Film and Live Music from Latin America by Coastside artists.

Joe Devlin
Two films about Latin America by Bay Area filmmakers
posted by Joe Devlin
Sun, November 15, 2015

The Coastside Film Society to screen two pre-release films about Latin America by local filmmakers. With Bonus Live Music!

Fri. Nov 20,  7:30 pm
Coastside Adult Community Ctr./Sr. Coastsiders.
925 Main Street, HMB
$7.00 adults, $4.00 students

short: A Gift for Abuelo (13 mins)
A poignant tale of a young boy who honors his grandfather on the Day of the Dead by protecting the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that nest near his home. Gail Evenari, the local filmmaker who shot this film in Mexico, will attend the screening.

Live music by Maikel Garcia & Ander Meyer
The score for our short was composed and performed by Maikel Garcia, a Cuban-born jazz saxophonist who lives now in the Bay Area. He will perform live at the screening with pianist/bassist Ander Meyer.

feature: Laser Beam of Santiago (44 mins)
A documentary shot in Santiago de Cuba by the Film Society’s own Warren Haack. The film focuses on the life and music of Sergio delis Sabouvin (the Laser Beam of Santiago) a street performer who gets away with singing protest songs in Communist Cuba because of the honesty and humor of his music.

This intimate, lively documentary follows Sabouvin in several impromptu performances and gives the audience a view into the Cuban consciousness through his music. His performances and messages exemplify the spirit of hope that glimmers as relations between Cuba and the U.S. have begun to thaw.

“The film has an infectious quality and a real-time feeling that brings this great talent to us as if we were right there with him and his audience in the streets of Santiago. Bravo Sergio!  Bravo Warren!”—Joseph McBride, film critic and historian.

More info at


A Night of Silent Horror Films in HMB

posted by Joe Devlin
Tue, October 20, 2015

On Friday, Oct 23rd, the Coastside Film Society will be hosting another one of our Silent Film Nights. Given that this screening comes the week between Pumpkin Fest and Halloween we decided to book two silent horror classics. Our Feature is a swashbuckling melodramatic retelling of a dark Victor Hugo novel first screened in 1929. The opening act is a classic NEW silent short with a similar vibe created by a talented young local film maker.

Come in costume and save a few bucks.
To encourage you to all come all decked out and make this a festive affair, we have decided to offer a $2 discount for each person who attends the screening in costume. (Our feature is set in the royal English court of 1690 and features a protagonist who acted as the model for Batman’s Joker. So powdered wigs, Phantom of the Opera costumes or Joker masks would fit right in—but you get to decide what costume is right for you.)

Live Music by Montara’s own Shauna Pickett-Gordon.
This is the seventh time that the Film Society has hired Shauna Pickett-Gordon to write a score for one of our Silent Film Nights & to play that score live on her piano during the screening. If you don’t know Shauna’s work check out excerpts from one of her earlier Film Night performances at the top of my channel.

Fri. Oct 23, 7:30 pm
Coastside Senior Housing/Senior Coastsiders
925 Main Street, Half Moon Bay
$7.00 adults, $4.00 children (Show up in costume for a $2.00 discount)

Short: The Count’s Daughter (2013 -3 mins)
This silent short is from Johnny Villar, a 22-year-old Bay Area film maker/wunderkind. Created in homage to the 1920 silent films Johnny loves, it features a unique visual style and frightfully funny over-the-top performances. Winner of the “Best Acting” award at the 2013 International Youth Silent Film Festival. Johnny will attend the screening and introduce both films and take questions about silent films after the screening.

Feature: The Man Who Laughs (1928 – 110 mins)
“One of the most exhilarating films of the late silent cinema era” Time out London

Three years in the making, with a cast of thousands “The Man Who Laughs” was one of the most ambitions and unconventional silent films of all time. Universal Pictures hired the great German Expressionist film maker Paul direct. The story is pulled from one of Victor Hugo’s best romantic novels.The result is a swashbuckling melodrama awash with deep shadows and harsh angles. A film unlike anything American audiences had ever seen before. It remains of the great romantic melodramas and a monument to the expressive power of the silent screen.

German superstar, Conrad Veidt, plays Gwynplaine, who as a child has his face carved into a perpetual grin when his noble father slights the King of England. He lives as a travelling sideshow freak along with his adopted father and the beautiful, but blind, Dea. They fall in love, but Gwynplaine refuses to marry Dea because his hideous face makes him feel unworthy. When the current Queen discovers that a Lord of the realm is living as a freak she brings him into her court as part of one of her elaborate court intrigues.

Watching the film I fell into a reverie, sometimes moved, sometimes amused, sometimes involved in a strange dreamlike way. By not alerting us with the logic of language, silent films can more easily slip us off into the shadows of fantasy. Remarkable, how a silent film like “The Man Who Laughs” can freely move from pathos to pity, from melodrama to true excitement, from cheerful horror elements to the dark stirrings of desire, from easy laughter, to something very moving. The film is more disturbing than it might have been because of Leni’s mastery of visual style.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

For more info and directions see:


NWS: Lots of high clouds will allow for filtered viewing or glimpses of tonight’s supermoon eclipse

National Weather Service
posted by Barry Parr
Sun, September 27, 2015


Sharktoberfest at the Presidio, Saturday, Oct 17

posted by Barry Parr
Thu, September 24, 2015

Shark Stewards, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary,
& Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association invite you to:


Saturday, October 17th, 11 am - 4 pm

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center
991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129

Celebrate the Annual Return of White Sharks to the Gulf of the Farallones


• Shark Science
• Shark Experts
• Shark Art
• Shark Films
• Shark Conservation
• Costume Contest
• Beer, Food, Live Music - and more!

3 pm – Come in Costume for our “Ocean Life Parade”

SPECIAL PROGRAMS ($5 a person)
Registration Required!!
Register today:
12:30 pm & 2:30 pm – “Sharkitechture”
1:30 pm – “Anatomy of a Shark Attack” 

Event information:


Region needs an improbable 190% of its usual rainfall to edge out of its drought

Percent of normal precipitation required in the upcoming water year (October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016) in order to mitigate 5-year rainfall deficits. (left) Precipitation needed to emerge from the "bottom bracket"—the 20th percentile, or lowest 20% of values, for all 5-year periods in the historical record. (right) Precipitation needed to be restored to the middle of the historical pack (50th percentile). Maps by NOAA, based on analysis of Climate Division data by Rich Tinker, NOAA Climate Pre
Maps by NOAA, based on data from the Climate Prediction Center.
Chances of possible temperature (upper map) and precipitation (lower) outcomes for December 2015-February 2016: above normal, below normal, or near normal. Above or below normal means temperatures in the upper or lower third of the range of historical temperatures. White does not mean "near normal;" it show places where the chances for above-, below-, and near-normal temperatures are equal.
posted by Barry Parr
Sat, September 12, 2015

The Bay Area needs to receive more than 190% of its typical precipitation in order to be considered out of its drought. In this case, out of the drought means out of the bottom 20% of all five-year periods in the historical record. And the odds don’t favor higher-than-nornal precipitation in northern California.

According to, “This is a ton of rain/snow.

Also, there is only a 33% to 40% chance that winter will be wetter than normal this year, because El Niño is experienced much more strongly in southern California than in the middle of the state.  The probability may be even lower than that, because the Bay Area is on the edge of that probability zone.

The jury is still out, though, on northern California. In the past, the connection between wet winters and El Niño has been less reliable in the northern part of the state than the southern part. But according to a new analysis by the NOAA Drought Task Force, the odds for a wet winter across the entire state improve the stronger the El Niño event is, and the 2015-16 event is currently forecast to remain strong through winter.

There’s a lot more information in the linked article.



First annual Half Moon Bay Fish & Fleet Festival, Sunday, Sept 27

Press Release
posted by Sabrina Brennan
Tue, September 8, 2015

Come to the first annual Half Moon Bay Fish & Fleet Festival on Sunday, Sept. 27 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Pillar Point Harbor (map).

Enjoy amazing seafood from local fishermen, craft beer, and live music—while hanging out with family and friends.

Commercial fishing is a risky business. Come meet local fishermen and learn about their historic profession. Let’s celebrate small-scale sustainable wild fisheries and the fleet’s teamwork as they navigate this highly regulated industry.

The festival is organized by the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association. This commercial fishermen’s collective is working to support the industry and the community. They are based out of Pillar Point Harbor, and represent producers of all gear types and all local target species.

Support local fishermen and their families, and buy fresh seafood from Pillar Point Harbor.


Animation Compares 1997 vs. 2015 El Niños Side-by-Side

posted by Barry Parr
Mon, September 7, 2015

The California Climate Blog has a great video comparing this year’s El Niño to 1997’s:

Those similarities and differences matter because they can affect how an El Niño’s typical impacts on global weather — from drought to deluges — shape up, the reason it receives such rapt attention. ...

“I was a little shocked just how closely 2015 resembles 1997 visually,” Rehme said in a statement.

But as any El Niño researcher will tell you, no two El Niño events are alike, and the impacts from this one aren’t guaranteed to be just like 1997-1998.

The most obvious difference between this year and that event, clearly visible in the animation, is the “blob” of warm water off the west coast of North America, a symptom of the relentless high pressure pattern that has kept the West hot and dry over much of the last few years and led to the deep drought in California.

Right now, it is unclear how this warm patch will interact with the typical El Niño impacts (which aren’t guaranteed to materialize). That warmth could mean that any storms that hit drop more rain instead of much-needed snow that could help replenish depleted reservoirs.


We Corner People - A documentary about building a bridge in Nepal, Friday, Sept 11

Press Release
posted by Joe Devlin
Mon, September 7, 2015

The Half Moon Bay Film Society presents We Corner People, a documentary about building a bridge in Nepal.

Near Nepal’s border with China sits a small village that is breathtakingly beautiful, but oh so isolated. The inhabitants call themselves the “Corner People”, living as they do with their backs up against a mountain without benefit of electricity, roads, a doctor’s office, or even a single store. They are proud of their 3-room school, but that just goes up to 3rd grade. The nearest town with a store, customers to sell their bamboo weavings to, or a school for older children is a 4-hour, round-trip hike away.

The path to the stores and customers crosses a river that can be easily leapt in a single bound during the dry season but grows to a raging torrent during monsoon season. Everyone in town mourns the loss of at least one individual who slipped and drowned while attempting to cross the angry river.

Now the local government has raised the money to build a bridge over the river and sent supplies and an engineer to supervise the construction. No power tools have been provided to string the heavy metal cables across the river gorge or to lay deep bridge foundations. Large gangs of locals must work together in harmony to do this hard work.

“This subtle, multi-dimensional film tells the story of a bridge, not as a monumental or heroic achievement of development, but as an event that occurs within a local social history… The portrait is holistic ….a story of a participatory development, told entirely without romance, false egalitarianism, or teleological overtones.” Dr. Stacy Pigg, Simon Fraser University

Friday, Sept 11 @ 7:30
Coastside Sr. Housing/Sr. Coastsiders
925 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA
Donation $5.00 adults— $3:00 for kids —Donations for Nepalese earthquake victims will also be collected


Letter: LED Lights update - Please attend and speak up at MCC, Weds, Sept 9

Useful light and light pollution from a typical pole-mounted outdoor luminaire. Note the glare zone beyond the zone of useful light.
posted by Deborah Lardie
Mon, September 7, 2015

The LED lights project for the Coastside is still in process and will be discussed at the MCC meeting next Wednesday.  While the county seems to be leaning towards the amber colored lights they have not agreed to diffusing covers or shields to prevent overflow to adjacent homes and yards.  The proposed solution for the overflow and glare into homes and yards is to hand manufacture and install shields after the fact, when requested,  despite availability for factory installation.  There will be no diffusing covers to soften the glare.

A couple of MCC members support the existing lights. Others do not.  Many comments and letters to Don Horsley or on the county comment web page have stated that the existing lights are too bright and glaring.  They are noticeably emitting more glare than the existing lights due to the lack of covers.  The MCC has informally requested a dimmer sample light be put up and considered as a mitigation for the glare.  The county has not responded to this request.  The MCC will be discussing a formal letter on this issue.

The County is claiming there is little public interest in this issue.  Despite the request for public input,  letters to DH have not been acknowledged by his office and there is no way of knowing they were received or read.  I received no reply to a long letter I sent early this year until I inquired weeks later.  While comments made on the County website are on the mcc website, there has been no comprehensive gathering of all public comment.  I know several people who wrote directly to Supervisor Horsley and did not comment on the county webpage which required a multistep registration and was problematic.

To influence this decision It is critical that we have speakers at the MCC meeting next week at the GSD office.  Please come and speak up for dark sky and soft light in our rural community.  I personally have a light next to my home and yard that will pollute my night sky views unless it has a shield. The current fixture has a bulb that directs the light away from the property.  Anyone else near a fixture will be impacted by this.  Also while the County asked for public input,  the numerous complaints about the glare have not responded to with an effective solution.

Please let me know if you have any questions and whether you will be at the meeting.

Deborah Lardie


NASA says west coast sea levels could be poised to rise

posted by Barry Parr
Fri, August 28, 2015

KQED reports that the west coast has gotten off easy on sea level rise so far, but that may be about to change.

“In the next five or ten years, I think the west coast of the United States is going to catch up,” says Josh Willis, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. He says a major ocean phase known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in the midst of a big shift.

For about the past two decades, the PDO, which Willis describes as “El Niño’s bigger, slower, brother,” was “piling up” warmer water on the far side of the ocean, exacerbating sea rise there. When water warms, it expands.

“So we’ve actually seen a slight drop in sea levels off of our coastline because of the rearrangement of heat within the oceans,” Willis explains.

That rearrangement could mean an acceleration in the rate that seas rise long the West Coast, eventually overtaking the pace of sea level rise on the East Coast and elsewhere.



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