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1998 Archive

March 18

Will we allow our ship to come in, or just wave it off?
I've figured out the perfect way to have stopped World War II in its tracks. The Coastal Commission! Local, state, and national bureaucracies! Between them they could have wrapped up the war so tight in layers upon layers of red tape that nothing would have moved.

April 15

An April headline remembered
For those of us who watched it happen, it's hard to believe it was 27 years ago.

April 22

Some adventures from Badwater to I-80
Though I'm a born Californian, and I've seen my native state from Weed to San Diego, Mount Shasta to Knott's Berry Farm, I had never until Easter 1998 been to Death Valley.

April 29

Buzzwords and more buzzwords
There are buzzwords, and then there are buzzwords. I am a member of the current Open Space Committee, which has taken more than two years to agree to some minimal corrections and changes to the original Open Space Task Force Report.

May 6

A nick of a name is the name of the game
These days, when politicians buy ideas, opinions and attitudes wholesale from focus groups and poll takers, it's hard to figure out what is genuine. Is an idea something the candidate believes in sincerely because he himself has given deep thought to the subject, or is it something he does because some expert professional told him it will give him two percent more votes? How can a candidate whose only real priority is getting elected know how he feels on gun control, abortion, etc. before he's checked out how voters feel on the same? Often what he really wants so bad he can taste it is the power and perks of the office. He'll take potluck with whatever issues will get him there. Also he needs to know if he should display himself as a pompous J. Pierpont Morgan type person, or are you more likely to vote for good old Jack Morgan?

May 13

I'm proud to be part of "the media" today
I dropped in on an ad hoc meeting of the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District the other evening in Half Moon Bay. They can't have official meetings outside district boundaries, so only a minority of the board was present, along with the p.r. man and a couple of other staffers, including district lawyer Sue Schectman of Pacifica.

June 3

Teach some geography without leaving town
I was supposed to be teaching some fourth and fifth graders at Fairmont School a bit of Pacifica history the other day. I enjoyed it. I hope they did, though I can't be sure if I did anything more than bore them stiff. I think I learned more than the kids. For one thing, the visit increased my admiration for teachers a good deal. I was there for an hour. They are there for the kids every day.

November 4

Exploring the frontiers of open space
When the Catholic Church declares someone a saint, there's generally a substantial cheering section for the newly honored church hero, as there will be when Mother Teresa of Calcutta is canonized, 10, 50, or 100 years from now.

November 18

Your role in the polls
If you want to know how important a vote is, look at Menlo Park where the latest election for the City Council has come down to a single vote. Actually three candidates are so close any of them could win the recount.

December 2

The Reactor's stamp of approval
A woman named Mary Armstrong has redeemed my faith in the post office, after it was tested not long ago.

December 23

Historical errata and such
As we close out 1998, it's time to correct a few historical errors which continue to flow out over the Internet via the Pacifica Internet Cafe. I have tried to have some of these corrected in the past, but that hasn't worked. Please correct your records, so that future historians, young and old, will not be misled.

December 30

This Millennium's second to last Artichoke Awards
Once again it's time for the annual artichoke awards, those "only in Pacifica" honors or "honors?", depending on whether they are golden or purple 'chokes. It's year 18 for this award-giving event.

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