin Stuart is an author and veteran cyber crime investigator. Robin contributed to Fault Lines: Stories by Northern California Crime Writers, and Shattering Glass: A Nasty Woman Press Anthology. She consults on all things cyber security for Fortune 100 companies, authors, screenwriters, and media outlets including BBC and Now This News.
BOARD OF SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES for District 3 in 2022
To the Readers of the Pacific Voice, I am grateful for the opportunity once again to share with you what I have been working on, as well as highlights from my campaign for District 3 San Mateo County Supervisor. If you ever have any questions about the campaign, or suggestion, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can call me directly, at (650) 776-8995. I look forward to meeting you.
Supporting Our Farmworkers
In May, I traveled with my friends at ALAS and a group of dedicated volunteers, to spend time and share in community with farmworkers and their families. They shared stories of their years dedicated to a job they love and do to provide food for the rest of us.There were no complaints, just smiles and lots of love. After prompting, I heard about the difficulties these families face gaining dependable access to good medical care and affordable housing. They told me about the challenges their children face in local education systems.
Our farm workers’ quality of life requires equitable investment and improvement in affordable housing, quality education, access to social services, and ensuring safe and fair working conditions. These are basic human rights, and attention to these areas will help attract more farmworkers to the coast and stabilize the workforce for the coastside agricultural industry, strengthening the economy of the coast. We need to support the creation of opportunities for farmworkers to farm their own land as well in local cooperatives, providing upward mobility and the promise of the American Dream to these families, I am humbled to have the endorsement of ALAS Executive Director Belinda Arriaga, as well as Half Moon Bay City Councilmember Joaquin Jimenez and activist Victoria Sanchez de Alba.
My Work to Create Pilot Program Vaccinating Homebound Residents
A new pilot program has been launched in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto that has paramedics visiting homebound residents to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. If successful this program could be expanded throughout San Mateo County.
I am proud to have initiated this project, and worked to move it forward in my role as a Menlo Park City Councilmember, working closely with Menlo Park’s Mayor, the County of San Mateo, the City of Menlo Park, and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. It’s this kind of collaboration that gets important initiatives off the ground in a timely manner.
Vaccinating vulnerable populations such as homebound seniors has been a challenge during the pandemic. Under San Mateo County rules, until recently registered nurses (RNs) are needed to administer vaccines, a process that takes 30 to 45 minutes per site visit.
If you are a homebound resident, or know someone who is, I invite all homebound residents to contact the San Mateo County Aging and Adult Services at (650) 573-3900 to get on the vaccination list. Additionally, I am proud to share the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West. I am incredibly proud to have the endorsement of these courageous Covid-19 Pandemic heroes.
You can read more about the project here: Climate Online April 16, 2021
Half Moon Bay and Pacifica City Council Members Unanimously Endorse My Campaign for San Mateo County Supervisor, District 3
It’s with great pride and gratitude that I share that every member of the Half Moon Bay and Pacifica City Councils have endorsed our campaign. We’ve also secured the endorsements of five former Pacifica Mayors!
The coastside requires immediate attention and investment in its infrastructure to improve the lives and health of families who live there and to protect the economy that pays their bills. The seawall in Pacifica is failing, drinking and sewer systems are in need of repair and there are numerous transportation and roadway needs. Cut through traffic continues to increase, impacting residential neighborhoods.
As Supervisor, I will sit down with city elected officials, public agencies and coast side residents to create a locally led, county-supported strategic plan, focused on proactively resolving these urgent infrastructure challenges.
The protection and stewardship of District 3’s natural resources, open spaces, county parks, and beaches is a sacred legacy. I am committed to the responsibility of preserving these lands and waters for the health and enjoyment of future generations. As such, I’m honored to have the endorsement of all MidPen Regional Open Space Directors representing the San Mateo County coast.
Restorative Mother and Son Time!
My son is deeply concerned about the environment. His passion for leaving a place better than he found it always inspires me. Recently, we volunteered for a Linda Mar Beach restoration event sponsored by the Pacific Beach Coalition.
Upon arriving at the site, we received motivating and educational instructions from project leaders Michael Ayala and Lynn Adams. We were then met with breathtaking ocean and beach views as we hiked the paved trail along the sand dunes. When we reached the designated restoration area, our guides provided an informative tutorial on the differences between the invasive foliage (mustard, thistle, selected grasses) and those that are native to the area (beach sage, seaside daisy). We learned that an invasive plant is a weed that must be pulled so as to allow the native species access to sustaining resources!
Our group, representing both Peninsula and coastside communities, sprang into action and began removing the offending vegetation with intense resolve! The satisfaction of pulling a weed and its roots was complemented by the exuberance of being outdoors and making new friends.
Our work session flew by, and we made marked improvement in a short time. The native plants were now more visible and appeared to be reaching for the sun with greater determination than upon our arrival. Placards noting their names were installed so that passersby can now fully appreciate the beautiful flora.
Inspired to conduct further research, I subsequently learned that our coastal sand dunes are dynamic and fragile. And restoring these areas fosters, strengthens and sustains the rich biodiversity of the area. The western snowy plover and coastal bee populations depend on these habitats. Regrettably, the numbers of native snowy plover birds and coastal bees have declined sharply in recent years due to diminishing habitats resulting from sea level rise and outside interference.
To learn more, donate or sign up for volunteer upcoming events, visit: https://www.pacificbeachcoalition.org/
Later, while walking downtown, my son challenged his mayor (me!) to explain why we have trash and recycling receptacles but no compost bins. It turned out to be a fortuitous challenge.
Due to the recent passage of SB 1383 (see below), I have become more aware of the environmental impact of organic and food waste. The volume of harmful methane gas it emits is second only to that released by fossil fuels in producing green gas emissions that heat up our atmosphere.
At a recent city council meeting (as a result of my son’s prompting), I introduced a measure to install compost bins at multiple downtown locations. I’m happy to report that my proposal was unanimously supported by my colleagues. There are now multiple compost receptacles proudly located next to their recycling and refuse collection cousins! This small change signals that San Carlos recognizes the impact of each individual’s action in supporting our collective commitment to realizing a cleaner and healthier environment!
According to the Rethinkwaste.org website, SB 1383 is a state measure to reduce disposal of organic waste by 50% by January 1, 2020, and by 75% by January 1, 2025 (from 2014 levels) and rescue at least 20% of currently disposed of edible food for human consumption by 2025.
California’s Rent Relief Program
Author Leora Tanjuatco Ross
First printed in The Daily Journal 6/1/21 and reprinted with permission of the author.
“I cannot live this way. I need help.” I received this text message two weeks ago, from a woman who lives in Daly City with her 84-year-old mother and twin daughters, who are in high school. In the simplest of ways, she needed relief. She explained to me that piecing together the rent every month was getting more and more difficult. It was nearing the impossible. She was at the end of her rope.
This story is a common one, particularly in the Bay Area. But this time, our federal and state governments have stepped in to help.
In January of this year, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 91, which makes creative use of federal stimulus money to address the pressures experienced by both renters and landlords over the past year. In the face of illness and jobs lost due to COVID, many renters have been unable to pay their full rent and are now seriously in arrears, sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. At the same time, their landlords have faced the loss of their customary revenue stream, putting some of them at risk of losing their investment properties. In response to these pressures, the state approved the use of $2.6 billion of federal stimulus money to backfill the missed rent. For San Mateo County alone, $75 million in rent relief funding is available.
The outlines of the program are simple:
- If landlords agree to forgive 20% of the rent that went unpaid for the period from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, the state will pay them the other 80%.
- Assuming the landlord takes the state up on its offer, the tenant is then permanently relieved of the full amount of the accumulated debt.
However, almost five months after the state allocated this money, only 1% of the available funds have been distributed. For people who are precariously housed, this money is the only thing preventing them from homelessness.
In our outreach, we discovered that many members of the community are still completely unaware of this generous rent relief program. According to County Manager Mike Callagy, of the $75 million in rent relief funding available, less than a third has even been requested to date. In North County, leaders from Faith in Action Bay Area have been phone banking and have now made 719 calls to small landlords. Of those they have talked to, 86% did not know about the program. Meanwhile, 88% had tenants who had been unable to pay full rent during the pandemic. Clearly, there is widespread need that these funds could help to fill.
This rent relief program has the potential to be a high-impact win-win that brings life-changing relief to both landlords and tenants. But first they must learn about it.
Help us spread the word: Are you a small landlord yourself? Do you know of landlords in your congregations, workplaces or service clubs? Do you have neighbors who are landlords? If so, please encourage them to investigate this novel program of relief.
Are you a community leader or an elected official? Please help us spread the word about this program. Tell your friends, neighbors and networks. If you’re an elected official, please ask your city to send out a mailer with the information about this program, as Redwood City recently has done.
Most importantly, we call upon San Mateo County to use its considerable resources to get the word out about SB 91. Pull out the stops. An aggressive outreach effort will help to prevent a tsunami of homelessness that easily could overcome our community in the near future. In the effort to increase utilization of this high-impact program, county leadership is key.
— There are resources for tenants and landlords. Faith in Action Bay Area is offering to help landlords with the application process. To access this help, please contact email@example.com. Other local organizations involved in providing assistance are Samaritan House, Project Sentinel, Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto, and International Rescue Committee. To apply for this relief and for more information, including details on which tenants are eligible, please visit https://housingiskey.com.
Even if landlords do not apply, tenants can apply to receive 25% of rent debt for the same period of April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Renters wanting more information are encouraged to contact one of the other organizations listed above.
Leora Tanjuatco Ross is the Associate Director of the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County.
Eviction News Faith In Action
Click Here to View full text of Faith in Action EVICTION CLIFF NEWS
|Faith in Action Bay Area
San Mateo County and City of Pacifica Support Extension of the California Tenant Relief Act
Author Suzanne Moore
Both the County of San Mateo and our Pacifica City Council voted in support of the extension of the California Tenant Relief Act (SB 91). This State Act, due to expire 6/30/21, provides tenant, homeowner, and small landlord relief and protects against eviction for tenants financially impacted by the economic downturn of the COVID pandemic. The State is considering the extension, and both the County and City are drafting letters to the Governor to urge him to act.
Both Supervisors Horsley and Slocum acknowledged the sluggish disbursement of funds from SB 91 and the cumbersome application process. SB 91 monies for qualified tenants and landlords, intended to assist the rent debt from the pandemic, are needed to speed the County’s economic recovery.
Supervisor Slocum referred to the “eviction cliff” of vulnerable tenants at risk. According to PolicyLink (policylink.org), an estimated 7900 San Mateo County households including 4800 children are at imminent risk of eviction and homelessness.
Over 30 public comments were made to the supervisors. Many spoke of their personal struggles during the pandemic; several faith-based leaders spoke out for a need to continue eviction protection to prevent trauma and homelessness; advocates from many backgrounds requested additional time for both tenants and landlords to assure our most vulnerable remain housed.
The Supervisors voted unanimously to draft a letter to the Governor. Supervisors will consider adoption of a resolution to extend SB 91 at the 6/29/21 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Pacifica City Council echoed concerns of County Supervisors and also acknowledged that many workers have not returned to pre-pandemic employment levels. Although Council member Sue Vaterlaus felt we are no longer in an “urgent situation”, other council members stated that more time is needed to apply for debt relief, to disburse funds, and to regain lost work hours.
Mayor Sue Beckmeyer was concerned that little money has reached qualified applicants for SB 91 funds. Our Mayor wants to, “urge the Governor, in all due haste, to get the money into people’s hands.”
Council member O’Neill said, “there is still a problem, there are still people being laid off, and rental assistance is needed… a system bottleneck needs to be fixed.”
Mayor Pro Team Bier suggested an addition to the Governor’s letter to urge that the process be made easier for application of funds. Council member Bigstyck requested that the resolution acknowledge that people have not been able to return to work. City Manager Woodhouse was directed to draft the letter and resolution with suggested amendments. Council passed the motion 4-1.
Author Chris Sturken
At Home with HIP was an incredible success! Thanks to all of our supporters, we blew past our fundraising goal and raised almost $160,000 for low-income seniors, families, and workers in need of affordable housing in San Mateo County. Thank you to everyone who attended and donated!
HIP Housing is a non-profit based in San Mateo County that matches households who have a spare room in their home or Accessory Dwelling Unit with individuals seeking housing. HIP Housing is supported by the City of Pacifica, the County of San Mateo, and all 19 other cities in the County. For more information and to request a virtual appointment visit hiphousing.org or call (650) 348 6660.
Staff and Board
Advocate for the Unhoused Receives a Tony Hoffman Award
Author Suzanne Moore
Stasha Powell is a fearless advocate for the unhoused. During this past year, Stasha intervened during smoke-filled skies, heat waves, and the pandemic to assist those living in motorhomes in Redwood City. Stasha delivered clean water, advocated for cooling centers, and asked for washing stations and portable bathrooms. Commissioner Chris Rasmussen told of how Stasha reached out, especially to those with mental illness, to help them through difficult and confusing times.
The Tony Hoffman Award is given to members of the San Mateo County community who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of our residents with mental illness. This award is recognition of Stasha’s efforts to assist Redwood City’s unhoused.
Stasha felt if she didn’t try to help, “I couldn’t live with myself”. Stasha spoke of loss of friends and family to suicide, and that stigma stopped folks from seeking help. The unhoused in my community “need just a little extra effort to get what they need. I listen without judgment and help with what I can” to replace lost documents, provide water and hygiene, and advocate for a safe place to get a good night’s sleep.
I congratulate Stasha on this well-deserved award. Thank you for everything you have done.
Photo by Carolyn Jaramillo
Abolish ICE, Abolish Prisons
Author Blue Murov
More than 50,000 people a day seeking asylum in the US are unnecessarily held in detention in the US thanks to the policies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which includes ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (Customs and Border Protection). The DHS manages the largest immigration detention system in the world and spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal enforcement agencies combined. The detention system captures and holds up to 500,000 immigrants a year.
Immigrants in detention are undocumented or documented and includes people whose immigration status is not current, expired, or under review. The US locks up survivors of torture, asylum seekers, visa holders, people who have been granted the permanent right to live here, people who have lived here for years and may have American citizen spouses and children, individuals with mental health and medical conditions and other vulnerable groups including LGBTQ people, pregnant women and children.
Detention is not necessary to the immigration process; but according to ICE, over 70 percent of immigrants in detention are mandatorily detained – their incarceration is automatic and required without any kind of individualized assessment. There are over 200 detention facilities in the US contracted by ICE: state and local government-run jails, for-profit institutions, and private prisons owned and operated by US corporations (the biggest – GEO Group and CORE Civic). Over 81% of immigrants are housed in private prisons. It is a corrupt, profiteering web of inhumane, arbitrary treatment of people. ICE’s minimal detention standards routinely fail to provide adequate oversight or meaningful consequences for facility failures. To date, ICE has failed to invest in humane, effective, and cost-efficient community-based alternatives to detention.
California has 7 private, for-profit prisons that house more than 4000 immigrants. Approximately 95% are asylum seekers. GEO Group donates tons of money to candidates in local campaigns. In the southern California city of Adelanto, GEO convinced the city manager in a backroom deal to terminate a contract that allowed for local government to have oversight rights in the private prison. There were many inconsistencies in putting the new contract through. The planning commissioner who attempted to point out the problems and failures to follow procedures was removed from office. Only one city council member opposed the new contract.
In an attempt to end the use of private, for-profit detention, the CA legislature passed AB32 in 2019. The law was due to go into effect in January, 2020. Its main purpose is to put extreme limits on contracting with private prisons or housing people in private, for-profit prisons. In December 2019, ICE entered long-term contracts worth billions to them, just days before AB 32 was set to be enacted. The 15-year contracts included Adelanto and Mesa Verde run by GEO Group, the Otay Mesa Detention Center run by CoreCivic, and the Imperial Regional Detention Center run by Management and Training Corporation (MTC).
GEO Group and the previous federal administration sued the state of California over AB32 in October 2020. A judge was not sympathetic and dismissed most of the lawsuit, but Geo Group and the Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed to the 9th Circuit Court. So far, the Biden administration has not committed to dropping the DOJ lawsuit. If dropped, this would greatly weaken the strength of GEO Group’s appeal and ability to pursue the lawsuit. The appeal was scheduled to be heard on June 7, 2021. Meanwhile the private prisons are still in operation.
In June, the VISION Act passed the CA Assembly by a large majority. It now needs to pass the Senate. The VISION Act will make it illegal for local and state law enforcement to collaborate with ICE. Under the State Sanctuary Bill, SB54, police and sheriffs are not required but can voluntarily turn people over to ICE. ICE depends on this collaboration for the majority of their arrests.
Dignity Not Detention is a coalition of multiple organizations working to abolish immigrant prisons to free criminalized communities from incarceration in the state of California. They are calling for closures and an end to contracts with ICE. They want to see an economic transition from a carceral economy to a support system that invests in helping people who want to immigrate or stay in the US.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT
The hills are alive with the sound of
Author Christine Boles
When my family decided to move to Pacifica back in 2008 one of the big draws for us was the amount of open space. I thought to myself, what a forward-thinking planning department and city council we have that has protected our beautiful green hills since the 50’s. It looks like a picture postcard for what cities should do to protect the environment and fight climate change.
Last summer, with an ill-conceived condominium project planned just up the hill from my home, I started paying attention to projects that were coming before the planning commission. As a professional architect the drawing review is easy for me, but I had to quickly familiarize myself with the city’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinances to understand the particular laws of Pacifica that projects must follow.
I was pleased to find that thanks to former city leaders back in the 70’s we actually have pretty good laws that protect our hillsides and limit the amount of development based on the slope of the land and the size of the parcel. Article 22.5 of the Municipal Code defines Hillside Preservation Districts, known colloquially as HPD. The intent of the ordinance is spelled out below:
- Preserve and enhance their use as a prime resource;
- Help protect people and property from all potentially hazardous conditions particular to hillsides;
- Assure that any development be economically sound; and
- Encourage innovative design solutions.
I encourage you to read it yourself, but the HPD ordinance includes an objective formula that defines what percent of a parcel can be developed based on the average slope of the total parcel. The less steep and the larger the site, the more you can build. Once you get to a slope of 40%, you can’t build anything.
Furthermore, HPD specifies that ANY disturbance of the land be counted. If you’re putting a building on the land, that area counts, if you’re building a driveway, patios, retaining walls, those areas count. If you’re digging or moving soil for any reason those areas need to be counted too.
“All areas not considered coverage shall remain undisturbed in their native or natural state”.
Note that it doesn’t say you can dig it up and then put it back; no, it cannot be disturbed at all. There is a minor exception for larger projects with community recreation areas or trails, that allows those to not be counted, but that is the only exception. It is the intent of this code section to allow the reasonable use of hillside lands consistent with the objectives of the General Plan in such a manner so as not to be confiscatory, or in legal land use language, to constitute a “taking”. My understanding, which I am hoping to confirm with the planning department, is that that means you can always build one house on a property no matter the slope.
So what about this large project currently under construction at 801 Fassler? Is it HPD? Yes. Does it comply? No…
The HPD calculation shows that only 11% of this site could be disturbed. I color coded the plan below – the buildings and paving are shown in yellow, and the additional area disturbed by grading is shown in green. It looked like a lot more than 11% to my naked eye, so we measured the area on the drawings. Lo and behold, only the yellow areas were counted, none of the green. The developer’s drawings and the planning department staff report said outright that the project complied with HPD, but it does not.
The planning commissioners and city council members that reviewed the application were apparently misled, and never even thought to ask the question…The ones I have spoken to are quite upset as it would have changed their votes.
I consulted with a land use attorney, but it is unfortunately too late to do anything about this project. There are several others in the project pipeline with similar issues though, and it is apparently up to us citizens to hold the city accountable to meet their own regulations.
Two appeals have been filed by Pacifica residents for the recent approval of a home at Harmony @ One whose plans did not comply with the HPD disturbed area. Again, the plans and planning staff report were in error. Several other large projects in the works on steep forested sites in Vallemar and Linda Mar are also problematic; one on San Pedro Mountain actually shows the HPD zoning somehow being removed! The planning department has not answered my questions posed months ago of how that is even possible…
What I have learned in the past months is that often it is not the city government or staff that has preserved our beautiful hillsides, but our residents, who time after time, year after year questioned and fought projects that did not comply with our laws. While we thank these older citizens we must realize that the baton has now been passed and it is up to us living here now to step up and do the work. Our hillsides, trails and beaches are our greatest resources, for quality of life for residents and wildlife that share these spaces, but also for tourists and the money they bring to the city’s coffers. I encourage you to pay attention, attend public city council and planning commission meetings, and get involved with some of the non-profits in town fighting to protect our beautiful gem of Pacifica for the next generations.
Christine Boles is a licensed architect living in Pacifica who works with property owners and developers to build responsibly and sustainably. She is a member of the non-profit, CPUP, the Coalition of Pacificans for an Updated Plan and Responsible Planning and is committed to working with Pacifica to update the 40 year old General Plan (the “constitution of the city”) including the Housing Element to identify appropriate sites for building much needed housing at all income levels.
Church At Cape Breton
Author Mark Hubbell
Hard to believe that a usually mundane approval of a Church’s request for a planning permit to hold worship services for a relatively small group would trigger such a mélange of accusations of intentions or motives and facts versus fiction. For a community already suffering the anxiety of vulnerability by an inattentive civic planning department, the May 18th community Zoom event for Park Pacifica residents, organized by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) Church did not go well for anyone.
Intention: The Iglesia ni Cristo Church held an expired “Church Use,” temporary permit issued by The City of Pacifica earlier in 2021, for a maximum of 150 people, inside the former tenant’s — California Riding Academy – central enclosure. For reasons that remain unclear, even though clarity was ostensibly a purpose of this event, the church was now applying for new permanent approval of only 49 persons to use one of the existing structures – the former Corral Steakhouse – for church services on the front edge of the 109-acre parcel. At the time of the event, over 7000 signatures were on a petition to block issuance of any new permits for this organization, on this site.
The purpose stated by the church for the May 18th web event was to introduce themselves to our community in order to foster good relationships with their new neighbors. Robert Pellien of Daly City was the primary speaker from the church. Raymond Frank, who’s name appeared on-screen as the speaker throughout, is actually the INC lead architect on this project, and spoke only briefly in response to a few questions. The following highlighted text was the headline running large on his fake company website:
CLEAR LOTS OF GROUND FOR YOUR TENTS! MAKE YOUR TENTS LARGE. SPREAD OUT! USE PLENTY OF ROPE; DRIVE YOUR TENT PEGS DEEP. (Isaiah 54:2 – The Message Bible)
The Church: The lineage of Iglesia ni Cristo – Church of Christ — is defined by the legacy of the Manalo family — an independent Christian church, founded by Felix Y. Manalo in 1914 as a religious corporation In opposition to all other Christian churches — INC describes itself to be the one true church — the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus. They believe “the official registration of the church with the Philippine government on July 27, 1914, by Felix Y. Manalo—who is upheld by members to be the last messenger of God—was an act of divine providence and the fulfillment of biblical prophecy concerning the re-establishment of the original church of Christ in the Far East concurrent with the coming of the seventh seal marking the end of days.” (Wiki)
Although less than 4% of the population is affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo, it has the third largest membership in the Philippines — three quarters of the population are Catholics. Eduardo V. Manalo, grandson of the founder and “Last Messenger Of God,” is the current Executive Minister, serving as the church’s leader, and, in this capacity, manages the administration of the church, and is the sole legal owner of the vast wealth of it’s religious corporation, including 650 Cape Breton Drive. The INC claims over three million members in 7,000 congregations worldwide. Their churches characteristically display a distinctly ornate style.
INC churches can be uniquely identified for “exuberant use of fanciful forms and ornaments [and a] brilliant white facade whose silhouette is a cusped Gothic arch or a flattened Saracenic arch.” The distinctive spires represent “the reaching out of the faithful to God.” (Wiki)
The Zoom: Given the INC religious corporation’s unlimited wealth empowering extensive media production and distribution capabilities, one might expect the church to make short work of an event playing out as a drama between the rights of property ownership versus the will of the people to protect the character of the community they have created. But the church made a big mistake – in underestimating the resolution of mothers protecting their children, equestrians and their bonds with horses, peaceful communities to repulse clamorous encroachment, and citizens prepared to expose deceit. Of the many well-crafted comments and questions voiced by the attendees, one particular exchange pretty much exemplified the underlying themes of the conversation.
INC Spokesman, Robert Pellien: “The entire picture is a positive thing, not negative. In every place that worship gatherings are done, there are neighbors that wish there weren’t. That is a fact everywhere in the world. OK? Yet with people’s faith, they cannot be erased from The Earth … We believe there is a god who needs to be worshiped. We need to do that. We found this place. We believe it will be a good thing, 20 cars or not. You will see that it is a good thing.”
Cape Breton Drive Resident: “You are in the wrong place on a dead end. It’s a narrow street with only one sidewalk. It’s dangerous! You say it will be a good thing for you to be in our community. I’m telling you as a resident of the neighborhood, that it will never be worth it to me to have extra cars coming down our street. And there will be extra noise coming from your church, because the only thing there now is horses.”
Curiously, other than the two presenters there was not a single other advocate for the church or the INC organization voicing their support at this event, even though the premise was stated that one hundred Church Of Christ parishioners living in Pacifica had persuaded the religious corporation to spend three and a half million dollars just for purchase of the Cape Breton property to build them a church.
Facts Versus Fiction: It seemed clear that the INC presenters meant to take unfair advantage of the average citizens’ decided disadvantage when confronted with research data suspiciously supporting one side of a controversial issue. Emotions are not good measures to evaluate authenticity, but data is quantifiable — like a polygraph test. Most fortunately for our opposition group, one member in the audience was a very accomplished professional in the analysis of transportation studies. Vicki Sundstrom, speaking with authoritative clarity, discredited both of the “reports” presented on two of the major concerns — traffic and noise level variances. Clearly exposed as either incompetent or deceptive, the event organizers wound down to a whimpering surrender on the promise to return on Zoom in the few weeks with accurate new reports.
At the end, Mr. Pellien was left slumped on his chair like a boxer who just lost the big fight. And there is no easy comeback, having made that promise, knowing that any legitimate measurement of the substantive increase in traffic and noise would not be in his favor.
Unless the Pacifica Planning Department does an obsequious cave-in, this church debate will not go away anytime soon. The INC unipersonal religious corporation certainly has the resources to continue pushing for their goals until a miracle forces the property into preservation, some bureaucrat does cave, or the Apocalypse hits at The End Of Days _mh 6/11/21
THE COMMUNITY SHARES
|San Mateo County Library Events
Paula Teixeria, Supervisor
- Become a Pro at Pronouns! Tuesday, June 15, 2021 • 6:00 PM
- Community Conversation: _ and Queer: Exploring Intersectionality Within the LGBTQ+ Community Thursday, Jun 17 • 6:00 PM
- English Conversation Club Pride Month Discussion Tuesday, June 22 • 5:00 PM and Thursday, June 24 • 1:30 PM
Chance to win a $1,000 Scholarship
Families Create Events
Summer Learning Showcase
Bystander Intervention Training Monday, June 14 • 5:00 PM
Have you ever wondered how you would respond to an incident of public harassment? Join us for this training from The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and learn how to respond when you see somebody being harassed. This training will equip you with the tools to confidently and responsibly support a targeted person and ensure safety to the best of your abilities.
Name That Tune for Older Adults Thursday, June 17 • 4:00
Join Ben Pernick for Name That Tune. This music therapy program is based on Jeopardy, the classic TV brain game. Ben is a board-certified music therapist with 7 years of experience creating engaging experiences for older adults.
Calder-Picasso Art Talk Wednesday, June 30 • 4:00
Explore the relationship between two legends of 20th-century art! Best known for his graceful modernist mobiles, American Alexander Calder brought movement to sculpture through his ever-evolving artwork. Spanish artist Pablo Picasso created deeply personal work that alternated between realism and abstraction. By juxtaposing works dating from the 1920s to the 1970s, this Art Talk will examine the parallels between Calder and Picasso’s works while also looking at the unique qualities that make each artist distinctive. Don’t miss this insightful and thought-provoking visual conversation between two innovative artists who redefined modernism.
Basics of Raising Backyard Chickens Thursday, July 15 • 4:00
Are you interested in raising chickens? Join UC Master Gardeners and learn the most important questions to ask yourself before you begin raising your first chicken. This presentation will teach you the basic requirements (food, space, health, etc.) for raising chicks and hens.
Pacific Beach Coalition (PBC) Updates
Critical Habitat Restoration Work! – Support
PBC has been doing habitat restoration work on the hills between Linda Mar and Rockaway Beach for more than 25 years. Over the past five years, PBC volunteers removed 100,000 pounds of invasive species (i.e. weeds!), and planted 5,000 native plants.
To support the newest native plants, we recently invested in two water tanks for the trails on both the Linda Mar and Rockaway beach sides, above an area that has been cleared of invasive species and replanted with natives. We need your help to cover the cost of these tanks so that we can continue to do this critical habitat restoration work.
Beach Cleanup – Select Location Link below to Volunteer
We reopened our monthly beach cleanups and habitat restoration programs!
June 19, 9-11am, Saturday
- LINDA MAR STATE BEACH Meet at the southern end of the main parking lot (just north of Taco Bell).
- ESPLANADE BEACH Pacifica Meet at the top of the path/stairs on Esplanade Ave next to OceanAire Apartments. Park on Esplanade Ave.
June 26, 9-11am, Saturday
- MUSSEL ROCK Daly City Meet at the Mussel Rock carpark located at the lower coastal end of Westline Drive by the second entrance to Allied Waste Transfer Station.
- SURFER’S BEACH Half Moon Bay Meet in front of the RV park by the South Jetty on the Coastal Trail.
- HARBOR BEACH, Half Moon Bay Meet in front of the RV park by the South Jetty on the Coastal Trail.
June 27, 10am-12pm, Sunday LINDA MAR & CRESPI Habitat restoration, Pacifica Meet on the east side of Highway 1 in the Community Center parking lot off Crespi Drive. Bring a shovel or gardening gloves if you have any.
July 3, 9-11am, Saturday
- ROCKAWAY BEACH Pacifica Meet at the corner of the North Beach parking lot, near the Best Western.
- SAN PEDRO CREEK Pacifica Meet at the end of San Pedro Terrace Rd by the trail head. 751 San Pedro Terrace Rd, Pacifica.
We are also looking for Site Captains, Site Captain Assistants and Junior Site Captains
The Gang’s All Here: Artists of Sanchez, June 4–27, 2021
This exhibition, titled The Gang’s All Here: Artists of Sanchez, is curated by our Artistic Director, Jerry Ross Barrish, a well-known sculptor and filmmaker. The Gang’s All Here: Artists of Sanchez will fill Main and East Galleries. In West Gallery, the Art Guild of Pacifica will present its group show, About Face. Both exhibitions open June 4 and will run through June 27.
Over 25 artists are participating in the Artists of Sanchez exhibition, which includes a wide range of artistic media: oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting; mixed media, printmaking, assemblage, and installation works; wire drawings; textile art; and fine art jewelry. The artworks also encompass a wide range of styles, from abstract to super realistic and everything in between. Curator Jerry Barrish visited the Sanchez Art Center studios and selected several works from each artist, paying special attention to choosing artworks that represent each artist’s unique voice.
Here are just a few of the artists in The Gang’s All Here: Artists of Sanchez.
Christina Conklin is an artist, writer, and researcher whose work investigates impermanence and possibility, often using the ocean as both site and metaphor. Her essays, exhibitions, events, and interactive installations consider our personal and societal responses to the intersecting global crises of our time. She recently completed writing and illustrating a book on climate change in the ocean, The Atlas of Disappearing Places: Our Coasts and Oceans in the Climate Crisis.
Robert Regis Dvorák is a brilliant painter who finds inspiration in nature—the human form and dramatic landscapes. He has a confident command of both watercolor and oil. His watercolors glow with luminous color and dramatic light. They are fresh and transparent, creating magical illusions of his subject. Dvorak teaches workshops in the Bay Area, Sacramento, and in Yosemite, and has written several books on drawing.
Lola Fraknoi is a mixed media printmaker and painter who has been a professional artist and art teacher in the Bay Area for many years. She founded Ruth’s Table, an intergenerational art center rooted in the life and art of renowned artist, Ruth Asawa. For people with dementia, Lola designed an art kit that is currently sold around the world. Her artworks reflect the complexity of her experience of the world with layering of textures, photos, colors, and shadows, “one on top of the other, as if in geological time,” she says. “Layering,” she also notes, “offers the opportunity to slow down and let the art process take its course.”
Susan Friedman’s work evolved from her relationship with the land and its topography. Says the artist, “Living on a mountain top for 30 years has had a profound effect on my interior life, dictating the way I see my photographic and painting worlds as well.” In the artist’s words, her art “has to do with the ways in which the fragments or elements of collage, acrylic paint—old book pages, scarred ephemera, and mark-making—mirror the landscape in its beauty and fragility.” These works are both delicate and powerful, like the land that inspires them.
Elizabeth Ross is a maker of fine art jewelry whose inspiration is: “Fire! A primal element brought under control and manipulated by torch!” Ross says she knew from the first time she held a torch to metal, that this was her field. “I was hooked, locked into a lifetime of joyful creation and experimentation with precious metals, fabulous gems, and minerals! I feel connected to my inner alchemist.”
The studio artists at Sanchez bring a high degree of excellence and dedication to their artistic calling. They are serious about their craft, always creating, experimenting, evolving, and producing new works. They are accomplished working artists who exhibit locally and nationally in juried and museum shows. They also collaborate, sharing ideas and materials, sharing exhibition venues, marketing ideas, framing advice, and curating decisions. They also encourage the arts through teaching in public and private settings, from full classrooms to private lessons. (For a list of SAC studio artists and their works in our virtual galleries, click here.)
Showing concurrently in West Gallery, the Art Guild of Pacifica’s group show is titled About Face. This theme is open to interpretation, from straightforward portraits to works expressing a change of direction or a shifting opinion or paradigm. Certainly we have all experienced many such shifts during this past year!
The Gang’s All Here: Artists of Sanchez and About Face will open June 4 and be on view through June 27. Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. Our safety protocol includes masks, physical distancing, and timed visits to avoid crowding. Make your free appointment at SanchezArtCenter.10to8.com. Appointments are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1 to 5 pm. For more information: SanchezArtCenter.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-355-1894.
|1220 Linda Mar Boulevard, Pacifica
Daly City Youth Health Center
Author Mackinnon Ross
The Daly City Youth Health Center (DCHYC) is a school-linked health center affiliated with the Jefferson Union High School District and the San Mateo Medical Center. DCYHC opened in May 1990 and was the first teen health center to open in San Mateo County. Our mission is to provide safe, respectful, comprehensive health services to under-served teens and young adults, preparing them for a healthy adulthood. Our Primary Medical Clinic is a satellite site of the San Mateo Medical Center. DCYHC operates year-round and serves low-income, at-risk in and out-of-school youth and young adults, ages 12-24 years, living in the Northern San Mateo County area.
The DCYHC is the County’s safety net provider of adolescent health services. Asian/Pacific Islander youth, who have the lowest rates of health care utilization statewide, account for 20.5% of DCYHC clients; 22% of DCYHC clients are Asian and Latino immigrants. Risk factors associated with teen pregnancy (alcohol/drug use, truancy, and gang affiliation) are pervasive in Daly City, as is the lack of health insurance. Demand for DCYHC services is growing, spurred by rising San Mateo County unemployment (2.5% in 2018 to 5.0% in 2021), large immigration population in Daly City (52% in 2018), and a growing Californian adolescent population (steadily increasing since 2018).
Teen pregnancy, poor access to health care and troubling statistics regarding risk-taking behaviors were the main factors that gave birth to the DCYHC. Today, we continue to target these challenges. There is nothing more basic to a youth’s ability to succeed in school and life than good health. The majority of behavior patterns that pose lifelong health risks begin in adolescence. Teens utilize health care services less than any other age group in the United States and are least likely to seek medical care at a provider’s office.
Our School-Linked Health Center contributes to reducing health disparities among ethnic groups that are more likely to have higher rates of violent injury, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, use of certain substances, and risky sexual behavior. They are also less likely to have health insurance or to have access to health and mental health services that address these risk factors. Our basic services reduce teen pregnancy, prevent the spread of infectious diseases, reduce health care access disparities among disadvantaged communities, and reduce public health-care costs. We also help improve parent/youth and family relationships, improve personal efficacy; and promote healthier life-style choices. Our services address the critical link between health and learning.
Our pioneering programs have proven to be more efficient and effective because we put our healthcare in and near schools.
We treat common ailments, manage chronic illnesses like asthma and diabetes, check-ups, immunizations, and provide counseling on nutrition and health issues. We also have reproductive health care and mental health counseling. We offer health education including peer health educator training and classroom-based reproductive health education; referrals and resources; and assistance for youth and their families in enrolling in public assistance and insurance programs.
If you would like to learn more about the Daly City Youth Health Center or support our efforts, please visit us at dalycityyouth.org
If you would like to make an appointment or have questions about us, please call (650) 877-5700
We are located at 350 90th Street, 3rd Floor in Daly City, CA and are open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm.
|350 90th Street
3rd Floor in Daly City, CA650 877-5700
Author Paul Totah
For the past two years, I have given myself the daily task of looking for news stories related to trees and posting them to Tree City Pacifica’s Facebook page, which you can check out here.
I do this, in part, to educate myself about our ever-growing understanding of trees and to help my Pacifica neighbors come to understand, love and preserve the trees that make our community so wonderful.
Back when I taught a high school nature course, we started with this equation: You won’t protect that which you don’t love; and you can’t love that which you don’t know. So, it all starts with knowledge. We also looked at our appreciation of nature from several angles, and we used two key words: anthropocentric and ecocentric. The first referred to an appreciation of nature as it benefits us. The second asks us to appreciate nature for its own sake. If you read the stories on our Facebook page, you’ll understand more precisely what this means.
For example, I posted a link to the City of Fremont web page that offers a tree calculator. If you have a tree on your front lawn, it increases the value of your home, and the calculator can tell you just how much your tree is worth and how much more your home will sell for as a result. That’s a perfect example of an anthropocentric appreciation of trees — and there’s nothing the least bit wrong with this approach. Heck, anything that will get you to plant trees around your home is a good thing in my book.
You’ll also find a story about how forest bathing boosts anticancer immunity and the use of trees instead of fences to preserve privacy.
If you dig deeper, you’ll also find some great examples of ecocentric thinking, including groundbreaking research on the social lives of trees and their ability to communicate with each other and nurture each other.
These stories build on the research done by Suzanne Simard, the author of Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest and others who have learned to appreciate trees for the properties inherent to them.
The Guardian also ran a piece by another researcher, Peter Wohlleben, the author of The Heartbeat of Trees: Embracing Our Ancient Bond with Forests and Nature, who speculated about the possibility of trees communicating with people. He writes, in part, the following: “I can well understand people’s desire to communicate with trees. To sit under these giants, run your hands over their bark, and feel secure – all this would be even more special if there were an active, positive response to your presence or, even better, to your touch. I am not going to deny that something like that might be possible, but conservative science at least has no proof that it could happen.” Further, he encourages us all to “take a moment to just sit – on a stump or a log or a carpet of leaves.… What more would you like to learn about their lives, what would you hope to find in guidebooks and what do you hope scientists will explore in the future so we can really get to know the amazing creatures that are trees in all their biological complexity? We share a world and if they thrive, so do we.”
What a wonderful promise to make to us. As we think about trees adding value to our homes or business districts, helping to clean the air, fighting climate change, and improving our mental health as we walk among them, let us also be grateful we live in a world filled so many trees, ones that carry in their branches, roots and leaves beauty, mystery and never-ending surprise.