Governor Newsom plans to close all California beaches Friday [Updated]

Posted by on Thu, April 30, 2020

Barry Parr
Montara State Beach, March 25, 2020

Update/Correction:  The closure is limited to state parks and beaches. The state has released the list of state parks and beaches that are closed, which includes only the following beaches in San Mateo County:

  • Bean Hollow SB
  • Butano SP
  • Portola Redwoods SP
  • San Gregorio SB

Governor Newsom has released a memo to California police chiefs saying that he plans to close all beaches and state parks in the state on Friday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed Friday after tens of thousands of people flocked to the seashore last weekend during a heat wave despite his stay-at-home order, according to a memo sent Wednesday evening to police chiefs around the state.

Eric Nuñez, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said it was sent to give chiefs time to plan ahead of Newsom’s expected announcement Thursday.

The order appears to be driven primarily by huge crowds of people with nothing else to do flocking to Southern California beaches during a heat wave in the last week.

Drought, early wildfires predicted for Northern California


Posted by on Sat, April 25, 2020

TK via Weather West
US Drought Monitor for California, April 21, 2020

Daniel Swain at Weather West is forecasting drought and increased likelihood of large wildfires by mid-summer and into autumn for Northern California. In contrast, Southern California benefited from heavy rainfall over the last month or so.

The Coastside is experiencing Moderate Drought Conditions, while the drought in the East and North Bay and beyond is considered Severe.

In NorCal, though, conditions could not have been more different. Exceptional and in some cases record-breaking dryness continues across the northern third of the state, as it has since last autumn, and more moderate but still anomalously dry conditions extend southward to about the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Sierra Nevada, and points northward. Recent rains were generally meager north of the Monterey Bay Area (outside of a few isolated downpours), and across much of NorCal the cumulative seasonal deficit has actually continued to grow in recent weeks. Statewide snowpack is currently around 56% of historical averages for the date–which, although quite low, actually represents a substantial improvement over the abysmally low values in February.


One consequence of this continued extreme dryness in NorCal is that the fire season will likely begin much earlier than last year (which had a pretty late start, due to a relatively wet and late spring). In addition, the NIFC is predicting a higher than average likelihood of large wildfires across NorCal by mid-summer–and I would expect that ultimately to be true into the autumn as well. SoCal may be a bit of a different story, given all the late rains and recent cool temperatures–I would not expect an exceptionally early start to the fire season down south (although hot and dry conditions this week could act to reverse some of these soil moisture gains).

Weather Monitor notes that the Drought Monitor “is not an entirely objective metric–there is subjective human input (based on reported on-the-ground impacts) that goes into making drought determinations, as well as objective indicators such as precipitation deficits and soil moisture levels.”

KNBC: Peninsula Crabber’s Business Stays Afloat Thanks to Community Support

Posted by on Wed, April 1, 2020

Channel 4 has a story on how local one crab fisherman is adapting to the closure of Pillar Point Harbor:

When Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay was closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, fishermen who sold catch from their boats were left with no buyers.

But at least one fisherman is finding a new way to do business thanks to some community support and some wheels.

Lucas Kinley is happy to still be selling his crabs, and customers are happy to buy them. These days, Kinley’s sales include delivery — something he hasn’t done in 15 years as a fisherman.

The video features a cameo by Coastsiders Cheri and Barry Parr.


Film and Live Music from Latin America by Coastside artists

Posted by on Sun, November 15, 2015

Joe Devlin
Two films about Latin America by Bay Area filmmakers

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 on 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

Posted by on Sun, September 27, 2015

National Weather Service

Sharktoberfest at the Presidio, Saturday, Oct 17

Posted by on 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: [email protected]
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

Posted by on Sat, September 12, 2015

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.

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 on 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 on 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.

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