Comments by Darin Boville

Is the HMB police budget out of line?

August 06, 2007
Hi Dennis, Thanks for your comment. I am the author of the graphs and would like to make a brief comment. You label my charts "simplistic" and I'd have to agree. If you go over to Montara Fog ( where I originally published these charts you'll see that the headline is "First Approximation" and that the first paragraph reads: "When I was in grad school my professors, mostly economists and policy wonk types, loved to use the phrase "first approximation." First approximation this,…

Video: Caltrans geologist explains Devil’s Slide

July 26, 2007
I don't want to set myself up here as the defender of Caltrans but what I'm seeing described here doesn't match what I saw at the time. You'd get the impression from some posts that Caltrans is some monolithic organization with a central brain guiding its minions to deceive the public and accomplish its nefarious goals. I've worked in large government organizations and once-upon-a-time studied government organizations and let me tell you, heads of agencies would *love* to have anything approaching…

Video: A visit to the mysterious, forbidden Farallon Islands

July 11, 2007
Hi Suzy, I'm glad you like the film. I should warn viewers--especially if you watch it on a big screen--you'll need to wear one of those wristbands! The actual ride was much rougher than depicted--I worked hard to even out the bounces, shot only in smoother spots, etc. I didn't show it but people were often knocked to the deck on the really big plunges. After an especially big swell the bow of the boat would crash down through the air and smack into the next swell. Whew! I don't know who had the…

Letter: House exceeds height limit in Montara

July 09, 2007
Hi Linda, You asked about a photo from the second story. I did not take a photo there because Mr. Nelson, who was with me, was a little nervous about having a photo shot of his neighbor's backyard, windows, etc. Given the privacy controversy I could see how not only looking into the yard but letting strangers photograph it might be seen as fuel to the fire! However, I did carefully observe the view of the yard and house from the second story windows and what I saw was this. While standing I could…

Letter: House exceeds height limit in Montara

July 07, 2007
Ceilia and others, While I too am worried about developers ruining the coastside and am willing to spend money and time to make sure the law is followed, I'm not sure that the issues with this house are being characterized fairly. For example, several descriptions in this thread, including yours, describe the house as if it is on it's own little hill. But that's not quite right. The house at 1050 Acacia is level with it neighbor to the right. True, the ground at 1050 is higher than the neighbors…

Graphic language

June 19, 2007
What a great way to depict the HMB local political scene--with Debra Godshall leading the way it all seems a little cartoonish! --Darin

When did the minimum become sufficient?

June 15, 2007
"This is my story, and I am sticking to it, unless, of course, “Coffee with Marina” is in the production stages…" It's in the pre-production stages, in fact. Hoping to roll tape this summer. --Darin (video producer of the "Coffee with..." series)

Darin’s Monday Photo: Erosion

May 09, 2007
Hey Joel, Glad you liked the shot. I'm not exactly sure where I shot this--I remember the trip--beach hopping down the coast one day. I believe this was shot after an aborted hike across the street from Pescadero Beach (we call it the "Poison Oak Hike") toward the en dof the day...but maybe not! --Darin

Neil Merrilees: Right Here In the Middle

May 05, 2007
In the version of the rumor I heard--again, this is all I am basing this on--Nerhan had plans approved for the current development ten years ago. But as times changed and as he wanted to build somethiing smaller it was impossible to make the changes without going through the whole process again--and putting his entire investment at risk. Is that true--that a builder who has approval to build structure "A" can't negotiate to build a smaller structure in an economically feasible manner? If true it…

Neil Merrilees: Right Here In the Middle

May 05, 2007
Hi Kevin, I think your example of Keet Nerhan's development might be instructive. The "scuttlebut" that I heard--I know nothing beyond this--is that Keet was willing and interested in building a smaller, less imposing development but that since he already had the plans for the present structure approved it was too risky/too difficult to go back and make the changes. If that is true then we have another example of the zoning rules requiring structures that are not in the best interests of the developers,…

Video:  Design Review Committee rejects two houses on Birch Street in Montara

April 30, 2007
Sorry, Joel, the joke about Montana was maybe a little obscure. A few months back some folks from southern California pretended (for pay) to be from Pacifica for the purposes of promoting online their paymaster's development in Pacifica. I believe they kept getting "Montara" and "Montana" mixed up. Something like that... See, in Montara even the jokes are about development! --Darin

Video:  Design Review Committee rejects two houses on Birch Street in Montara

April 25, 2007
Ahem. "Montara." But welcome--I think I'm your neighbor if I know which house you are talking about--I'm exactly one block away in a straight line, on Birch. --Darin

Coastside fights global warming with a Montara beach party

April 12, 2007
A small correction, Ken: The book "The Weather Makers" is by Tim Flannery. I know this because, due to your post, I just ordered the book from Amazon. Timothy Ferris is, of course, an excellent writer on astronomy. Thanks for the book suggestion... --Darin

HMB Fire District outlines shortcomings of referendum petitions

March 20, 2007
Brent, Try as I might to get up to speed on the HMBFD issues I always feel I'm walking in in the middle of a conversation. I wonder if you'd mind doing this for the sake of illuminating this debate: Could you make a (factual!) list of all the major grievences that the line firefighters have with the management/Board to give people like me a sort of starting point. For example, you talk about standing up to poor and corrupt management practices I feel I don't know enough detail. I don't need pagaes…

Letter: Workshop Monday night for proposed subdivision near Farallone View

March 17, 2007
I love the idea. Humans as a species need to be more a part of the evolutionary selection process. Turning that four-way intersection just as you approach the school--already getting dangerous for those kids who walk to school--into a FIVE-way is a stroke of genius! Think of all those drivers, turning aggressive under the pressure to get their kids to school on time. Think of them as they turn aggressive trying to get out of the snarl, turning down Third or now Second as they can, to get to work…

What’s wrong with downtown Half Moon Bay?

March 15, 2007
Interesting lists about the "Carmelization" of HMB downtown. Much of the debate about HMB downtown seems to say that the current situation is focused on serving the tourists, not locals. I disagree. A few weeks ago, about 8 pm on a weeknight, I drive through Carmel. Block after block of open stores. Throngs of people all along the streets, most carrying something--packages, drinks, etc. Last night I drove through HMB at 8 pm. Block after block of closed stores. Not a single pedestrian. As far as…

What’s wrong with downtown Half Moon Bay?

March 14, 2007
My growing concern, based upon the events surrounding the Chai shop, is that the City Council in Half Moon Bay, or at least the majority on the Council, do not feel it is their role to shape or control the types of stores and shops that make up the downtown area. It is almost as if they are repeating some whispered free-market ideology that they agree with but haven't fully thought through. This may be fun for tenured professors and for think tank fellows but it is a recipe for disaster at the local…

Video: Elephant Seals at Año Nuevo

February 18, 2007
Hey Donald, Did things get any clearer when you saw two of them trying to mate at the end of the video? --Darin

Pacifica sinkhole caused by waves undermining Beach Blvd

February 12, 2007
A thity foot by eleven foot sinkhole? It's obvious--take advantage of this opportunity to build an underground parking lot. I bet you could fit four cars in there already--wait a few weeks and and just think what you'd have! Just think of the cost savings! It is about time that developers started working *with* nature, not against it. --Darin

Coastsider fights for the right to stream clips from MCTV

January 27, 2007
Leonard, Copyright law is more nebulous than that. Here's your counter-example: Me. I retain copyright to all of my commercial work. Wedding and portrait photographers usually "keep the negatives," too--you are just paying for the copy of the image, not the image itself (which they retain ownership to). You'll also notice that all my work here on Coastsider is copyrighted (though I'm giving away my "Monday Photos" for free for personal use. The real issue in my mind hinges on the fact that both parties--the…

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