Monthly Archives: December 2009

Pacifica cliff no longer in emergency state (soil nails)

Wednesday December 30, 2009

  • ABC7 KGO-TV Focus of Pacifica cliff repair shifts to second phase. Great story, knits together the end of the emergency phase one repairs and the plans for phase two work to reinforce the top of the cliff.
    • “330 is pretty much completed. Coastal Commission came down and looked at it. We’re going to tune it up a little bit per their requirements,” said engineer Tony Fortunato. The engineers are reviewing several methods for stabilizing the still-eroding top of the cliff. The one they will probably go with is called a “Soil Nailing System.” The City of Pacifica still has to approve the use of a horizontal steel rod system and engineers have to pre-determine precisely what angle to insert them to hold the soil together. If permits are fast-tracked the work could begin in a couple days.
  • SF Examiner, Pacifica cliff no longer in emergency state. According to Tony Fortunato, superintendent at Engineered Soil Repairs Inc., the company hired to put the boulders in place, “The upper bluff is falling as well,” Fortunato said. “We have to fix that somehow.” He said the crews have been considering inserting soil nails, or large metal rods, into the cliff to stabilize it, but said he doesn’t know how long that process would take.
    Perhaps the quote from yesterday’s KGO-TV story was in error when it referred to using metal plates or sheets at the top of the cliff.
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Bill Slowsky’s Career Advice

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

All I’m saying is, going to university might give you some other skills you can fall back on, just in case you DON’T get chosen to be a mutant ninja.

The Slowskys – Hide And Seek

[youtube embed= width=425 height=344]

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Weather and waves hamper cliffside progress

Tuesday December 29, 2009

  • This KGO-TV story from last night, Weather and waves hamper cliffside progress, included a number of nuggets:

    • On December 18th, the day after the cliff collapse that triggered residents’ evacuation, a helicopter cameraman showed a minimum of 6 feet of bluff-top remaining behind 330 Esplanade. A similar view 10 days later (yesterday / Monday) showed that the bluff had dropped entirely away behind more than 30 feet of the building.
    • The sand surface of the rock road is rebuilt in order for metal-tracked vehicles to be able to use it. I got a close up view of the tough little Marooka dump truck (see it on Flickr) they’re using to haul sand and rock, and it does indeed have rubber tracks.
    • And this quote provided hope that the building may be saved for a while longer, at least:
      At the top of the bluff, crews are planning to embed sheets of steel that will allow them to rebuild at least some of the cliff that is lost — the most critical section right at the base of the patio at 330 Esplanade.
  • Thanks to Pacifica Riptide for a good picture of the cliff behind 330 Esplanade showing sheer drop behind the building. The loss of all of the remaining bluff above the cliff puts the building in grave danger while at the same time greatly increasing the cost of remediation. A sea wall could still be built but now it would have to be much taller. Possibly more complex, too – don’t know.

    Photo by Lionel Emde via Pacifica Riptide
    December 28, 2009: threatened Esplanade Avenue apartment building, revealing new loss of land at the top of the bluff. See the Pacifica Riptide post Sisyphean Task: Pushing Pebbles into the Pacific for a photo essay documenting the painstaking process of lifting rock to the cliff base. The author of the essay scoffs at the effort of moving rock this way, ridiculing in a knowing way that the effort is futile. Good images. I had a minor quibble with the text though – struck me as cliched and mean-spirited.

  • I grow more convinced day by day that it’s just a matter of time, as quickly as a few months, and the building will be demolished.
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Covering the rock road with sand – Image Gallery

NOTE: This post is part of my coverage of the cliff erosion and collapse at 330 Esplanade Ave, Pacifica. For a complete chronology and links to many photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade.

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Officers’ Quarters.

via CALIBER Officers’ Quarters.

From one of my favorite San Francisco photo locations. See my set on Flickr: Fort Point, San Francisco

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Marshall Ramsey

Cartoons and blog

Editorial cartoonist at the Clarion Ledger of Mississippi

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Work Continues Behind 330 Esplanade

Sunday December 27, 2009

  • 3:50 PM Crews pile rocks to try to save Pacifica cliff. From the article:
    “We’ll be here all week,” Fortunato said. “We’re in pretty good shape now, but we got pounded pretty heavily yesterday,” he said of high surf and powerful waves that slowed down the work Saturday. He said that on Monday they will begin using the crane again to hoist the rocks over the apartment buildings to the base of the cliff.
  • 3:40 PM – ABC 7 report. Highlight was the excavator working on the sand and backing down the beach into the surf. Tony Fortunato said work was “hammered” by weather and waves yesterday but didn’t say that really all they’re doing today is rebuilding the road washed out overnight, Crews continue moving rocks to Pacifica cliff.
  • 3:00 PM – No crane operations today, not sure why. A lot of activity over at Chit Chat at Manor. Load after load of rock trucked in and stacked into an impressive mountain. A tracked dump truck made numerous runs down the new road with sand before switching to rock. Looking at the road from next to 330 we don’t see any activity yet. Looks like they’re rebuilding the road. I do mean rebuilding because it was done and smooth last night. (I have pictures of it that I hope to post later or first thing Monday.)
  • 9:00 AM – sunny, pretty impressive surf, quiet. The sand surface of the road down on the beach is GONE. Rock is still there of course, but only something fairly agile will be able to cross to the base of 330. The crane and machines aren’t running up on Esplanade this morning. Perhaps they’re waiting for the tide to recede?
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Man From Mars, Stanislaw Lem

Stanislaw Lem from “Man from Mars”, translated from the Polish by Peter Swirski

The street sizzled. The clatter of skytrains, the car horns, the rattle of speeding trolleys, the twitter of traffic lights and the massive hubbub of human voices, all seethed in dark blue air, sliced into smithereens by columns of light of all colors and shades. Like giant serpents, endless throngs poured this way and that, filling sidewalks to capacity, lit up by square shop windows and by house lights sinking into the twilight. Freshly watered asphalt hissed under hundreds of car tires. Slithery black and silver bodies of elongated vehicles flitted by, one after another.

Without aim or thought I kept walking, a small indivisible particle pressed into the crowd, letting it carry me like a cork buoyed by waves.

The street breathed, murmured and rumbled, drenching me with cascades of lights and wafts of women’s heavy perfumes, sometimes with the acrid sharp smoke of southern cigarettes, other times with the choking sweetness of opium-laced cigars. Neon letters of dimming and illuminating advertisements scampered frenetically up the fronts of buildings, fountains swooshed upward, wisps of flares and fireworks flickered madly, showering the heads in the crowd with their dying glints.

I walked past gigantic portals shimmering with light, past dark storefronts, past sky-high columns of unfamiliar edifices, wedged into the mobile, multilingual mass of people engaged in a perpetual conversation, and yet more alone than on a desert island. Hands in pockets, mechanically I jingled a couple of nickels, my entire fortune.

See the rest at Words Without Borders  — The online magazine for international literature

WWB: From Man from Mars by Stanislaw Lem, translated from the Polish by Peter Swirski.

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Merry Christmas, Not a Holiday, Wishes

Friday December 25, 2009

  • Work with the crane on Esplanade got started bright and early, 7:00. We can’t see the water’s edge from here, so I can’t tell if the trucks are carrying rock down on the new beach road.
  • Latest speculation / wishful thinking heard in the neighborhood: move the building back towards the street.
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Thank your parents for both.

Indexed Thank your parents for both..

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Official NORAD Santa Tracker

NORAD Santa Tracker Thumbnail

Official NORAD Santa Tracker.

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