Comments by Hal Bogner

Supervisors unanimously approve Big Wave permits

March 29, 2011
Actually, what the developer has done is to again place local/county government in the position of upping the ante of enforcing the law. Now - like Wavecrest a decade or more ago - it will become a matter for appeals to courts and to the Coastal Commission. Wavecrest similarly used emotional issues to try to evade the law, and obtained local approvals. With Wavecrest, it was "for the children." With Big Wave, it's for the developmentally disabled. In reality, it is for cynical land speculators. It's…

About a third of Farm Bureau members don’t exist

March 17, 2011
I am confused, or at least, perhaps, merely mystified. Did Olsen allegedly embezzle money from the Farm Bureau, then take that money and return it to the Farm Bureau in the form of dues payments for people who didn't actually exist - 300 of them! - all to earn an annual bonus of just $3,500? That's quite a lot of thieving to earn not very much money. And were the membership roles of the Farm Bureau open or closed to other members? It seems like it would be hard to hide 300 non-existent members "in…

Norm Coleman as Ty Cobb, Friday in HMB

July 29, 2010
Baseball fans: Don't miss this - one day, Norm will probably perform this in Cooperstown. He has already performed his one-man show as Ty Cobb in front of Ty Cobb's descendants at the 10th anniversary of the Cobb Museum in Royston, GA, and at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, MI, as well as at "Tigertown" (The Detroit Tiger's spring training camp in FL).

Clay shoots down Farm Bureau/Beautification Committee, icon

July 28, 2010
Anyone can search for the federal tax filings of tax-exempt organizations here on's web site: There are form 990 filings made from 2004 through 2009; I found then by searching for: Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee, and specifying California and 94019 for zip code, and EIN 943054140. Other local charities will likewise have filed form 990 annually, and Foundation Center will have them, too. These documents provide…

Measure E passes with 70.7% of vote

June 09, 2010
In the 18 years since I arrived on the Coastside, we've seen many local issues decided by upwards of 70% - and even upwards of 90% - voter approvals. In 1996, the local electorate gave a 75% approval vote to issue $35 million in school construction bonds, and only this school year did we finally see the main result - a rebuilt Cunha. Somewhere along the line, a decade of CUSD school board majorities lost their focus on education, as Barry documented on this 2005 article:…

CUSD’s head lice policy is not supported by science

October 13, 2009
Barry - What a great article! A minor, local version of the kinds of mistakes one reads about on larger scales, such as this: Belatedly, Egypt Spots Flaws in Wiping Out Pigs A few brief excerpts: "... But the crisis should not have come as a surprise. When the government killed all the pigs in Egypt this spring — in what public health experts said was a misguided attempt to combat swine flu — it was warned the city would be overwhelmed…

Letter: Oasis Natural Foods will close unless a buyer is found

June 03, 2009
Frank - I hope things work out well for you on all fronts; you and your store have both been valued citizens on Main Street for many years now. Mr. Kirkpatrick - Why are you such a curmudgeon? It's a very sad example of how to interact with other members of the community.

Letter: Conflict at the MCC

January 25, 2009
I am curious what ever happened to letting voters decide who should represent them - even when the representative role is advisory? The scenario of the Supervisors being slapped down by a judge seems inevitable if this proposed restriction is approved. The sad thing here is really that this seems to be about shooting messengers. Half Moon Bay, where I reside, has no such issue: the City Council and the Sanitary District boards are one and the same. Maybe the choices by mid-coast voters indicates…

Letter: Save Our Shores cleans Pilarcitos Creek, still looking for volunteers

May 22, 2008
If littering is a major problem, perhaps it could be discouraged by people using their cell phone cameras and other digital cameras to photograph people in the act of littering, and then submitting the photos to Coastsider and/or the Review. It would certainly be a much simpler and less intense response than, say, enforcing large fines, or placing people physically in stocks - two methods that have been used to discourage some kinds of proscribed "civil" behaviors at one time or another. Does anyone…

Local Government Committee passes AB1991—next stop: Appropriations Committee

May 21, 2008
Steve Hyman - Did you attend the public meeting presenting the experts from the two firms hired by the City to explain the appeal strategy? It was explained at that meeting that assets such as City Hall are not subject to liquidation in a municipal bankruptcy.

Local Government Committee passes AB1991—next stop: Appropriations Committee

May 19, 2008
Ray - I do, indeed, live in Half Moon Bay. But my concerns should be just as valid, regardless of whether or not I do. :-) Hal M. Bogner Half Moon Bay

Local Government Committee passes AB1991—next stop: Appropriations Committee

May 19, 2008
Ray Olsen wrote: "I totally agree the decision was outrageous. As for negotiating a bad deal.. That might be your opinion but I would tend to rely on actual lawyers for what are our options and what might be the best decision for our city." I am very interested in knowing what protections the City has against further disputes over Glencree with Mr. Keenan and his trustee, Ms. Yamigawa, if the exemptions fail and the City pays $18 million for Beachwood, while Mr. Keenan keeps Glencree. I question…

HMB will owe a lot less than $18 million if AB1991 fails

April 28, 2008
I am curious whether there is any longer any basis for the City maintaining any level of confidentiality at all with respect to its deliberations, correspondence, etc., now that the Beachwood settlement is final, and there is no longer any litigation related to it. The documents from both firms hired should now be made available, and the entire matter opened to scrutiny. The City Council members have made the City's decisions, and the public deserves to learn the facts and their thinking. As a city,…

HMB settlement gives Keenan 129 houses on Beachwood and Glencree—and more

April 02, 2008
Actually, circumstantial evidence suggests that Orrick was hired for their ability not only to handle an appeal, but also to get the laws changed. I cannot judge nor predict whether the 129 houses will ultimately all be found permittable and built, but that's clearly the openly-stated intent of this settlement at first blush. I can understand why the same people who approved the developments decades ago - who again dominate the City Council today - would want to settle in this manner. What I do not…

Letter: Name the tunnel after Tom Lantos?

January 05, 2008
Not to take anything away from Mr. Lantos, nor from any politician, but I find such naming suggestions distasteful. I likewise am put off - as well as being sometimes confused - by the corporate naming of such things as sports stadiums. In an earlier era, facilities like that of the Western Cattleman's Association were given very colorful names as a result sometimes of happenstance or a good quip - as when a San Francisco newspaper columnist wrote "they're building a palace for cows" down in South…

HMB City Council votes to fight

December 22, 2007
Barry - May I suggest that you undertake to split this commentary into two or more topics? My posts were intended to be part of a discussion of how the City might deal with the current Beachwood judgement, but some of the comments are more focussed on concepts of overarching plans for the coastside, or on arguments about what the world would be like if wetlands were interpreted differently than the state court of appeals found at Beachwood. No doubt, there are those who have agendas outside of contributing…

HMB City Council votes to fight

December 21, 2007
Mr. Gossett, Thank you for your response, and for asking if I can offer any options, as well. I see no relevance in off-topic issues such as overall City plans, nor any value in reopening a Pandora's Box with respect to the successfully resolved Ailanto settlement for the development of Pacific Ridge. Here are some thoughts on the current situation: As a chess master and as a consultant, I examine both strategic and tactical possibilities, and I have frequently dealt with being in disadvantageous…

HMB City Council votes to fight

December 20, 2007
Mr. Gossett, There are several things that I don't understand about your proposed solution. Didn't state trial and appeals courts already review Beachwood in terms of the letter of the law regarding wetlands, and rule out the development proposed by the lady charged with looking after Mr. Keenan's affairs, Ms. Yamigawa? Didn't the City and/or the Coastal Commission find some subest of the proposed Beachwood subdivision to be buildable, and the Ms. Yamigawa, who is charged with handling Mr. Keenan's…

Stones, eggs, and slurs hurled at visitors to Friday’s HMB High game

November 07, 2007
There is a simple and effective response to this kind of "fan" behavior, that will put an end to it promptly, and teach what values our educational sports programs should teach - especially good sportsmanship: HMB High should consider suspending all athletic competitions and forfeit all games for a period of, say, one week. Or, similarly, forfeiting the very next game in each different sport at each level across the board, even if that means one game at the start of an upcoming season for a sport…

Strange garbage at annual beach clean-up

October 27, 2007
In addition to all the folks who showed up to help, a few local merchants pitched in to provide fresh hot coffee to these intrepid souls. They were Stephanie, who runs the 7th Street restaurant at Hwy 1 in Montara along with her son, Wes, and Dan, chief bean handler for Outland Java, the folks who roast and distribute great coffee beans here on the coastside. Many thanks!!! Hal M. Bogner Half Moon Bay

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