Monthly Archives: February 2010

Study Session Bluff Erosion North of Manor Drive Pacifica

Study Session Bluff Erosion North of Manor Drive Pacifica
Departments – City Manager/City Clerk
Location: City Council Chambers

Date: 2/10/2010
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

UPDATE2: I attended and will try get something written up later today. UPDATE: The session is open to the public and will be held at 2212 Beach Blvd, second floor
(I DO NOT know if this session is open to the public.)

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Federation Fleet Chart

Federation Fleet Chart by Bernd Schneider, from Shopped Sci Fi

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Podcast Infinite Recursion FAIL (Video)

Live webcast fail:

via Boing Boing

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Emergency Permits Approved for 320, 330 and 360 Esplanade

The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to meet tomorrow, February 10 2010. The situation on Esplanade Ave in Pacifica is addressed in the Emergency Permits section of the North Central Coast District Deputy Director’s Report. Emergency Permits for 320 and 330 Esplanade have already been approved, and so has a somewhat surprising one for 360 Esplanade. I see no mention of any kind for Lands End or the dog park in front of it, nor for the Pacific View Villas condo complex on Palmetto Ave. (California Coastal Commission, Current meeting – changes monthly, Live stream of meeting)

Approval for Emergency Permit No. 2-10-004-G was granted on February 3, 2010 for Farshid Samsami (Owner, 330 Esplanade) and Millard Tong (Owner, 320 Esplanade). Approval for Emergency Permit No. 2-10-006-G was granted on February 8, 2010 for AIMCO Esplanade Apartments, LLC (Owner, 360 Esplanade).

Here is an excerpt of the Emergency Permits summary from the Deputy Director’s Report:

REPORT OF EMERGENCY PERMITS

The Executive Director has determined that the following developments do not require a coastal development permit pursuant to Section 13142 of the California Code of Regulations because the development is necessary to protect life and public property or to maintain public services.

APPLICANT

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

PROJECT LOCATION

2-10-004-G
Farshid Samsami
Millard Tong

Installation of a soil nail wall along the upper bluff
consisting of (1) 11 rows of soil nails at a depth of 45
to 50 feet, (2) two layers of shotcrete facing,
including an initial support layer up to 6 inches thick
and fiber reinforced, and a structural layer up to 8
inches thick reinforced with epoxy coasted wire
mesh, and (3) strips of drainage panels on the
exposed face of the bluff to provide drainage behind
the shotcrete facing

320 & 330 Esplanade Ave, Pacifica (San Mateo
County)

2-10-006-G
Aimco, Esplanade Avenue
Apartment, Llc, Ann: Sean
Finnegan

Installation of a soil nail wall along an approximately
40-foot long section of the upper bluff consisting of
(1) approximately 30-foot-long soil nails placed at 5-
foot vertical intervals in both the vertical and
horizontal direction, (2) a facing element such as
shotcrete with wire mesh reinforccment, and (3)
drainage panels behind the wall facing.

360 Esplanade Ave., Pacifica (San Mateo County)

You can download the February 2010 North Central Coast District Deputy Director’s Report from the California Coastal Commission website here (PDF, 8.4 MB). The full report is huge, so I created a much smaller version with only the pages related to Esplanade, and you can download it here: North Central Coast District Deputy Director’s Report, February 2010.

I’ve also generated a text-only version of the Esplanade related pages. Note that limitations in the technology involved resulted in typos and a near-complete loss of formatting. You can see that by clicking the MORE link below.

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade.
http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

[…]

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Volunteering on the rise: September 2008-September 2009

Both the number of volunteers and the volunteer rate rose over the year ended in September 2009. About 63.4 million people, or 26.8 percent of the population, volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2008 and September 2009. In 2008, the volunteer rate was 26.4 percent.

The volunteer rate of women increased from 29.4 percent in 2008 to 30.1 percent in 2009, while the volunteer rate for men, at 23.3 percent, was essentially unchanged.

In 2009, the main organization—the organization for which the volunteer worked the most hours during the year—was most frequently religious (34.0 percent of all volunteers), followed by educational or youth service related (26.1 percent). Another 13.9 percent of volunteers performed activities mainly for social or community service organizations.

These data were collected through a supplement to the September 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS). For a variety of information on volunteering, see “Volunteering in the United States—2009,” (PDF) (HTML) news release, USDL 10-0097.

A Look Into the Data

By age, 35- to 44-year olds and 45- to 54-year olds were the most likely to volunteer. Their volunteer rates were 31.5 percent and 30.8 percent, respec- tively, in 2009. Volunteer rates were lowest among persons in their early twen- ties (18.8 percent) and those age 65 and over (23.9 percent).

Among the major race and ethnicity groups, whites continued to volunteer at a higher rate (28.3 percent) than did blacks (20.2 percent), Asians (19.0 per- cent), and Hispanics (14.7 percent). Of these groups, the volunteer rate of blacks and whites rose in 2009. Among blacks it rose by 1.1 percentage points, driven by an increase in the volunteer rate of black women.

Volunteer rates were higher among married persons (32.3 percent) than those who had never married (20.6 percent) and those with other marital statuses (21.5 percent). Parents with children under age 18 were substantially more likely to volunteer than were persons without children under 18 years of age, 34.4 per- cent compared with 23.9 percent.

Individuals with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to volunteer than were those with less education. Among persons age 25 and over, 42.8 percent of college graduates volunteered, compared with 18.8 percent of high school graduates and 8.6 percent of those with less than a high school diploma.

Credits

See the original article from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Volunteering on the rise: September 2008-September 2009.

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California Brown Pelicans Sick and Dying

Winter stormy weather takes a toll on wildlife, too. The ultimate coastal flyer, the California Brown Pelican, has been hit hard by the recent prolonged heavy rains, flooding and pollution from run-off. All of which are taking their toll on Brown Pelicans as seabird specialists, The International Bird Rescue Research Center, treat as many of these cold, wet wildlife casualties at both California seabird rescue clinics.

From The International Bird Rescue Research Center blog:

To date, International Bird Rescue Research Center has admitted a staggering 310 California Brown Pelicans since January 1st, and they just keep coming. Our Los Angeles center has around 140 pelicans currently in care while our San Francisco Bay center has around 65. Thanks to our amazing volunteers we are managing to keep our heads above water, although the high numbers of birds are resulting in long hours, which always take their toll on everyone.

It has most definitely been raining pelicans. Let’s hope for a break in the clouds soon.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center urgently needs donations.

via Pacifica Riptide California Brown Pelicans Sick and Dying.

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Esplanade Update – Sunday February 7, 2010

Crews have been hard at work behind 330 Esplanade, but much of the activities surrounding Esplanade Ave have been less visible. This week:

  1. Work anticipated for dog park and Lands End
  2. Work continued behind 330 Esplanade
  3. No certainty that Pacifica will allow people back into 330 Esplanade
  4. Subsidies for work sought… so far unsuccessfully
  5. Waited for decision regarding 320 Esplanade
  6. Coastal Commission $1 million fine mentioned Feb 1, 2010

Details:

1. Work anticipated for dog park and Lands End

In a January 31 story from the San Francisco Examiner: Chances of saving Pacifica apartment building increasing Tony Fortunato said that his company’s next project will likely be to save and repair…a public access point down the road from the Esplanade Avenue apartments where pounding waves are also causing erosion.

While the focus has largely been on the public access point, a grassy “dog park”, erosion has also cut into the bluff enough that residents of nearby Lands End apartments Building 112 are feeling threatened.

Before new work can begin the Coastal Commission will have to give its approval. It was my impression that the owners of Lands End may already have a permit application before the Coastal Commission for rock rip rap. Perhaps I was mistaken, or perhaps we’re still waiting for that approval. Time will tell.

2. Work continued behind 330 Esplanade

Crews continued to drill and cement 50′ rods into the bluff under 330 Esplanade. Work started at the top of the bluff in order to secure the most vulnerable part of the face first, and to make it safe enough to work lower down. As workers set each rod they cap it with a small square steel plate and spray a thin layer of cement onto the bluff all around it. At some point they will start construction of a full-height steel wall to provide more substantial support and protection to the bluff. The interior of the wall will be filled with cement, and the exterior will be coated with textured and colored cement made to resemble rock. The result should resemble the retaining walls along Route 92, etc. The project may conclude with a sea-wall of some sort at the base of the bluff.

3. No certainty that Pacifica will allow people back into 330 Esplanade

Doug Rider, Pacifica’s Chief Building Official, had been reported to say that his office would not automatically allow people to return to 330 Esplanade. His criteria for evaluating the building were not spelled out but apparently included occupant safety, earthquake security, and groundwater management. Residents I spoke with said that the prospect of a 60 foot vertical drop beneath their back patio or deck would seem unsafe. However, residents of San Francisco high-rise condos seem to like it.

4. Subsidies for work sought… so far unsuccessfully

Until now the owners of the buildings along Esplanade Ave have paid for all of the work that’s being done to save their property. The rock rip rap wall that was laid at the base of the cliff behind 330 Esplanade shortly after the initial bluff collapse on December 27th was estimated to have cost $200K to $400K. This rock was later extended to provide urgently needed protection for 320 and 310 Esplanade. The projected cost of the work on the bluff below 330 Esplanade has been estimated between $2 and $4 million.

Owners approached Pacifica for help and were rejected: nothing from the City except for critical infrastructure, not for private property. FEMA also rejected their request: a long-eroding coastal area is a pre-existing condition, not an emergency. The county and state have not rejected a request outright, but the current fiscal crisis makes it seem unlikely they have money to spare. The latest idea: get Federal stimulus money.

5. Waited for decision regarding 320 Esplanade

At this point we do not know of plans to extend the bluff remediation project to 320 Esplanade. While I do not know the reasons for this I speculated about it a bit in my post Clock is Ticking for 320 Esplanade. In addition to what I had written I’ll add that a permit for this work is already waiting before the Coastal Commission for a decision. The Commission had previously granted a permit for the rock rip rap, but nothing further. (See my post April 2009 Coastal Commission Permit Approval for Rip Rap)

I have heard it reported that the earliest the coastal commission can vote to decide if it will grant needed permits is March, but I don’t have a reference for that just now.

Note that back on December 19th and 21st I reported that 330 Esplanade would have been evacuated before crane operations could commence, even if the building had been otherwise safe. If the crane should fail or fall for some reason, it would cut the building in two. This happened in Santa Rosa back on November 18th, 2009: ABC (KGO 7) report 50-ton crane slams into Santa Rosa home.

6. Coastal Commission $1 million fine mentioned Feb 1, 2010

A $1 million fine for modifications to the coastal area without permission was mentioned in the KRON-TV 4 piece New Concerns Emerge About Cliff Behind Pacifica Apartments on Feb 1, 2010. (Note that links to stories on KRON.COM rapidly go bad. Some problem with their site…too bad.) I have not heard any more about this.

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade.
http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

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Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buffalo

“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” is a grammatically correct sentence used as an example of how homonyms  and homophones  can be used to create complicated constructs.

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

via The Awl, Elements of Stale: Having Had Been Buffaloed.

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Carly Fiorina DEMON SHEEP, The Pink Floyd Remix

In case you missed it, there’s a freaky internet political ad that’s gone viral that features a DEMON SHEEP. It was done for (to?) the Carly Fiorina Senate campaign, and attacked her republican primary rival, Tom Campbell. The other candidate in the three-way GOP primary race, Chuck DeVore, has been making hay with the brouhaha.

What’s freaky about it? Well at the 2:26 point in the video, the fellow in the picture associated with this post makes his appearance. Yes, it’s that weird. (So the video is on the long side, but it’s worth it for the juxtaposition of happy sheep, scary red-eyed rug wearing guys, and clip-art people.)

I laughed when I first saw it and decided to forget it, but then today Andrew Sullivan in the The Pink Floyd Remix linked to this mash up, where the sound track had been brilliantly replaced with Pink Floyd’s Sheep:

(I’m terrible at understanding lyrics, so I copied the lyrics to Sheep at the end of this post.)

According to the Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert politics blog, AM Alert: Demon sheep:

The longish Web ad depicts fiscal conservatives as sheep — now there’s an interesting choice for the ad’s story line — and paints Campbell as a bad sheep menacing the good fiscal-conservative sheep as they munch away in a meadow.

Here’s the original ad:

Chuck DeVore unleashed a funny “let’s make the campaign be about the issues” repsonse at the newly created demonsheep.org web site. Demonsheep.org is the home of the “Society for the Eradication of Demon Sheep from our Political Discourse” (S.F.T.E.O.D.S.F.O.P.D.). Pretty predictable, I thought, until I saw the website’s mascot:

(A play on the classic meme All your base are belong to us, Wikipedia.)

Sheep, Pink Floyd:

Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away;
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.
You better watch out,
There may be dogs about
I’ve looked over Jordan, and I have seen
Things are not what they seem.

What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real.
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel.
What a surprise!
A look of terminal shock in your eyes.
Now things are really what they seem.
No, this is no bad dream.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by.
With bright knives He releaseth my soul.
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places.
He converteth me to lamb cutlets,
For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger.
When cometh the day we lowly ones,
Through quiet reflection, and great dedication
Master the art of karate,
Lo, we shall rise up,
And then we’ll make the bugger’s eyes water.

Bleating and babbling I fell on his neck with a scream.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead!
You better stay home
And do as you’re told.
Get out of the road if you want to grow old.

(This is a post from my blog Adequate Bird. You can see the original post here: Carly Fiorina DEMON SHEEP, The Pink Floyd Remix.)

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POST

POST

CALIBER, Stuart Dixon: POST.

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Demand Question Time: Sign the Petition

From Demand Question Time:

We live in a world that increasingly demands more dialogue than monologue. President Obama’s January 29th question-and-answer session with Republican leaders gave the public a remarkable window into the state of our union and governing process. It was riveting and educational. The exchanges were substantive, civil and candid. And in a rare break from our modern politics, sharp differences between elected leaders were on full public display without rancor or ridicule.

Here’s a cause I think everyone concerned about the state of politics an policy in our country can get behind. Read the excerpt below, visit the site, watch the movie. Decide for yourself and if you agree that we need civil debate and “sunlight”, join me and Sign the Petition! (“Sunlight is the best disinfectant” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, referring to the benefits of openness and transparency.)

See Demand Question Time for more details and a list of the petition’s backers…. from both political parties.

The President takes questions from Republican members of the House of Representatives at the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore, MD. January 29, 2010:

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Wait Wait Don’t Eat Me

Summary:

“We’re going to be cutting our show a little short today, because, as you may have heard, there’s an apocalypse happening! But we didn’t let the election of Barack Obama stop us, and we’re not going to let the zombie hordes stop us either.”

CARL: From NPR and Chicago Public Radio, this is Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the NPR news quiz. I’m Carl Kasell, and here’s your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago: Peter Sagal!

PETER: Thanks, Carl! Hello, everyone! We’re going to be cutting our show a little short today, because, as you may have heard, there’s an apocalypse happening! But we didn’t let the election of Barack Obama stop us, and we’re not going to let the zombie hordes stop us either. After the show today, myself, Carl, and the panelists will be taking our families to the secret underground NPR bunker, and no, you can’t come. I bet you wish you’d donated more during that last pledge drive!

PAULA: Sure, rub it in.

MO: The mug with the NPR logo was just too appealing.

PETER: To play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That’s 1-888-924-8924. Our first and only listener-contestant is on the line. What’s your name?

ZOMBIE: Brains?

PETER: Actually, according to my card here, your name is Steve Ryerson, from right here in Chicago! Steve is, or I should say was, an investment banker, and we all know they were the first to be targeted and converted into mindless zombies.

TOM: You mean they weren’t before?

MO: It explains a lot about the financial collapse.

PETER: Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning, Mo Rocca!

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.

.

PETER: Steve, we feel bad for you, and the zombie hordes are beginning to break down the doors, so we’re going to give you a bonus question. If you get this, you win the game. This is our Listener Limerick Challenge, where you have to fill in the last word or phrase to complete the rhyme.

CARL: This problem is causing us pain // Though zombies we try to restrain // They’re swarming in hordes // And knocking down doors // They just want to eat all our…

STEVE: Uh…

PAULA: Come on, Steve!

MO: You can do it!

STEVE: …

PETER: Rhymes with pain and restrain? Maybe with an “S” on the end?

STEVE: Brains?

PETER: Yes! Brains! You’ve won our prize, Carl Kasell’s voice on your home answering machine.

STEVE: Brains!

PETER: You said it, Steve. Thanks for calling. Support for this show is now a moot point. Look for us in the new underground cave system, where we will be mocking whatever new system of government is set up. We look forward to the inevitable day when Silvio Berlusconi tries to trade half of Italy’s food supply for a dog-eared copy of the April 2006 issue of Playboy magazine.

MO: He can have my back issues of National Geographic for some canned soup.

PETER: Thanks to our panelists, and thanks to you for listening. And to the zombies, thank you for having the good taste not to eat us while we were doing the show. This is NPR, National Public Radio.

Wait Wait Don’t Eat Me – Nestra – RPF – National Public Radio [Archive of Our Own].

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