Comments by Lee McKusick

I am recommending the online Khan Academy to math students

July 31, 2011
A question and a further suggestion. One observation about Kahn Academy is it enables kids to do their learning new material by lecture at night and it enables them to use class time for doing problems together. The Khan Academy type of study lends itself to a kind of reversal of the learning structure. As a teacher, does this sound plausible? You and your students will spend more time in class doing problems? And, do you think the Khan videos will help the kids who are struggling? ----------------…

Coastside County Water District rate increase proposal

May 29, 2011
For people who use 6 HCF or less of water in a two month billing period, the fixed part of the water bill called "the bimonthly base charge" becomes the dominant part of their water costs. Who are the 6 HCF and less users? The below 6 HCF group probably includes the single, the unemployed, those living 4 days a week out of the house to avoid commute costs, and home owners and investors selling or leasing a Coastside home in this very slow real estate market. My thought is, one approach is the bimonthly…

Coastside County Water District rate increase proposal

May 29, 2011
How much does each HCF of water you use cost as the amount of water you use bimonthly declines? Typical usage in a family of 3 is 9 HCF per billing period. The graph shows the cost of each unit of water increases as one ventures into the low monthly usage class. Note, the spreadsheet and graphs show costs for a two month billing interval. CCWD reads water meters on a bi-monthly basis.

Coastside County Water District rate increase proposal

May 29, 2011
Here is the URL to the spreadsheet. The website is Google Docs. I presume you can download the spreadsheet and open it in Microsoft Excel. I developed the spreadsheet using Gnumeric, which is a free and open source spreadsheet that matches Excel. The rate increase proposed is a straightforward extension of a conventional utility rate structure. The classic utility price model is a fixed cost levied on all users and a variable cost levied for each unit of the utility subject delivered. Now how might…

Supervisor candidates forum, Wednesday

April 19, 2011
The mail in ballots must arrive by May 3rd. I figure I need to mail my ballot by next Sunday April 24th. I have not found (yet) any voting endorsement from somebody who understands "Which candidate will do things that relatively benefit the Coastside?" One issue I have identified is, which candidates support and approve district election of supervisor. The present system is the whole county votes for all 5 supervisors. On this specific issue, it seems Dave Pine has the strongest position for moving…

MWSD set new water rates Thursday night

November 20, 2010
I send along a spreadsheet that shows the monthly water bill for the new proposed water rates. Check a few values to ensure I didn't make a programming error. For my family, when we had 3 teenagers and 2 adults, the water usage was 10 to 13 HCF bi-monthly (CCWD bills bimonthly). Two adults and 1 teenager plus a little garden water now show 9 HCF bi-monthly. The result of my water conservation efforts is I have done the widely recommended measures. Low flow showerheads and toilets and a water conservation…

MCC hosts Supervisor, Harbor District candidates, Weds

October 13, 2010
As I drove over to Seton Coastside Medical Center, I was puzzled "Why hold a candidates forum here?" As I listened to the candidates, I started out simply trying to identify the best qualified person. On the Supervisor candidates I wound up listening for which candidate supports election of County Supervisors by geographic Districts. Don Horsley supports putting a measure on a ballot and April Vargas supports election by Districts. Based on my observation of the City of Berkeley, I am sure election…

Montara Water Rate Hikes Unfair to Families

October 11, 2010
I suggest your discussion about water rates needs to be illustrated with some graphs. I was upset about El Granada water rates and I found it helped me a great deal to see the simple lines of a graph. Here is an Excel type spreadsheet that I developed for viewing water rates. The graph may not work on your computer because I used the Free program gnumeric but the table should work and you will see on line 1 easy values you can change to fit your situation.…

Pacifica DUI checkpoint

September 09, 2010
You have encountered a fast growing legal strategy. A series of initiatives in law enforcement over the last 30 years have resulted in cities and states discovering clever ways of making lots of money for the city-towtruck-insurancecompany-defenselawyer-policeofficer-DMV-system while claiming to the public that they are improving public safety. Criminalization of residents for financial gain based on legal technicalities. Without the expense of courts or jails. In the 80's or the 90's crack cocaine…

SamTrans proposes to cut Coastside bus service, public meeting Thurs, Aug 6

August 07, 2009
Url in the post above needs a "k" to make "uk" plus you may need to fix the line break.

SamTrans proposes to cut Coastside bus service, public meeting Thurs, Aug 6

August 07, 2009
Here is a URL to a transportation chapter in the book Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air by David MacKay. Public buses have a fairly low energy usage (per passenger mile) when compared to automobiles, provided the buses are fairly full of riders. I send my best wishes to the people facing transit service cuts. When a transit agency's budget declines, it is extremely painful for some riders. Currently I am developing a transit…

City and Chamber welcome Peet’s with official ribbon-cutting

October 22, 2007
I hope that Mr. Raman can find a new location to open another coffee shop. For locations, just to start we have: the Pillar Point shopping center and Red Ginger Restaurant. In a less practical tone, wouldn't it be nice to have a coffee shop combined with a free reading room, a kind of pretty plexiglass roofed 2 story welded iron pagoda mounted on stilts (with a mud room and bicycle parking on the bottom floor, mounted on skids and moved from beach to beach with a tractor. Something inspired by the…

County will hold community meetings on Midcoast parks

March 26, 2007
Email I received today says: The following will be the agenda for the March 29, 2007 Public Meeting at the Harbor House in Princeton: Review Town Meeting Priorities Share Matrix and ask for additional input Review Timelines and Expectations Update on Mirada Surf East

County will hold community meetings on Midcoast parks

March 25, 2007
The Mid-Coast Recreation and Parks Planning Group has the following low volume email list to announce meetings and report status of the planning process. The email list is set up by me, Lee. If you have difficulty subscribing then contact me through my member profile here on

Video Column: Right Here In The Middle

February 06, 2007
Looking forward to the next installment of your editorial. So, how does the prospect of global warming and the apparent need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions alter your vision of how the coastside will zone, build and grow? One thing I have thought is it is time to start building houses designed to last 100 years. On my house, a 1972 vintage solar water heater outlasted the roof. The whole system had to be removed because the roof was at the end of its' 20 year lifetime. The thing I wish we could…