Comments by Joe Falcone

HMB loses $36 million judgement

December 10, 2007
Heard on the street that someone is trying to resolve this whole mess by tying the Pacific Ridge development, the Foothill Blvd bypass, and the land at Highway 1 & North Main in front of the High School into some sort of mega-project with housing, retail, roads, etc. Doesn't sound like a solution to me...

HMB loses $36 million judgement

December 08, 2007
What can I say - that was a quote from my brother-in-law (staff attorney at State Supreme Court - but not with the part of the court that might review the case) and attorneys love paper - although he does use several handhelds to read documents on occasion. I thought it was interesting that he felt it had "an incredibly tortured and complex procedural history" which is typically fodder for appeals to higher courts like the one where he works. I also think that resolution of the case may be very complex.…

HMB loses $36 million judgement

December 07, 2007
My brother-in-law the attorney sent me this note... "It looks like there's grounds for appeal since it is by no means an open and shut case. Indeed it has an incredibly tortured and complex procedural history. At some point I may print out the 100+ page statement of decision and look through it."

HMB loses $36 million judgement

December 04, 2007
To Suzy - I didn't read the judgment but I assumed that the Keenan side must have found some good evidence that this work did take place to convince the judge. Having said that, Michelle raised a good issue about Judge Walker as my brother-in-law (who works for the State Supreme Court) forwarded me the 12/3/07 article on this case written by Rebecca Beyer of the Daily Journal legal newspaper. In that article there are the following quotes from John D. Echeverria, executive director of the Georgetown…

HMB loses $36 million judgement

November 30, 2007
A friend of mine in Sunnyvale forwarded me the story from SFGate and I thought I was seeing some sort of April Fools joke. Unfortunately, it is not. To answer some questions: property can carry development rights - and as noted - the original rights under the tentative map of 1976 expired and the city then approved a vesting tentative map in 1990. This 1976 date is key because it predates the storm drainage and roadwork that the court feels created the wetlands as opposed to there being at least…

Letter: Filbert St. crosswalk in the crosshairs

July 30, 2007
CalTrans is basically more interested in maintaining good traffic flow and vehicular safety for state highways. They will on occasion make concessions for pedestrian safety as they did allow the construction of the bike path on their land next to Highway 1. And its not just a pedestrian problem - all access to the Highway from the western side is very, very difficult - particularly during school and tourist periods. I hate to bring Wavecrest up here - but when that is built (even in a much reduced…

Measure S loses with 61% of the vote

June 07, 2006
But its not just the board. If you recall, Superintendent Bayless refused to reveal the identity of the anonymous donor who paid for the last parcel tax election. After many weeks of pressure, Bayless finally reveals that he contributed the money himself. Look, the administration of schools should be completely above board - transparent with no secrets - to set a positive example for the youth of the community. [This is a school district, for Christ's sake, not the Defense Department] Add that to…

Coastsider endorses Measure S

May 10, 2006
We should also be troubled by the emergence of Coastside Community First, and its linkage to Charles Gardner of the CUSD Board. Frankly, with all of the political shenanigans this year so far, it really is very difficult to take any proposals seriously, whether they are for good causes or not. A few years ago, we attended a community forum where Dr. Bayless presented the detailed CUSD financials to a handful of curious residents. The story was not a happy one. Because of unfunded mandates by the…

Landslide cuts communication to the Coastside

April 23, 2006
We already knew that we were woefully prepared for emergencies on the coast. Now we see that the descendant of Ma Bell can't even establish a redundant communication network for our lonely outpost on the sea to maintain contact with the rest of the world when our road links are cut off. The breakdown of 911 service is itself a disaster. As our government (federal, state and local) continues to set priorities in the wrong places, and pays lip service to true homeland security, it must become our personal…

HMB City Council interviews are likely to be a charade, says McClung

March 21, 2006
I can tell you (as an applicant for one of the positions) that the interview process was handled in a serious and professional manner. Personally, I did not get the impression that the matter was settled and the City Council was just going through the motions. There were 10 applicants on the interview schedule, each receiving 15 minutes, and I believe most were asked at least 6 or 7 questions. Council member McClung even apologized for the kinks in the process. Those who saw the chaos of the original…

Must-See MCTV: City Council détente breaks down

February 22, 2006
One minor correction: my term was going to expire December 31, 2006 but the City Council affirmed Council Member Grady's desire to vacate the seat after his nomination of Mike Ferreira was not approved so my last meeting on the Planning Commission will be Thursday night. Joe Falcone

CUSD students are crowding SamTrans buses

February 23, 2006
Today, the SamTrans board selected Zoe Kersteen-Tucker for the Coastside Public Member seat. I mention this because she may be a key player in helping to resolve our transportation dilemma regarding students, teachers and staff at Cunha and HMB High. However, as the saying goes, all politics is local. Today, only one member of the CUSD board lives in Half Moon Bay. The only member of the SamTrans board for the Coastside lives (and has lived) in the unincorporated midcoast for the past 6 years. And…

CUSD students are crowding SamTrans buses

February 21, 2006
Recently, I appeared before the interview committee for the SamTrans Coastside Public Board Member seat. I mentioned to the committee that the 294 bus schedule was not properly synchronized with the CUSD school schedules. This article points out that there are capacity issues with the 17 as well. Here is what I sent to the SamTrans board. Members of the SamTrans Board, At my board interview yesterday, I discussed potential changes to the 294 schedule with the interview team so as to make the morning…

Letter: Ferreira says “Let’s give Bonnie McClung a chance”

January 04, 2006
Last night's City Council meeting was an exercise in divisive politics. Ms. McClung described the current Planning Commission (consisting of an architect, a lawyer, a retired teacher, an economist, a journalist, a mathematician, and an engineer) as "not being balanced" and "not having sufficient diversity of thinking". Enough said.

HMB City Council pushes ahead with HMB Planning Commission restructuring

January 05, 2006
Making an analogy to the presidential cabinet is inappropriate because that is the president's staff in the executive branch. The Planning Commission is a quasi-judicial body. When a new president takes office, he does not throw out the judicial appointments from the previous administration. Yes, he can appoint new judges to fill vacancies but that's it. He also does not throw out the regulatory body appointments from the previous administration, like the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade…

HMB City Council pushes ahead with HMB Planning Commission restructuring

December 27, 2005
First, this was not a campaign issue in any materials that I saw and in any debates that I've read reports for. So to say that the citizens of HMB were voting for a 5 member planning commission with aligned terms is simply not true. Second, it was a razor thin "majority" of 8 votes. I'm sick and tired of politicians winning 51 to 49 and claiming a mandate from 100% of the people. Third, most of San Mateo County is built out - there is no buildable land left in the incorporated cities over the hill…

We need a common vision of downtown Half Moon Bay

September 26, 2005
I've been concerned about the viability of downtown since I became a member of the Planning Commission over 2 years ago. The number of "for lease" signs, the musical chairs of businesses moving in search of cheaper leases, and the development disaster called Shoreline Station (what was it supposed to be? office? retail?) all add up to a truly precarious situation. When I attended the National Trust Historic Preservation conference in Denver 2 years ago, the message was clear - by the time you notice…