Comments by Vince Williams

Grand jury says Coastside fire districts should merge and outsource services

July 11, 2006
I have been attending all of the PMFPD regular meetings and some of the HMBFPD meetings in addition to unsuccessfully running for the PMFPD Board last November. The Fire Board situation has been complex. I am impressed with the Civil Grand Jury's ability to get at the crux issues, state them succinctly and form correct conlusions. The PMFPD and HMBFPD Boards and the employees of HMBFPD have through their actions painted themselves into a corner where there are now few options. I am happy to see that…

Caltrans may end “free” right turns onto Hwy 92 for HMB commuters

May 18, 2006
Kevin J. Lansing and Mike Ferriera I was refering to the programming of traffic metering of the signal lights. Sorry, if I took the discussion off in an inapropriate direction. I saw the two CalTrans temporary signal light on trailers for four months as an adjunct component of the larger system of traffic lights that CalTrans programs as they think appropriate. Sort of like the webcam trailer next to it. That's a dubious piece of equipment some folks insisted on and a major distraction at a traffic…

Caltrans may end “free” right turns onto Hwy 92 for HMB commuters

May 18, 2006
The meeting was interesting in that on the big transportation infrastructure issue(the slide closure, duration and extent of repairs) the local politicians have all deferred to CalTrans. On all the remedial actions like signal timing we seen the beginnings of public local squabbling. But, If you watch Mr. Moghbel's responses carefully, you will see that CalTrans CONTROLS the traffic infrastructure on all the state highways on the Coastside. While our local politicians would like us to think there…

Devil’s Slide will be open in late September, says Caltrans

May 16, 2006
CalTrans has $7.5M in emergency funds to spend on playing with the slide at our road closure expense. Based on surface imagery, it's hard to understand CalTran's claim that the sliding is worse than 1995. The bulk movement of the slide from the April 2006 images appeared to be under 5 feet. Caltrans drilled two bore holes on the north and south end of the slide in April. CalTrans reported detecting movement at about 80 feet in one of the bore holes last month. Last week, CalTrans said the movement…

Caltrans will hold next public update in Pacifica on May 10 

May 09, 2006
I'm planning to go. I don't really have any interest in signs or gorilla theatre. I think the residents up there have a slightly different set of impacts than we do. I'd like to hear them. It's their meeting. Given an opportunity to speak, I intend to tell CalTrans that I shopped and got my services in Linda Mar. That the larger community has been cut off whether CalTrans realizes it or not. I empathise with the folks in Linda Mar. Then I hope to go into CalTrans's failures. CalTrans did come to…

Caltrans will hold next public update in Pacifica on May 10 

May 07, 2006
CalTrans has taken over Devil's Slide and set up a security perimeter of miles. I am clueless as to who they are accountable to. A month into it, there isn't even a plan(see the question and response at the end of the May 4 update on their website). It's stopped raining. Movement is minimal. The sensors worked in April. Nobody went over the edge in April. Nobody even bottomed out in April. According to Caltran's own statements,…

Abandoned house in Half Moon Bay catches fire

May 03, 2006
Thanks for the fast coverage. I was on Westbound 92 around 5 PM Wednesday afternoon. Engine 27 from San Mateo was in the backup ahead of me. My guess is they were moved up to the Coastside to backup the local engine companies. It's good to see the mutual aid/greater alarm is in place and working.

Caltrans padlocks road, closes trails on Slide to hikers

April 12, 2006
The message is clear, it's our way or your highway. Brain dead public relations. Didn't CalTrans learn anything from Katrina? Security of government workers is a priority over a fast response. Lot's of pictures of fallen boulders to instill fear. Finally, massive fences, closed trails and CHP security standing by.

A slippery slope:  The Devil’s Slide in 1995

April 09, 2006
The road fracture lines from 1995 appear to match up with the current fracture lines. The images from Friday show the southern slump and fracture just starting to appear in the roadway. Vince Williams

Caltrans will blast loose debris from the cliffs early next week

April 12, 2006
Dolores, I also heard *rumors* the slide would never reopen. When I asked for sources, I didn't get any. So, to me it's just a rumor. I doubt CalTrans would make a statement like that. Why eliminate the option of just delaying? They could study the geotechnical aspects, wait for it to dry out and stop sliding... They could get lucky, it stops sliding, they fill it in, repave, clean out the drains and reinstrument it and they are the big heros for not a lot of cost. This delaying is consistant with…

Caltrans will blast loose debris from the cliffs early next week

April 09, 2006
Cheri and Barry, Thanks for the great images. Anyone can tell the main fracture at the spray painted white line running in a NW direction across the whole roadway is getting worse(images 3545 through 3565). Wednesday's images indicated the area of slipage was larger than the ten or fifteen feet just south of the fractures at the white line. Images 3561 and 3562 looking south appear to indicate slumpage much further to the south of the white vehicle(not a good place to park). This may indicate the…

Devil’s slide and Shamrock Ranch slip-out are both deteriorating

April 06, 2006
Very interesting images. Good way to fact check the CalTrans spokespersons. I'm no professional, but here goes. Shamrock slump doesn't look that major. Slide images are more troubling. The images of the boulders and slumping K rail are dramatic. But, that's not the real problem. Looking first at image 3401. Slumping runs across the whole roadway. This is just not a matter of the edge of the South Bound lane slipoff. The problem is across the whole roadbed. Looking at the following photo's there are…

Fire consolidation process in progress

September 10, 2005
It's election time and readers should look beyond the self serving comments of candidates. While some progress toward consolidation has been made recently with both Boards voting their intent to consolidate, either Board can stall the application to LAFCo over any number issues or even unilaterally withdraw an application once made. Many citizens have concerns about the seriousness of the current PMFPD Board's intent to pursue consolidation, after the election. Director McShane voted to terminate…

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