Edition 7 November 2021
Welcome to the November 2021 edition of Pacifica Voice.
In this edition → link to articles:
- FOR CONSIDERATION
- BOARD OF SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES
- → Serramonte del Rey: Suzanne Moore
- Housing: → A higher bar for fairness: Karyl Eldridge
- → Post the eviction moratorium: Legal Aid Societies
- HIP housing: → A virtual talk on how to purchase and preserve affordable housing. (See invitation).
- SOCIAL JUSTICE
- On → Sheriff Bolanos: Blue Murov, Pacifica Social Justice
- An invitation to the → Truth Forum from San Mateo County
- Peace Corner on → Remembrance Day: Carolyn Jaramillo, Pacifica Peace People
- Terra Nova’s → Angelo Zawaydeh (1986-2006): Jean Bartlett
- Speak out on an → equitable recovery post COVID: San Mateo County
- Invitation from → Abundant Grace to their Grand Opening of the Workforce Development Center
- CLIMATE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT
- THE COMMUNITY SHARES
CALENDAR Month Events
- MON 11/1/21 7 PM Pacifica Planning Commission
- WED 11/3/21
- 12 Noon HIP Housing: Virtual presentation on preservation housing
- 2 PM SamTrans Board meeting
- 6 PM Truth Act Forum (see invitation)
- TH 11/4/21 6 PM Oddstad workforce housing. See City website.
- SAT 11/6/21
- 9:30-10:30 AM Ohlone-Portola Heritage Hike. See city website.
- 12N-3PM Abundant Grace Open House of the Workforce Development Center (see invitation)
- SUN 11/7/21 seatings 1-3PM or 3:30-5:30 PM Table Wine fundraiser for Half Moon Bay’s LGBTQ+ Center (see invitation)
- MON 11/8/21 7 PM Pacifica City Council
- TH 11/11/21 Remembrance Day
- FRI 11/12/21 School tree plantings (see Tree City article)
- SAT 11/13/21 10 AM Arbor Day Celebration Fairmont Park & Rec (see Tree City article)
- MON 11/15/21 7PM Pacifica Planning Commission
- WED 11/17/21 Half Moon Bay Coast House Forum 6-7:30 PM (details TBA)
- MON 11/22/21 7 PM Pacifica City Council
Please refer to event calendars for the Pacifica Historical Society, Pacifica Library, Pacific Beach Coalition, and the Sanchez Art Gallery.
Photos have been contributed by Leo Leon, Mark Hubbell and Michael Dobres
Pacifica Voice is eager to receive articles on issues important to our community. Please send them to email@example.com for consideration.
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Settlement in Pacifica’s Oversize Vehicle Ordinance:
Council to notify the community as early as 11/8/21.
Author Suzanne Moore
The public learned in a case management session, October 5th, in the federal court of Judge Chhabria, that the attorneys on both sides of the lawsuit challenging Pacifica’s Oversize Vehicle Ordinance are close to a settlement. Pacifica City Council had a closed session to discuss the case last Friday, 10/21/21. From this, I expect the City will be sharing information with our community soon.
I want to thank our City Council and staff for their leadership at this time. Federal, state and county focus has prioritized best-practice and solution-based efforts on behalf of our unhoused, and funding has followed. Never before have we been in a position to truly accomplish a 75% reduction of our unsheltered homeless in 3 years, but that is the regional plan that our Board of Supervisors support.
We now know that programs for our unhoused – that provide rest, access to hygiene, and wrap around services – truly work to provide a path toward permanent housing. We have seen programs reduce the number of vehicularly-housed on the street, we have seen an increase in stabilization of medical and physical health for the program participants, we have seen an increase in safety for program residents that also increased safety for the greater community, and we have seen a reduction in illegal dumping of waste when access to hygiene was accessible.
I also want to express gratitude to our unhoused who pushed forward on their own behalf. Our City has not always been kind to you, and I know that you have experienced harassment, threats, and vandalism. I know many have been displaced twice – first from housing here when the cost escalated, and again when the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance was initiated. I am grateful for your courage to seek your legal rights and bring our City to a position of settlement. We all will benefit under clarification of the law.
I look forward to the City announcement of the details of the settlement. I encourage the community to review Council agendas this month, identify when Council will be discussing Geary vs. the City and the legal settlement, send emails to Council in support of ways for our unhoused to become housed, and join your voice in support of safe parking at the City Council meeting.
Aramai Point Naming
Author Mark Hubbell
In over thirty years of exploring this place, there was never any reason to question the validity of the common names – Rockaway Headlands or Rockaway Point, especially since the latter was listed on The City Of Pacifica’s website as such. After the 2016 presidential election, while creating event invites and press releases for our local protest group, Pacifica RESIST, I noticed that this point was never shown with any name on official maps. We would then describe the event activities as “meeting at Linda Mar and marching over “The Hill” to Rockaway and back again. Some of the city folks who enjoyed dropping in from San Francisco to our more scenic events in Pacifica, began asking that Google maps with travel directions and distances be included on our website.
Only domestic names officially approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names appear on US Geological Survey maps. USGS created maps are the only official maps used by web mapping platforms, such as Google, Apple, etc. Needing to address the requests, I contacted a local friend of mine, who works for the USGS. After searching, she informed me that the point had never been officially named and directed me to the application site to register a name. You’d think that it would be, but it wasn’t easy to imagine an enduring name. RESIST Point became my favored first choice for the better part of 2017 – 2018.
Not being quite satisfied with the longevity of that first choice, investigating the naming of the surrounding landmarks seemed like a good idea. San Pedro Point honored the name of an Apostle crucified in Rome circa 65 AD. Stefano Mori bought his Point in 1888, gaining notoriety by operating a speakeasy there during prohibition. The expectations of the yet to be discovered “Island of California,” named after its Queen, Califia, a beautiful black Moor and Pagan, on a mission to raise an army of women warriors and sail away from California to join a Muslim battle against Christians who were defending Constantinople, captured the imagination of Hernán Cortés who would later come to explore and name our state, California. Cortés’ buddy, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo — as in the Cabrillo Highway leading to the point – the first European to arrive in California was allegedly involved in a jumble of grisly deeds as part of the Spanish ruling class in Mexico, benefiting greatly from the encomienda system — “an economic practice where Indigenous inhabitants of specific areas of land were highly subjugated and expected to pay tribute to Spanish authorities. Cabrillo broke up Indigenous families by sending the men to work in the mines and turning over the women and girls to his soldiers and sailors, presumably as enslaved people.”
Shortly after that exercise in discovery of the disastrous memorializing of bad behavior, in 2019, we created a small group to monitor the health of sea life in the rocky intertidal zones of Pacifica. Rockaway Ocean Conservation Stewards, the name suggested by Julie Walters, won the vote by our group for definition of purpose, ‘stewardship’, and the acronym ‘ROCS’ for style. Our next votes were to name the point. Patricia Kremer, Vice-President of the Pacifica Historical Society, suggested the name “Aramai” with compelling historical background information, including their villages – Timigtac, located along Calera Creek in Rockaway Quarry, and their primary village of Pruristac, located to the south in the San Pedro Valley. Pat’s suggestions were greatly appreciated and enthusiastically accepted. The Aramai story is one of stewardship over thousands of years – of valuing goodness and relevance in defining characteristics of a more truly meaningful choice — stories parents today should be proud to tell their children, and educators to teach their students.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names – an agency created by and for We The People — requires submission of a rather imposing quantity of support for the applicants. Which, in retrospect, after my rundown of bad naming above, should be greatly appreciated. Pacifica’s Environmental Family member, James Kremer PhD, provided the technical data, such as GPS coordinates for exact location and other physical description characteristics. PEF President, Cindy Abbott, shared her vast sphere of relationships in soliciting support for the naming. Pat Kremer made an important connection to include Jonathan Cordero PhD, the last known descendent of the Aramai Tribe, and leading spokesperson for Native Californians. The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, the Pacifica Historical Society, the San Pedro Creek Watershed Coalition, and significant local political representatives – Pacifica Mayor Deirdre Martin, and San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley — submitted letters of support for this project. The application was formally submitted on July 5th, 2020
Although Jennifer Runyon, our dedicated USGS BGN Research Staffer, was extremely responsive, seemingly the approval process itself played out in geological time through the worst of the COVID pandemic and political upheaval including a surge of renaming applications for Confederate landmarks. Also during that time a new head of the department managing the USGS, the Secretary Of The Interior, Deb Haaland, made history when she became the first Native American to serve as a federal cabinet secretary in the United States. In California, a Native American Secretary Of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot, acquired the authority for naming approval within this state. We received formal approval of our application for naming of the site from The U.S. Board On Geological Names fourteen months later on September 9th, 2021.
Somehow, this special site – unlike much of its surrounding formations had fortunately remained unnamed and relatively undeveloped over two centuries. For future generations, the name Aramai Point will hopefully signify a monument to the challenges of ascension, the spiritual reward of sweeping vistas, and the responsibility for stewardship of fragile ecosystems. The juxtaposition of this massive landmark dwarfing the controversial statue of the Spanish Explorer Gaspar de Portola across the Cabrillo Highway certainly can’t go unconsidered. That rolled manuscript in his right hand is most likely symbolic of the purpose of his expedition – The Doctrine of Discovery: “a spiritual, political, and legal justification for colonization and seizure of land not inhabited by Christians.” Although I do agree with The Pacifica Historical Society’s assessment: “History is nuanced and our statue is no exception.” As a compromise, I suggest giving his whole monument a quarter turn to the left, southbound — like headed back to where he came from, and rewording the text on the base to read: “Never again.”
The California Geological Survey and Access Map
Provided by members of Coalition of Pacificans for an Updated Plan and Responsible Planning (CPUP)
The California Geological Survey has just completed its mapping of the terrain of Pacifica. Why is that important? Because the mapping shows the extent of geologic hazards that exist in our town. It displays the locations of areas of predictable landslides in our hills; the locations within our community that would likely be affected by a tsunami following a major earthquake; and also the areas of town that could experience “liquefaction” during a major earthquake. Liquefaction is the softening of soil to the point that it loses its ability to support the weight of buildings and or roadways causing possible collapse. In terms of sea level rise, the levels of increased risk are built into the forecast. With this information, Pacifica’s government will be better able to prepare for these public emergencies. You can access more information on these maps by using the portal – EQ ZAPP Earthquake Zones of Required Investigation. The CA Geological Survey representative for our area is Tim McCrink at (916) 747-6061.
BOARD OF SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES for District 3 in 2022G
Greetings Coastside Friends,
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself to you. My name is Steven Booker and I’m running for San Mateo County Supervisor because I believe representation matters. We need new faces in politics, not more of the same – and that’s me. We need a Coastside resident as our supervisor to represent the unique needs of the Coastside – that’s also me! For a county as diverse as ours, our leadership has not reflected that same diversity. Our county government needs to be more accessible and approachable, especially for underserved and underrepresented communities. If elected, I will fight every day for more affordable housing, better police and community relations, a stronger, faster response to climate change, and to ensure that each of my constituents has a seat at the table.
Currently, I am the Political Director and Community Affairs Liaison for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 617. Through my work with the IBEW, I advocate for workers’ rights, health care, and affordable housing. Because solid employment opportunities are essential, I promote jobs in the construction industry at many high school career days and career fairs with an emphasis on recruiting women, minorities, and those from underserved communities.
A graduate of Riordan High School and Bay Area native, I live in Half Moon Bay, so I understand the unique challenges faced by the coastside community, as well as its many charms. From our homeless RV population and agriculture workers with food insecurities, to addressing climate change and sea level rise, I’ll work to address these issues and many more. I’m a decorated veteran who joined the United States Air Force and served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Upon my return, I attended College of San Mateo and was then accepted into the San Mateo County Electrical Workers Apprenticeship Program in 1998, working my way up to Political Director in 2014.
I’m a regular volunteer with organizations throughout the Peninsula that are focused on providing critical services for underserved youth and seniors, including access to high-speed Internet, job training, and healthy meals. During the early days of the pandemic, I read to our county’s youth online in conjunction with the Redwood City Public Library. In addition, I serve on the Board of Directors for the San Mateo Police Department’s Police Activities League, the Board of Directors for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Activities League, the Peninsula Clean Energy Citizens Advisory Committee, and am a member of the San Mateo NAACP.
I hope you’ll take a minute to visit bookerforsupervisor.org to learn more about our campaign and join the effort – we are a grassroots campaign and would love to have you volunteer to knock on doors, text voters, etc.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to representing you!
Virginia Chang Kiraly
The Healing Power of Nature
The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on mental health care throughout the country – including here in San Mateo County. From sheltering in place (which meant sheltering alone for many), to homeschooling, caring for family members, uncertainties about the dangers of COVID-19, becoming unemployed, or working from home, many of us quickly learned the important ways our surroundings impact our mental wellbeing.
We are fortunate enough to live in a county that is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes our state has to offer. During the pandemic, my family – as well as countless others – learned and re-learned about the benefits we receive from exploring our parks and local outdoor spaces. The outdoors happened to be among the safest places to visit. People from all over the Bay Area flocked to our coast, and the Harbor District saw an increase in visitors at state, county, and local beaches.
For the past ten years, I’ve been a Trustee of the California State Parks Foundation, so I was happy to see the San Mateo County Parks Department start its Take-A-Hike Challenge in 2020, and continue this challenge in 2021, encouraging people to explore our beautiful county parks.
On October 9, the National Alliance on Mental Illness San Mateo County (NAMI SMC) – an organization that I am proud to be a member and board member of – hosted its NAMI Walks event, which I had the pleasure of co-chairing. NAMI Walks encouraged everyone to walk and be outdoors to relieve stress and improve mental health. Most importantly, we wanted families and those affected by mental illness to know they would never be alone – so we walked together.
NAMI SMC provides support services to ensure the dignity of those diagnosed with mental illness and their family members. What started as a support group for families with adult schizophrenics grew into an important nonprofit organization, helping families become educated about mental illness so they are not alone when supporting their loved ones. Over the years, the NAMI SMC community has become advocates for non-discriminatory access to quality healthcare, employment opportunities, housing, and education for those living with mental illness, with a goal toward ending the stigma associated with it.
A silver lining from the pandemic is that we are truly appreciating nature and its healing powers more than ever. And, as many of us are starting to cut back on Zoom meetings and return to in-person work, there is no reason we can’t continue – or start – to incorporate hikes and beach days, or even quick walks around the neighborhood park, into our regular routine.
Just as importantly, this connection – or reconnection – with our local natural spaces is highlighting the importance of preserving them. For example, the West Trail Living Shoreline project at Mavericks Beach will not only make the coastline safer for visitors but will also help preserve one of California’s most iconic beaches and combat sea level rise and erosion along the coast.
Similarly, as more visitors begin to visit these local outdoor spaces, we have a duty to make sure they are safe for everyone. That’s why the Harbor District, with full support from the Harbor Board, worked so hard to ensure that life rings were installed at Surfers Beach and near Mavericks Beach and the West Trail.
Whether we are participating in the Take-A-Hike Challenge, NAMI Walks, or just looking to take a break from Zoom meetings and flashing screens, I would love to hear how San Mateo County’s parks and natural spaces have helped you. Reach out at VCK@VirginiaChangKiraly.com or www.VirginiaChangKiraly.com and let me know!
Dear readers, I am grateful to share with you what I have been working on during my campaign for District 3 San Mateo County Supervisor www.raymuellerforsupervisor.com.
Working to Provide Equitable Access to County Beaches
In August, I worked with ALAS, Surfrider Foundation, and City Surf to organize a surf camp for kids of families served by ALAS in Half Moon Bay. It was an incredible four days.
Today I am working with students at Menlo Atherton High School to collect used wetsuits and raise money for new wetsuits for any kid served by ALAS who may want one.
If you are interested in contributing, you can do so here:
Donate to Surf Dreams’ Project
Preserving Our Parks and Open Spaces
As your County Supervisor, I will work to protect the environment and open spaces.
Recently, in response to the Chair of my city’s Housing Commission suggesting the possibility of building housing in City parks, I requested the City I serve pass a Park Preservation ordinance “dedicating” all current City parks, giving them the highest protection possible under the Government Code, and banning exceptions in law that allow for zoning changes including housing, unless a majority of voters support it.
I argued that as our population grows we must not cannibalize City park space that will support the public health of present and future generations. Instead of allowing housing at city parks, I advocated that my Council should instead consider upzoning existing density and amending zoning at a local shopping center near one of the parks to allow mixed-use housing instead of using park space.
A citizen petition gathered 1700 signatures supporting my position. Green Foothills wrote a letter in support. Ultimately the Council refused to pass the Park Preservation ordinance on a 2-3 vote, disagreeing with requiring voter approval. However, despite the vote, the Council committed to not including parks in this year’s Housing Element. The commitment was significant, as one day after the meeting, a mailer from the City arrived at homes indicating parks were under consideration for housing. The city was forced to explain to residents, in later meetings, the brochure was no longer accurate, given the recently won commitment.
Despite this victory, I haven’t stopped working to protect the parks. At our last City Council meeting, I asked the Council to amend our City’s Municipal Code to clearly identify and list all current City parks as “dedicated” under the Government Code. Our neighbor, Palo Alto, contains such a section in it’s Municipal Code. I am hopeful dropping the citizen approval element for now, will gain this new protection for the parks.
You can read more about this subject in the Almanac, at:
Menlo Park: Proposal to ban development in parks falls short
In this race for County Supervisor, I am so grateful to have received the endorsement of all seven Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District Directors as well as from Kari Mueller, Chair of the San Mateo County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
I hope this message finds you and your family well. In this message, I’m writing about the excellent and informative feedback I’ve received on my travels throughout the county.
Local Climate Plans
The environment and climate change are top priorities for many of us. I led the effort to adopt the San Carlos Climate Action Plan to take immediate, decisive action to mitigate the effects of sea level rise, flooding and wildfires. And I look forward to addressing these challenges with leaders in our neighboring communities as your County Supervisor.
Back to School Safety
The school year is now in full swing – a cause for celebration! This is a topic of special import to me, as my wife Kathy works for a local public school foundation. We want every child to receive the same outstanding public education experience that our sons had prior to COVID.
Ensuring the health and safety of students, teachers and administrators is critical. California will soon be adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccinations required to attend school in person when the vaccine receives full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for children. California will be the first state in the nation to implement such a measure.
Visit the “California Safe Schools for All” parent page at: schools.covid19.ca.gov/pages/parent-page to learn more about statewide efforts to maintain healthy learning environments.
The lack of affordable housing for teachers is causing a serious, and growing, shortage of local teachers. A conversation with Kalimah Salahuddin, Jefferson Union High School District Trustee and co-founder of the REACH Coalition for equity, highlighted how urgent and profound this crisis is.
According to Kalimah, our local school districts are unable to retain and attract quality teachers because the candidates often cannot find even market rate housing near the schools where they want to teach.
The lack of affordable workforce housing for teachers, firefighters, and 911 responders adversely impacts our education, safety, and quality of life
Hunger & Food Insecurities
Through the pandemic, many of us volunteered at local food pantries and with local organizations that provide food to those in need. We saw hunger worsen and increase across the county.
With this in mind, I contacted Erin Tomey, founder of the “Coastside Farmers’ Markets” in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, to see what our local communities are doing to help reduce hunger locally.
Erin was one of the first providers of Market Match – a program that matches CalFresh EBT funds to purchase fresh fruit and veggies at local farmers’ markets. She asks that we help spread the word about the importance of the Market Match program to help families and seniors who are most severely impacted. Please visit and share the links below!
Coastside Farmers’ Markets: coastsidefarmersmarkets.org
CalFresh Food Program: cdss.ca.gov/calfresh
Get Healthy San Mateo County: gethealthysmc.org/post/food-insecurity-san-mateo-county
I want to hear from YOU!
These issues greatly impact us as a community, especially women and our neighbors of color. They are the reason I continue to “Listen and Lead” as I run for County Supervisor.
If you haven’t already done so, please provide YOUR feedback on the issues and priorities facing our communities by visiting my website: LauraforSupervisor.com where you will find a user-friendly, interactive form.
Thank you for reading. Let’s continue to move forward as a strong, vibrant, and safe community!
SERRAMONTE DEL REY: a controversial mix of public-land use, school district income, and housing.
Author Suzanne Moore
Serramonte del Rey Project is a mix of housing, generation of school district income, retail/commercial space, school infrastructure upgrades, community parks and gardens.The vision for the project, described at Daly City Council 9/27/21, “is to transform the project site into a new walkable, bikeable and family friendly residential neighborhood”. The community has raised questions and concerns.
The Master Plan
Here is the project description offered by the School Board at the 10/25/21 Daly City Council meeting: the project is spread over 6 parcels, and the plan is multi-phased.
- the nearly-completed 122 unit workforce housing,
- 201 mixed-use residential housing,
- Overlook Park
- Neighborhood retail and Cafe Plaza,
- An updated entry from Serramonte Boulevard.
- District offices will remain open.
- 240 units of housing including 100+ “affordable”,
- Head Start facilities/classroom,
- Class I pedestrian/Bike Trail
- 290 Units Housing,
- Central green
- 282 Units Housing,
- Recreational Trail
- up to two 14-story residences. In total, with up to 1235 market rate housing and an estimated 100 “affordable” units described in phase 2,
- all parking on site.
Other plans have been summarized on project handouts:
- plans for a new two-level, 30,000-square-foot District Office with new facilities for the district departments of Business Services, Education & Special Education Services, Tech / IT, human resources and general support services, and can house over 60 professionals.
- approximately 8,000 to 14,000 square feet of neighborhood serving retail with on-site customer parking, located at the site’s entrance off of Serramonte Boulevard. Examples of potential ground floor retail uses include a coffee/tea shop, flower shop, dry cleaning, ATM/credit union, deli and specialty restaurant, hairdresser/barber, and exercise program.
The Advantages for JUHSD
The School District could benefit economically and through building upgrades. It is important to know that the Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD) “is the lowest funded high school district in San Mateo County”. The School Board reports, “We cannot attract and retain our educational staff and lose approximately 25% of our staff every year.” Wages are less than surrounding school districts and housing costs are high. Creating workforce housing on school grounds will help 122 staff members. Proponents of the Serramonte del Rey Project include the Teachers Union, the School Board, and the School Superintendent.
Workforce housing is nearly completed – 122 Units of 59 one bedroom apartments, 56 two bedroom apartments, and 7 three bedroom apartments – offered exclusively to JUHSD employees at a rental rate at approximately half the typical market rate, with oversight performed by a nonprofit corporation.
To bring income into schools, “the District will negotiate long-term leases with housing developers to build market-rate housing units on the property. We will retain ownership of the land and the money from the lease can go into the general fund to be used for any educational purpose.”
Infrastructure upgrade is planned with new district offices, a new adult education site, and an improved Head Start area. So JUHSD benefits in 3 ways: workforce housing, income, and infrastructure upgrade.
Daly City Benefits
City staff, in the Daly City Council meeting of 9/27/21, estimate “the redevelopment benefits the City – with an estimated $822,200 to $1.3 million per year income to the City’s general fund annually, and housing numbers which contribute to the Regional Needs Allocation.
There are indirect benefits to improved investment into the community: as retail and commercial space increases, investors become more interested in Daly City.
A Concerned Community Questions the Project
Several members of the community are raising concerns. Those concerns fall into approximately 3 categories:
- use of public lands to build for-profit housing,
- destruction of existing green space and treasured gardens,
- transparency issues on monies spent and future income/outflow.
Use of public lands for market-rate housing.
Many members of our community believe that public land should be used to benefit the community. For-profit, market-rate housing is less critical than the desperate need for extremely-low to low-income housing. Public land provides a unique opportunity to build low-income housing.
In a letter to Mayor Juslyn Manalo from Housing Leadership Council Director Evelyn Stivers dated 10/7/21, Director Stivers “sees this as an opportunity to create a partnership between the city and a housing provider and build more homes at deeper levels of affordability.”
The dedication of a 1.8 acre site from the school district is a wonderful opportunity to create a partnership between the city and a housing provider. Some of the advantages of land dedication include:
- Non-profit developers can build more homes at deeper levels of affordability with site dedication, like this, because it can qualify for specialized financing and attract other county, regional, state, and federal funding that the city would not be competitive for with units scattered in market rate buildings.
- There are several cities in San Mateo County that have buildings whose deed restrictions are expiring, including Daly City. Having the homes managed by an experienced organization with a good reputation will be a much better partner for the city and better serve the residents. Mission-driven organizations keep the affordable homes affordable after the deeds expire by refinancing and often improving the properties when the term expires.
With the right affordable housing partner, you could get special needs housing, services, large family units, or meet other community needs. Some of the services offered by non-profit builders include:
- Homework and afterschool programs
- Playgrounds, gardens, and gyms
- Summer programming for kids
- Computer labs
- On-site childcare
- Senior support services including bringing healthcare providers, like a podiatrist to the property
- Financial Literacy
- Coordinated Peer Support Groups
Low-income housing that could be preserved in perpetuity would truly benefit the community.
Destruction of existing green spaces and a treasured garden.
Westmoor Park and the existing garden space are valued by neighbors and members of the greater community. There is ongoing discussion of garden relocation by the School Board and plans for eventual garden spaces, but the loss of the existing space is akin to losing good friends. The community voluntarily planted, nourished, and treasured their garden. It would certainly be a demonstration of good will for these spaces to be preserved.
Transparency now and in the future.
The School Board believes this Project generates much-needed income for the school district, that a reduction of market-rate housing negatively impacts the income, and the community has no appetite to pass a school bond. Although there is a debate about the level of public transparency on monies invested, and how future transparency can be assured, financial information is not readily on hand. Those of us who support our educators and school staff want to see that the Serramonte del Rey Project translates into increased school staff income equivalent to prevailing wages. A plan to update the community on the use of income from the project would be important for community buy-in.
Push out the vote to January, 2022
Daly City Council opted to push the vote on the Serramonte del Rey Project out to January, 2022. It appears that the City Council, like the community, is divided on how to proceed with the Project. You can contact the School Board and Daly City Council with your concerns.
For more than 50 years, our understanding of “fair housing” and its requirements has generally remained stable. But recent events have caused a significant shift in this regard, bringing new dimensions to the concept of “fair housing” and creating a new source of power for our housing justice advocacy work.
In April 2021 a California agency called the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) issued guidelines for the implementation of AB 686, passed by the California legislature in 2015. These guidelines make crystal clear that “fair housing” now extends far beyond the prohibition of discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. Rather, the new requirements say that cities and counties must proactively adopt policies to “ameliorate past actions that led to inequity.” The exact terminology to describe this requirement is that the cities must “affirmatively further fair housing,” words that first appeared in the Fair Housing Act of 1968 but have only been given meaning and motion by recent law.
The 94-page HCD document opens with a narrative about the exclusionary history that establishes a need for these guidelines. It goes on to describe in detail the new requirements that are designed as a corrective to this history, setting forth lists of policies that help to promote inclusive communities and others that serve as a barrier to it.
The prevention of displacement takes a prominent place in the new fair housing requirements. In a list providing examples of “local fair housing laws,” the following policies are among those that appear:
- Local ordinances that limit rent increases and late fees
- Ordinances facilitating community land trusts and tenant opportunities to purchase their multi-family housing
- Local relocation ordinances
- San Francisco’s “No Eviction without Representation Act”
- Local ordinances that prohibit unlawful harassment of tenants
The presence or absence of such policies now becomes a standard by which a city’s housing plan, called a “housing element,” will be judged when submitted to the state for approval. But do cities even care whether their housing elements are approved? Indeed they do! Housing element approval is tied to eligibility for an array of funds in support of transportation, housing and other vital services. Also, a non-compliant city is vulnerable to being sued and runs the risk of losing control of its local land use decisions.
The new standard for fairness is an exciting development for our housing advocacy work. It provides a powerful new basis on which to push for anti-displacement and land use policies that many of us have favored but have struggled to move from the sidelines to center stage. Let us join in using this potent new tool to ensure that Peninsula cities clear the bar for fairness and distinguish themselves as communities that are truly welcoming for all.
Post the Eviction Moratorium
Understanding California’s COVID-19 Renter Protections from October 1, 2021, Onward
The State of California has decided to end most protections for renters due to COVID-19 on September 30, 2021, BUT renters still have important legal protections. This fact sheet covers key renter protections as of October 1, 2021. The rules are complicated! Click HERE to access the fact sheet that covers key renter protections as of October 1, 2021. The rules are complicated! If you cannot pay your rent, are worried about eviction, or have received an eviction notice, you should consult with a lawyer. Visit www.lawhelpca.org to find a free or low-cost lawyer to help you.
HIP Housing on How to Purchase and Preserve Affordable Housing.
RSVP for this virtual event, Thursday, November 3, 12 noon
Please join HIP Housing for an exclusive conversation with our Executive Director, Kate Comfort Harr, on Wed, Nov. 3 at noon. Kate will share her secret to success in purchasing and preserving housing as affordable, including recent property acquisitions like Rolison Road in Redwood City and Coleman Place in Menlo Park. This will be our first event in an all-new virtual event series. RSVP today at https://pp.events/a8GwlQEK
Staff and Board
Carlos Bolanos – The Facts
Author Blue Murov, Pacifica Social Justice
Google Carlos Bolanos and you will see the same shiny face and crooked smile throughout the 40 years of his career in law enforcement. Bolanos currently serves as sheriff of San Mateo County, a position he has held since 2016 when he was appointed by the SMC Board of Supervisors. In 2018 he ran in the election for sheriff and won. He is campaigning for another term in 2022.
Bolanos’ main campaign slogan is public safety, but is the public really safe with a sheriff like him? Pacifica Social Justice first heard of Bolanos in 2018 after 6 of his deputies murdered Chinedu Okobi with tasers on the street in Millbrae. Chinedu’s murder was the 3rd death by taser in the county that year. Community members, shocked by these senseless deaths, rallied to end the use of tasers in San Mateo County; but the Board of Supervisors (BOS) backed Bolanos and budgeted $2 million to purchase even more tasers. People suffering from a mental health crisis are not safe in San Mateo County.
Immigrants do not feel safe in San Mateo County either. “Last year, even while jail count numbers were relatively low due to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Mateo County accounted for 74% of the total number of people transferred to ICE from all nine Bay Area counties. And since 2018, the San Mateo County Sheriff has voluntarily transferred at least 119 community members to ICE. In immigrant-rich San Mateo County , this is unacceptable and contributes to the cruel double-punishment of our immigrant neighbors.” –Sarah Lee, SMCCIR (San Mateo County Coalition for Immigrant Rights).
Immigrant rights groups have published these statistics:
- The sheriff’s office is 8 times more likely to arrest a Black person than a white person.
- SMC sheriff had 74% of all transfers of people to federal immigration authorities in the Bay Area.
- The SMC sheriff department has more funding per capita than 96% of other departments in California.
- SMC sheriff department patrols more than 70% of the county within unincorporated areas, and polices at least 10% of county residents through contracts with cities within the county.
San Mateo County is surrounded by counties that have successfully stopped transferring people to ICE. There has been no increase in crime in these counties. Studies show that communities are safer for many reasons when there is no collaboration with ICE.
On November 3rd at 6 PM San Mateo County BOS will hold the Fourth Annual Truth Act Forum on Zoom. Sign up to get ready for public comments at San Mateo County’s virtual Truth Act Forum on 11/3 and RSVP at: bit.ly/iceoutofsmc. The Forum is part of the state sanctuary law that allows the public to review cases of law enforcement turning people over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Transfers are allowed in certain circumstances, but are totally voluntary. Last year more than 70 people gave public comment against Bolanos’ collaboration with ICE. Not one person spoke in support of him. Yet the BOS have done nothing to curb his actions. Meanwhile, 26 more people have been handed over to ICE this year by the sheriff’s department. Bolanos never comments on the hardship his policy causes for the individuals, families and communities of the people he hands over.
The BOS claim they have no power over Bolanos and his policies because he is an elected official. The one power they have is financial. Every year the BOS approves more money for the sheriff’s department. Even Supervisor Canepa, who at one point seemed moved by last years’ testimonies, continues to stand behind Bolanos 100%. After Bolanos denied the recent news flash that he is in Oath Keepers, Canepa said: “I’ve known the sheriff to be truthful and I’m going to be taking him at his word…”
But there are many instances where the sheriff has not been honest. He initially lied about the taser murder of Chinedu. He refused to release information on the police killing of Sandra Lee Harmon in Half Moon Bay. He has held people at the jail for longer than is allowed so that ICE can take custody of them. He denied he is an Oath Keeper even though he is in their database. Over and over, he refuses demands for transparency.
In 40 years Sheriff Bolanos’ portrait remains the same and so does he. Bolanos operates under the comfort of County contracts, carve-outs in the sanctuary law, and a Board of Supervisors who refuses to confront him. Vote him out in 2022.
Truth Act Forum
PEACE CORNER: Pacifica Peace People
Let Us Remember
On November 11th at 11:00am, we and many people across the world will observe a moment of silence to remember those who have died in war. The Day, first called Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, was observed on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour to commemorate the signing of the armistice on November 11,1918, that ended WW I. The United States eventually changed the name to Veterans Day.
This year and always, as we honor those who have served, let us also remember how many times we have said, “Never again”. Let us renew our commitment to work for peace so that we never have to ask our young people to raise arms against the youth of another country. Let us remember this fact from the Poor Peoples’ Campaign:
“In 2016, CEOs of the top five military contractors earned on average $19.2 million each — more than 90 times the $214,000 earned by a U.S. general with 20 years of experience and 640 times the $30,000 earned by Army privates in combat.”
The Story of Angelo Zawaydeh (1986-2006)
Author Jean Bartlett
Born in 1986, Angelo Zawaydeh was a 2004 graduate of Terra Nova High School. He died in Iraq in 2006. The following story on Angelo was written by Pacifica-based writer Jean Bartlett for the Pacifica Veterans Memorial Group and is reprinted here with permission. You can find this memorial story, with all of its photos and links, at bartlettbiographies.com. Please visit the Pacifica Veterans Memorial Group on Facebook.
Students Joe Quirarte and Angelo Zawaydeh used to have lunch together, every day, at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica. The two friends graduated in 2004 and in January of 2005, Angelo entered the U.S. Army.
It was in March of 2006, when Joe telephoned his mom, Debbie Smyser, in Pacifica. He was phoning to say, “Hello,” to check in.
“It was Joe’s first deployment,” Debbie said. “He was on his way to Afghanistan.”
“I had to tell Joe that Angelo passed,” Debbie went on to say. “After I told my son, the phone went dead. Joe’s phone had died. Joe called back collect from Afghanistan. He was heartbroken. I did my best to console him.”
U.S. Army PFC Angelo A. Zawaydeh—Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky—was killed on March 15, 2006, when his traffic control point came under mortar attack during combat operations in Baghdad. A Bay Area native and San Bruno resident, Angelo was just two months shy of his 20th birthday.
Joe asked his mom to buy a plant for Angelo’s mom, which she did. The two moms then cried together. “My son and I still talk about Angelo,” Debbie said. “He will always be remembered.”
Angelo Akram Zawaydeh was born on May 27, 1986 in San Francisco to April Bradreau and Akram Zawaydeh. He was the first of their four children: Angelo, Francesca, Nicole and Dominic.
“I met Angelo at Ortega School,” said Tony Lucia, who grew up in Pacifica.
While Angelo was somewhat shy, the two boys shared an enthusiasm for video games, especially role- playing video games.
In the earliest days of their friendship, the two did swordplay with sticks and cardboard, played hide-and- seek and always worked on their continued favorite, video-game role playing. As they got a little older, it was to the surf for bodyboarding.
Angelo was Jordanian-American, and Tony said Angelo’s personality was a product of his Jordanian background in that he was a giving, caring and sincere friend. “He was always willing to share.”
Well-liked in school, not much for speaking up in class unless he felt his input was absolutely necessary, middle-schooler Angelo thought that law enforcement and the military would be avenues he would pursue in his adult years.
Tony reflected on what was lost the day Angelo died.
“The world lost a very caring, sincere, hospitable, generous and future-family man when it lost Angelo Zawaydeh.”
“I met Angelo when we were around 15 at Terra Nova High School,” Kevin Campos said. “We both didn’t have athletic wear for Phys Ed so we ended up sitting out. I was listening to heavy metal and so was he. We started talking about music and from then on we were friends. He was just an all-around good dude.”
Kevin ticked off the top picks on their metal playlist: Korn, Adema, Slipknot and Mudvayne.
“We played a ton of video games. Angelo loved Final Fantasy VII and we would just sit and not say a word, playing games for hours.”
The two friends also used to head to the mall, with a follow-up of skateboarding at a park. Angelo was an avid skateboarder – he’d been skateboarding since he was 9 and had mastered numerous tricks. They also liked to have BB gun shootouts in their respective yards, which, just thinking about, still makes Kevin laugh.
“Angelo and I never had a ton of cash but my parents remember how much the grocery bill was! We would sit in front of the TV with a gallon of milk and two or three boxes of cereal. The next thing you know, we finished it all. For a skinny guy, he could put the food away. We attempted the 1-Pound Burger Challenge at Fuddruckers in Daly City a couple of times. But he never could finish it.”
Then there was driving nowhere in particular, just for the joy of the ride.
“His parents brought him an Infiniti G20 and he loved that damn thing. He was a risk taker and a speed demon,” Kevin paused to laugh out loud. “We almost met our end a few times in that car!”
Angelo’s heart was huge when it came to pets.
“He had a Siberian Husky, Shadow, that he adored,” Kevin recalled. “And he spent so much time at my house that he and my cat Moe became best buds. The three of us would hang out all the time.” (By the time Angelo signed on with the Army, Shadow had a three-month-old puppy, Oso – one more “best bud” to add to Angelo’s list of furry friends.)
Megan was Angelo’s girlfriend. Angelo and Megan dated almost the entire time Kevin knew Angelo. Kevin’s girlfriend back in high school was Christina and she and Megan were best friends. Megan and Angelo split up shortly after Angelo joined the Army.
The biggest influence that sent both young men off to serve their country was the September 11 attacks.
“I had always wanted to join the military,” Kevin said, “but that day solidified it. We were all angry and wanted to get revenge on those who attacked us.”
In March of 2006, Kevin told San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Steve Rubenstein, “We thought if we’re going to live in this country and raise our families here, we had to do something before we started our lives. We decided that America was worth fighting for.”
Angelo’s parents told the Associated Press that their son brought up the idea of joining the military when he was 16. They were against it and said, no. They worried not only about the danger their teenage son faced going to war, but they were additionally deeply concerned about his participating in a Middle Eastern war. Angelo’s dad is Jordanian and his uncle was a member of the Jordanian Parliament.
His parents hoped he would go to college. They encouraged him to go to college. But when he turned 18 he told them, “I can’t sit in the classroom anymore. I need to get up and do something.”
At the age of 18, the decision was Angelo’s to make.
Out of the different branches of the U.S. military, why did Angelo choose the Army?
“I truly believe he did it for the signing bonus,” Kevin said.
There are a number of articles from 2004/2005 which discuss the Army’s then struggles to meet its overall target recruiting quotas. In response, the Army offered enlistment bonuses and re-enlistment bonuses.
In March of 2006, Angelo’s dad told the San Mateo Journal, “For the Army and Armed Forces in general to give a $15,000 signing bonus to an 18-year-old is a bribe. They should be ashamed.”
“At that stage of the war we were losing a lot of guys and recruiting was down,” Kevin noted. “I think Angelo wanted the money to buy a ring for Megan and to start a family. He also wanted to serve his country. We were gonna join the Marines together, but I think that huge chunk of cash to an 18-year-old was the final deciding factor for him. The Marines wanted him badly, and wanted him to be an officer. But they weren’t offering anything to join at the time. Also he was stoked to be Airborne and the Marines don’t really have airborne troops. As I recall, he was even talking about applying for Ranger school.”
Kevin did join the Marines, March of 2005. He was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq in 2008-2009. Now working in security and living in San Mateo, CA, Kevin served in the Marine Corps until 2013. He exited the Marines as a Corporal E-4 and an Infantry Squad Leader.
Angelo entered the Army in January of 2005. In September, Angelo was sent to Iraq.
“I took him to the airport when his pre-deployment leave was over,” Kevin shared. “It was his last moments home. I remember taking him to SFO and giving him a big hug and then watching him head into the airport. That’s the last time we saw each other.”
Angelo’s mom told the San Mateo Daily Journal that when her son left for Iraq, he really believed he should be there. He believed he was there “not to stop people, but to stop evil.”
Angelo struggled with what he believed and what he saw in Iraq once he was there. But he stood proudly with those he served with – as a patriot, as a defender and as a friend. And he would, as always, keep his attitude upbeat. All of his family members and friends, and many of his neighbors and teachers, would later praise him for his innate ability to spread smiles and his constant willingness to lend a helping hand. And Angelo made plans while he was in Iraq. Once he finished his four-year obligation, he was going to college to study law enforcement or law.
His immediate plans were to come home on mid-deployment leave. He was scheduled for two weeks in May. With his 20th birthday on May 27, his family had big celebration plans in the works. Additionally, his sister Francesca was graduating from South San Francisco High School in June and then heading off to UC Santa Cruz. That was also included in those celebratory plans. Angelo’s father said Angelo had it all worked out that he was going to teach Francesca to drive during his time home and take her around her new college campus.
And then the unplanned, happened.
As the article in the Military Times reported, Army PFC Angelo A. Zawaydeh, 19, died Wednesday, March 15, 2006, serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. “He was manning a machine gun atop a tank at a Baghdad traffic control point when he was killed by a bullet in the neck.”
Kevin was at home when he missed the call from Angelo’s family’s home number.
“I got excited because I thought he was home early. I called back and his little brother answered and handed the phone to his mom. I could tell something was wrong right away and then she said, ‘Angelo’s gone.'”
Angelo’s parents heard of their son’s death on the eve of their 21st wedding anniversary.
Two hundred people attended the service for Angelo at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in San Francisco. He was laid to rest at the Greek Orthodox Memorial Park in Colma, CA. While his parents were not for the war, they were both very proud of their son for his service, his heroism and for his true gift of being such a good human being. Angelo was recognized at his service for “saving many lives that day.”
“Angelo was full of love,” Kevin said of his best friend. “He never said anything bad about anyone, just a real genuine nice dude. And he always put everyone else before himself – something people have lost these days it seems.
“He was in fact, the best dude I’ve ever known. He was funny as hell and very, very compassionate and caring. He was the kind of guy who would literally give you the shirt off his back if you were in need. He was always there to listen to your problems and give advice. And if you didn’t wanna talk about it, he would just be there.
“If Angelo were alive, he’d want this mad world we live in today to chill out and to remember, that we are all in this together. He was a positive vibes kinda dude. He was more than my best friend. He was like a brother.”
U.S. Army PFC Angelo A. Zawaydeh’s awards and decorations include: National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Posthumously, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. While he was survived and mourned by his parents, siblings, extended family and friends, before his own death, he deeply mourned the death of his grandmother, Helene Bradreau, who died in December of 2004.
There is one more engraved piece of metal, in remembrance of Angelo.
“A couple of years ago I realized that the anniversary of his death had passed and I had forgotten,” Kevin Campos said. “It disturbed me. I know things change with time but I never expected to forget my best friend. I got a bracelet made (it has Angelo’s name, rank, place of birth, a waving American flag, Iraqi Freedom and the date of Angelo’s death engraved on it) and it hasn’t left my wrist in over two years except to shower. It’s a constant reminder of Angelo and his sacrifice.”
Author’s note: If any of Angelo’s relatives discover this tribute, please contact the Pacifica Veterans Memorial Group so that your comments can be added.
Speak Out on Equitable Recovery Post Covid
San Mateo County Equity
ABUNDANT GRACE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Grand Opening, Saturday, November 6, 2021 12N-3P
515 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay
Ribbon cutting 1pm with County Supervisor Don Horsley.
City/Community leaders,snacks, drinks, music and more! A celebration of HOPE!
We are so thrilled to share all the growth, development and renovation happening in our organization over the past 2 years! We purchased the Senior Coastsider’s Thriftstore location in January 2020 just before Covid hit. Since then, we have been renovating the space, refining our programs and hiring new staff as we grow into our new location!
We want to share with you what we have created with your support: more quality work programming, two showers/bathrooms, two laundry facilities, a beautiful backyard meeting space, a clothing room, a renovated kitchen, and so much more.
We are a location for the street medical team every Monday, case workers from LifeMoves and El Centro come here to meet with people, and low-income families come here on Mondays and Thursdays to pick up organic produce harvested that day at the farm!
We have become a hub of service, a place of welcome for people trying to make their lives better, and a place for supporters, donors and volunteers to make our community better. It feels so good to create a community space like this, and we could not have done it without you.
YOU made this happen with us! We are so grateful, inspired, challenged and happy! Let’s celebrate!
(COVID protocols required if you tour the building. Masks optional outside. Food is prepared safely and served individually)
CLIMATE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT
A Brief History of Weeds
Author Ian Butler
Technically a weed is any plant that’s growing where we would prefer it wasn’t, such as the dandelions on our lawns. Farmers and gardeners have to extend enormous amounts of herbicides and labor controlling them in their fields, but perhaps the most insidious weeds are the invasive species overtaking our natural areas. Most of us would be surprised to learn that almost all of what we think of as weeds were brought here by humans, often on purpose, and we aren’t done yet. In fact, the history of weeds is so much a part of California that we nicknamed our state after them. You know, the Golden State.
Besides the actual gold, our state gets its nickname from its iconic rolling golden hills. But those golden hills are a recent development. In fact, they were once covered in purple needle grass and other bunch grasses; perennials with deep roots that stayed green most of the year, providing food for animals and sequestering carbon underground.
That all changed between 1850 and 1880, when livestock grazing was implemented on a massive scale. The cattle ate the bunchgrass to a nub, leaving an ecological void that was quickly filled by annual, fast-growing and shallow-rooted grasses that smuggled their seeds from Spain, often on the hides of the same livestock that decimated the native grasses. Today only about 1% of California’s native grasslands, which once covered a quarter of the state, are still intact.
But we weren’t finished terraforming the state into something unrecognizable. In fact, we were just getting started.
As the population grew and backyard gardens and municipal parks became commonplace, plants were imported from around the world for their exotic appearance and hardy qualities. Many turned out to be all too hardy, escaping from the gardens and outcompeting the local flora. It’s really not a fair competition, the local plants have animals that have evolved to graze on them and insects and diseases keeping them in check. The exotics had none of those limitations. Some were particularly insidious.
In 1867 Joseph Sexton moved to Goleta CA. He started a nursery business focusing primarily on pampas grass, a grassy perennial from Argentina. He relentlessly promoted the plant with its white plumes, full of seeds which happen to be very good at blowing in the wind and planting themselves on disturbed land. They are very difficult to eradicate and useless for wildlife. But by the time anyone realized it they had spread across the state.
In the early 1900s South African iceplant began to be planted up and down the California coast to reduce erosion, first by the railroads and later Caltrans. Unfortunately, iceplant actually makes erosion worse, it has shallow roots and the weight of its mats can pull down the topsoil. In addition, it’s useless for wildlife, virtually nothing can eat it and it chokes out the rich tapestry of coastal scrub it displaces. Today, iceplant is ubiquitous on the California coast.
Caltrans planted a lot more than just iceplant. They also spread oleander, scotch broom, cotoneaster, buckwheat, acacia and eucalyptus along the highways crisscrossing the state. Plants from the southern hemisphere’s areas with a Mediterranean climate, Such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina were often favored. Many of these plants proved adept at self propagating and spreading, but none so destructively as the Eucalyptus Globulus or blue gum.
The blue gum is native to Southern Australia, where the soils are poor amd the climate is dry. It’s often an understory tree beneath the massive Eucalyptus Regnans, which can grow up to 350 feet tall. Because of that the blue gum is adapted to grow tall fast, although it tops out at about 150 feet it can reach that height in no time, often growing 15 feet a year. Unsurprisingly then, it’s not very sturdily built, they are famous for blowing over in storms and often will lose huge branches on a windless day. They are also extremely flammable, the infamous 1991 Oakland firestorm was made far more destructive by the fuel the blue gum forests provided.
All the weeds mentioned here are expensive and difficult to control, but none can hold a candle to the blue gum. Although it’s labor intensive to pull out a patch of ice plant, it doesn’t require special training or equipment. But the blue gum can easily cost ten thousand dollars to cut down a single tree. And once cut down it will grow right back, or rather a dozen or more will spring up where it once was, like a 20 ton Hydra, barring years of vigilance or barrels of Roundup.
So why bother? Well, a eucalyptus grove, if left to its own devices, will choke out pretty much every native plant in its path. In its shade you will usually only find other invasives like thistle, cotoneaster, pampas grass and ivy. Around here the only native that seems to do well under it is poison oak, the one local plant noxious enough to keep up with the invasives.
And a native plant community, which has been coevolving for centuries, is as wiped out by a eucalyptus grove as by a housing development or parking lot. Maybe more so, because a parking lot doesn’t spread on its own.
It’s admittedly a losing battle. More weeds are introduced every year, and some will undoubtedly be even worse than the ones we are dealing with now. Oxalis and cape Ivy are two recent additions to the panoply of weeds that make the dandelions of our childhood seem tame by comparison. And since there is no way we can weed the entire outdoors the problem is going to continue to worsen. Forever.
In fact, if humans were to disappear tomorrow, almost every other problem that we have caused to the environment — pollution, global warming, habitat destruction — would stop getting worse and improve as the planet heals itself. But without us, invasive species would continue to invade, marching across the landscape wiping out biodiversity, for eons.
If an Ohlone Indian were to time travel from the 1700s to today, they would obviously be shocked by the roads and buildings that now criss-cross their homeland. But they would also be shocked at the changes to the “wild.” In many areas that might seem perfectly natural to a modern person on a hike today, there might not be a single plant that an Ohlone would recognize. Because we just notice the changes that have happened in our lifetime, we forget that our baseline for nature was already highly degraded from its true natural state.
Kids born today will grow up thinking that carpets of yellow oxalis flowers and towering echium blooms are a normal part of spring; and thistles, burrs and foxtails an inevitable part of summer. But nature knows better. In a couple of hundred years we’ve permanently changed the natural world. Fortunately, if we can stop making it worse she’ll eventually adapt and find a new homeostasis. It should only take a few million years or so.
Tree City Pacifica Celebrates Arbor Day
Author Paul Totah
Pacificans will celebrate the city’s third Arbor Day with the planting of 40 trees, the dedication of a COVID memorial grove at Fairmont Park and an art contest for students.
Tree City Pacifica is organizing the event along with the Pacifica Garden Club, the Pacifica School District, the city’s mayor and city council and members of city staff.
For the first two weekends of November, winning entries from the student art contest will be displayed at the Sanchez Art Center by students who were asked to prepare pieces that show the importance of trees in their lives and in the community.
On Nov. 12, students will put those values into practice by planting 10 trees at Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School and Cabrillo, Ocean Shore, Ortega and Sunset Ridge Schools. At each school, specific classrooms will learn about the importance of trees before students plant a tree on the school grounds. Members of the Pacifica Garden Club will help by lending expertise.
The following day, on Nov. 13, all Pacificans are invited to celebrate the main Arbor Day community event starting at 10 a.m. at Fairmont Park and Recreation Center with a speech by Mayor Sue Beckmeyer. Members of the Pacifica Garden Club will dedicate a COVID memorial grove with a plaque and a bench to commemorate lives lost in the community to the pandemic. A member of Tree City Pacifica will demonstrate how to plant a tree. To follow covid protocol, everyone attending the event will be asked to wear a mask throughout the day.
That same day, volunteers, including members of Brownie Troop 61981, Girl Scout Junior Troop 61564, and Girl Scout Troops 62778 and 61563, will plant 30 trees in the park and the neighborhood. Only those who have pre-registered will be able to plant a tree.
Arbor Day is sponsored by the City of Pacifica and the Pacifica Garden Club with funding provided by the National Garden Clubs Plant America Grant.
For more information on Tree City Pacifica, which is helping the city each year earn Tree City USA status through Arbor Day events, go to facebook.com/treecitypacifica or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official Notice of Linda Mar Beach Sewage Significant Overflow
THE COMMUNITY SHARES
What’s in a (Pass)Word?
Author Robin Stuart
Prevailing wisdom among cyber security practitioners is that passwords are outdated as a secure means of authentication. However, until a better way achieves wide adoption they are a fact of online life.
So how do the bad guys get your password in the first place? There are lots of ways:
- Sites like Pastebin are popular locations for finding “dumps,” collections of usernames or email addresses and associated passwords found by good guys, disclosed by rivaling bad guys, or posted as proof of an attacker’s l337ness.
- Account harvesters buy or trade credential dumps in underground cyber criminal forums, lists of usernames/email addresses with passwords that they’ve proven to be active by running them through automated account checking programs to log into the account at least once.
- Credential-harvesting malware, like keystroke loggers and web form injections, that collect usernames and passwords typed into browsers on victim computers and get sent to a central collection point under the attacker’s control.
- Phishing emails that entice victims to login into replica, or “spoofed,” websites that look exactly like popular online banking and email sign-in pages.
- Brute force attacks against websites built on popular free platforms, like WordPress and Joomla, or Internet-facing databases using automated scanning and exploit tools.
All of the attack tools are incredibly easy to find and so are credential dumps.
3 Basic Rules
The best defense is a good offense. Let’s start with the basics. Good password hygiene consists of 3 factors: complexity, length, and, most important, uniqueness.
A complex password is one that consists of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. The purpose of complexity is to defeat password crackers, automated programs that compare encrypted or hashed passwords against word lists. This is euphemistically known as a “dictionary attack” for a good reason. Password crackers run comparisons against plain language word lists and obvious variations. The more recognizable the password, the faster it can be cracked. For example, poppyfield123 is revealed in milliseconds, while pO9PyF!3ld!@# can take hours or days, depending on the password-cracking program.
Just as important is password length. To grossly oversimplify the description of the computational process, password crackers “recognize” each character of a password, one by one. The longer the password, the harder you force the cracker to work. It’s kind of like the joke about outrunning an angry bear – you don’t need to have the longest password, you just need to have one that’s longer than the next guy’s. Miscreants who crack passwords are typically going for quantity. They stop cracking when they’ve decrypted a victim list long enough to be worth their while, financially speaking. The harder password hashes get tossed out or recycled into credential lists they’ll later sell or trade themselves for someone else to have a whack at them.
The single most important hygiene factor is uniqueness. This means every time you register for an online account or change an existing password, you create a password that you don’t use anywhere else. In other words, your email password is different from your Facebook password that’s different from your Twitter password, banking password, and so on. Obviously, this means we have to keep track of an awful lot of passwords. There are apps called password managers where you store all of your passwords in a single place on your computer or smartphone. There’s also good, old fashioned pencil and paper, writing down this information in a notebook. Some people I know use “forgot your password” as their preferred method for uniqueness, using this feature on websites to change their password every time they log in.
What about that credential-stealing malware and phishing mentioned earlier? All the clever strategies in the world won’t help if you hand your password to the bad guys in these cases. This is where two-factor authentication comes in.
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, multifactor authentication or MFA, means you not only need a password but another piece of information to prove that you are who you say you are. Examples of this are cryptographic tokens, like chip-and-pin cards or USB dongles, and SMS text codes that you type into a website to complete the login process. These codes can still be captured by keystroke loggers or intercepted through social engineering – no 2FA method is 100% hack proof – but, again, the harder the challenge the more likely some bad guys will go after easier targets and away from you.
Will passwords be replaced with stronger authentication mechanisms some day? A lot of smart people are working towards this very goal. Until a better alternative is ubiquitous, these tips should help you stay safer online.
Sanchez Art Center
63rd Annual Art Guild Members Show, Oct 29–Dec 12, 2021
The Art Guild of Pacifica is pleased to present its 63rd Annual Members Show and its 62nd Annual Awards Exhibit, at Sanchez Art Center, Oct 29–Dec 12. Really! 63 years of providing an avenue for local artists to share their works with the community.
Art Guild member works have filled the East and West Galleries, while the award winners from 2020 share an exhibition in the Main Gallery. The 62nd Annual award recipients, Alan Firestone, Misha Flores, Tanya Lin, and Sheldon Yee, were selected by DeWitt Cheng, a San Francisco–based independent curator, critic, and art writer who will also curate the 62nd Annual Awards Exhibit. The awards juror for the 63rd Annual Members Show will be Jamey Brzezinski, artist and now-retired Professor Emeritus from Merced College. The AGP artists he selects this year will exhibit in the Main Gallery in 2022.
First, we want to honor Alan Firestone, who was selected for the award is unable to participate in the exhibit due to health reasons. His enigmatic sculptural piece Argus that won this award is shown on the exhibition graphic. The title references a figure from Greek legends who was known as Argus the All-Seeing. Firestone’s work is always thought-provoking and compelling, surprising and somehow familiar at the same time. He has won numerous awards as well as grants, and has mounted many solo shows, including in NY and Montana as well as in California. A SAC studio holder and member of the community of SAC artists, Firestone is also a longtime art instructor at City College in San Francisco. Heal well, Alan.
The enchanting artwork of Misha Flores flows along the path of her individual spiritual journey. Flores enriches the concept of divinity to include the Divine Feminine, thereby creating a much-needed balance through the confluence of spirit and matter. Specimen, her award-winning painting, captures the vulnerability of being human, both spirit and flesh. As the artist says, “… embracing our divine attributes is imperative, as well as embracing the animal in all of us. I am interested in the tension between the human animal and the human spirit….When we accept our whole selves, we can come into better relationship with All Our Relations, be they other humans or the rest of the natural world.” Flores feels strongly about environmental
issues, and human and animal rights. She volunteers and donates to these causes, paints billboards for Pacific Beach Coalition events, and serves on the board of the Art Guild of Pacifica. Flores studied in Texas and California, and has exhibited widely in the Bay Area.
Tanya Lin is a former SAC studio holder and a photographer extraordinaire working primarily in black and white. After creating a large body of work using X-ray photography, Lin has now moved into the realm of augmented reality, or AR. This relatively new technology adds a mysterious digital layering experience to her photographs, as if a mist has entered the scene, an evocative spirit or meditative energy that moves on its own. Be sure to bring your smartphone or tablet to view this aspect of Lin’s photographs. Her latest works concern the indelible effects of the pandemic on all our lives, when we are “all in this together” yet must isolate for safety. Says the artist: “May this work bring pleasure, solemnity or somehow resonate with the ‘Great Adventures’ over the last almost 20 months you and yours have witnessed and endured.” With Lin’s ability to dive deep into human experience and bring emotional pearls to light, her new artworks offer much to learn from and remember.
Sheldon Yee brings a wry, sardonic wit to his work to remind us we are not always as we seem. Very much concerned with political and social realities, his enigmatic pen and ink drawings are multilayered with meaning, inviting viewers to spend time parsing the details and forming their own interpretations of the events pictured. His award-winning piece, Reward, shows some rather grotesque haloed caricatures standing behind a brick wall. Despite their halos, their hands seem to be grasping greedily, while below a crime scene is being processed, complete with chalked body outlines and EMTs. In the artist’s words, “By use of meticulous detail and complicated symbolism, I want the viewer to observe my work closely . . . to step forward, but never backward.” Yee studied art and education at University of California, Berkeley, and has taught in various organizations. He brings his graphic arts skills as a superb draftsman into his fine artwork, and we are the beneficiaries.
You can hear these award-winning artists talk about their work at our free Artist Talk, to be held in the Main Gallery on Sunday, Nov 14 at 3:30 pm.
The Art Guild of Pacifica (AGP) is a thriving community of regional artists, art lovers, and supporters. Its mission is to increase the awareness and appreciation of artists and their works. Founded in 1958 by Pacifica Postmistress, Juanita Lombardi, the Art Guild of Pacifica has always stressed art education as well as promotion of the arts. Since 1996, the AGP has found its permanent home in the Sanchez Art Center. Today with a membership of over 150 artists and supporters, the Guild continues to promote art with ongoing non-juried exhibitions, monthly artist gatherings, and its gift shop, “Shop on the Shelf” for small artworks and cards.
The AGP Shows run through December 12, with gallery hours of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, no appointment needed. Have a group you’d like to visit with during the week? Reach out and we can make a special time for your visit.
Health and safety protocols are in line with the State and San Mateo County, with face masks required for all while in the galleries. We are also leaving doors open for maximum air flow, so dress warmly. Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. For more information: info@SanchezArtCenter.org, www.SanchezArtCenter.org. To learn about and join the Art Guild of Pacifica, visit www.ArtGuildofPacifica.org.
The Art Guild of Pacifica welcomes back Winter Art Faire, its annual holiday art show and sale, at Sanchez Art Center. Beginning with a festive opening night on Friday, Dec 10, 6–9 pm, Winter Art Faire continues on Saturday, Dec 11, 11 am –5 pm.
A showcase for local artists and artisans, Winter Art Faire provides a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and is a great place to find unique items for the special people in your life, including you! There will be local artisan vendors selling jewelry, flowers, jam, cards and much more.
Artists and artisans will be on site providing time to talk with artists, including those Sanchez studio artists who open their doors during the overall event. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to spend time looking at art; all three galleries will be filled with the works of the Art Guild of Pacifica members. You will find some real treasures here, so make Winter Art Faire a gift-buying stop, and enjoy artful holidays!
|1220 Linda Mar Boulevard, Pacifica
Coast Pride Wine Tasting Fundraiser Sunday, November 7
Two seatings | 1–3 pm or 3:30–5:30 pm
Enjoy a trio of wines from BirdHorse Winery, and a coupon for tacos at the next-door Taqueria Pacifica
Consider becoming a sponsor!
Ally $250 | 2 tickets, name recognition
Supporter $500 | 2 tickets, small logo
Advocate $750 | 4 tickets, medium logo
Champion $1000 | 4 tickets, large logo
*Vaccines and masks required
Kathy and Laura Parmer-Lohan
Ocean Blue Real Estate
Sam’s Chowder House
O’Reilly Property Group
Lee Brock Realtor