Comments by Matt Berman

The new Flavor restaurant in El Granada

January 07, 2011
Barry may have a point. The comments posted on Yelp were mighty peculiar. Aside from the similarity between them (many seemed to mention the same menu items and the prix fixe menu, and many used very similar language), there were comments like these: "The shortrib crostini's and sliders are always a good choice. And when you can't decide on dessert - the little bites is a great way to go. The dessert menu changes frequently, but tonight's meyer lemon cheesecake was yummy." This was an opening night…

HMB Safeway isn’t as expensive as you think, but it’s no bargain

June 04, 2008
I'll add my thanks for this chart - very useful in hard economic times. I too love the Farmer's Market (I rarely miss a week), local stands, Cunha's, and I am waiting eagerly for New Leaf. But, but, but ... I do NOT get this kneejerk dumping on our local Safeway, just as I don't get the kneejerk dumping on the Review and Clay that I see in other articles and comments. Our local Safeway seems pretty well-run to me, with friendly and helpful workers and reasonably good quality goods. No, they are not…

Letter: Water crisis coming in the western US

February 03, 2008
Here's what I don't understand about this: 1. We have known about this for a long time. 2. The West is not the only area facing shortages of fresh water in the future. 3. In 1999, after Turkey was struck by an earthquake, we sent over 2 navy ships with onboard desalination plants that could produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water daily. So clearly we have the technology, and land-based desalination plants could produce 100 times that amount or more. So why are we hearing so little about desalination?…

Opinion: City should do the right thing and win on appeal

December 11, 2007
I am so glad to hear someone saying what I have been thinking. On appeal, it's unlikely that this lunatic decision, from a judge with a record of being overturned, would be upheld. But even the worst-case scenario is that the court agrees with the decision but lowers the amount of the judgment substantially. The American court system is simply not in the business of deliberately bankrupting American cities. Right now Keenan has the City over a barrel. With a reversed decision, or at worst a substantially…

Letter: Amazing raptor display at Wavecrest now

September 30, 2007
You're right -- this is easy. I biked over to Wavecrest, took out the camera, and within 5 minutes was able to get shots of kites and hawks. Here are a couple (the large versions are here and here): Thanks, all -- this was fun.

Is the HMB police budget out of line?

August 08, 2007
Dennis Loubal provides an excellent, clear-eyed look at how statistics can be confusing. While I know little about the police issue, and therefore don't intend to weigh in on it, I love a clear, rational argument. Then he spoils it by saying, "What is sad is that people who, for the own selfish reasons, want to get rid of the police department must intentionally mislead the community to achieve their goal." What seems really sad to me is how every discussion in HMB always seems to descend into personal…

Coastside Film Society presents the story of a boy and his cheetah Friday

February 22, 2007
I have the DVD of this film, and I'd just say that Carroll Ballard doesn't know how to make a bad movie -- The Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf, Fly Away Home, Wind. Like all of his movies, Duma is simply spectacular.

School Board candidates square off Monday, Oct 30

November 03, 2006
Don Bacon mentioned a quote from Ric Lohman, to the effect that a tsunami would solve the problem of monster homes in Miramar. In response Don said: "Folks who live in those problem houses in West Miramar that Ric thinks a tsunami would solve? won't be amused when Ric predictably claims he was just joking. What kind of a person, much less a public official, would make light of people having their homes washed away in a tsunami?" I agree with you, Don, that it was a tasteless comment. I wonder what…

Devil’s Slide to reopen August 4

July 24, 2006
I just have to know -- What is an "office pouge?" (and how do you pronounce it?)

Letter:  Why hasn’t anything been done about the evening commute?

July 15, 2006
The breakdown of the Measure T vote can be found on the web page at the following address:

Measure S loses with 61% of the vote

June 19, 2006
"Accountability standards represent a minor distraction for good schools"?! Are you kidding? You seriously have no idea, do you? NCLB and standards-based assessment drove me out of the public schools. I taught at a very good public school, the best in the district. I had a great principal. My kids did very well on the testing. But despite my and my principal's best efforts, it was destroying any semblance of education. Art, music, social studies, science, literature, creative writing, field trips…

Measure S loses with 61% of the vote

June 18, 2006
Dear Ken et al., Much as I would love to get into a discussion with you over the validity, or lack thereof, of using standardized testing even to evaluate student learning, much less teacher competency (a particular peeve of mine, and two uses for the tests which even the makers of the tests will tell you are invalid, though they're happy to sell them to you anyway), this is probably not the forum. But for a good way to look at it, try here: Determining Teacher Success As to principals making merit…

Measure S loses with 61% of the vote

June 17, 2006
Re: Don Pettengill's comments above. 1. I'd agree with laying off teachers by teaching ability rather than seniority, just as soon as they come up with a valid method of determining comparative teaching ability. Such a thing does not exist now. 2. I'd be interested to see your data source for the statement that few countries pay elementary teachers the same as secondary. I'd also be interested to know what you are implying -- do you believe they should be paid the same, that secondary should be paid…

Measure S loses with 61% of the vote

June 11, 2006
I just love it when I hear someone say something like Devin Jones did: "Teachers get 1/3 of the year as vacation. Are they really overpaid?" If I couldn't laugh at his ignorance I'd have to cry, I'm guessing Mr. Jones doesn't know too many teachers who have to live on their salaries. Let me use myself as an instructive example. 1. I have been a teacher for almost 30 years, so I'm at the top of the scale. 2. I would love to teach in CUSD, but I can't afford their low pay, so I teach over the hill.…

Landslide cuts communication to the Coastside

April 24, 2006
2 notes on my service: 1. My Sprint PCS service came back midmorning on Sunday and has been working ever since. 2. My Comcast internet is still out as of Monday morning. I called them Sunday morning and again Sunday night, and both times they told me they were not aware of any outage in the area, and that it must be my modem or cable. They scheduled a service call to my house on Thursday. When I mentioned the general area outage due to the fiber optic line, they told me that did not affect them.…

Video: Tour of the damage at Devil’s Slide

April 03, 2006
Great video -- thanks for posting. What's especially noticable is the complete silence -- none of that unpleasant noise caused by construction equipment that might, you know, be fixing it.

Coastsiders may not see any benefit from new cable fees

February 21, 2006
I didn't see contact info for the BOS above, but addresses, email addresses, and phone and fax numbers are listed here:

Mike Ferreira asks for recount

December 06, 2005
I'd be interested to know about the procedures for ascertaining the validity of the absentee and especially the provisional ballots. Does anyone know? Is a check of this validity part of the recount process?

McClung leads Ferreira by 15 votes and McKimmie leads King by 5; totals may still be incomplete

November 25, 2005
Am I the only one who thinks it's odd, if not downright suspicious, that the provisional (read dubious, unregistered, unverifiable, etc.) ballots nearly all seemed to go one way? Is anyone checking into their validity -- making sure there are really houses at the given addresses, checking with the people who supposedly voted to make sure they really did, etc.?