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HMB

HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MAGAZINE FEBRUARY2010

THE ANNUAL MONEY & FINANCE ISSUE

GETTING CREATIVE WITH YOUR MONEY

+

GARDENING IN WINTER

5 COOL JOBS ON THE COASTSIDE Q&A WITH

PAT ROMA AND STEVE WILSON

MARK RESTANI

DOWN TO EARTH

‘BATTLEHOOCH’ BAND MEMBERS FIND WAYS TO MAKE ENDS MEET


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1-800-59-CROCE HMB February 2010 1


REFLECTIONS OF THE HEART

Lori Preusch

Lori intuitively reaches into the memories of our childhood and brings the magic within...out. Each of her original paintings, take rich, hidden memories and transforms them into works of art that capture the joy, innocence, imagination and total bliss of being a child.

Mother Goose • 24 x 18 inches • acrylic on canvas

She has touched the hearts of collectors worldwide for more than twenty-five years with her childhood greeting cards. For the first time ever, selected original paintings are now available from her private collection.

Meet Lori Preusch at

A Valentine’s Day Party

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Located South of San Francisco & North of Half Moon Bay Featured Artists Represented: Robert Bissell, Lonely Dog, Michael Parkes, Lori Preusch, Thomas Arvid and Alanna Roth 2 February 2010 HMB


HMB

» PUBLISHER’S NOTE DEBRA GODSHALL

HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MAGAZINE

Publisher Debra Godshall Managing Editor Clay Lambert Writers Mark Foyer Mark Noack Greg Thomas Stacy Trevenon Photographer Lars Howlett Production and Design Bill Murray Matt Medeiros Mark Restani Business Office Kim Ritner Circulation Barbara Anderson Advertising Sales Louise Strutner Barbara Dinnsen Find us P.O. Box 68 714 Kelly Avenue Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 p: (650) 726-4424 f: (650) 726-7054 The HMB Magazine is published on the first week of every month and inserted in the Half Moon Bay Review. The entire contents of the magazine are also available in PDF format online at hmbreview.com

Time to look ahead, at cool jobs and a better economy

I

don’t think anyone was sorry to say goodbye to 2009 and all the financial woes that came crashing down on the economy. Business on the Coastside was sluggish at best, while business owners scrambled to revise business plans and look for ways to cut corners and lower expenses in order to stay afloat. Real estate sales crawled to a halt before sales began to creep up a little bit at a time each quarter. While inventory may have been available, buyers were not so plentiful, with loans becoming difficult to procure. The local building industry — our painters, carpenters, plumbers — complained that business had dried up due to the fact that banks were no longer so eager to hand out personal lines of credit. Added to that, homeowners were no longer charging house projects on credit cards because credit card companies were lowering their limits and increasing their rates. All that aside — survive we did, coming out of 2009 a bit bruised and looking for ways to make 2010 a little better year. As we move into February, the mood in town seems hopeful but cautious. Real estate, while slow to grow, is at least going in the right direction — up. Businessmen and women on Main Street and in Harbor Village are clearing out holiday inventory and trying to make the best of the slow period between Christmas and Tax Day, while still keeping their fingers crossed in the hope that things will pick up. In this issue, we have some interesting features on finance — like how to use mediation when dealing with your mortgage provider, and a fun story about a local group of musicians and how they handle the finances of the band. And we came up with five jobs on the Coastside that looked like fun and thought we’d share them with our readers. So, as you sit there crunching numbers or staring down a deadline or dealing with an irate customer, feel good knowing that somewhere, at this very minute on the Coastside, somebody has the job of tasting wine at the Ritz or giving kayak tours in the harbor or teaching yoga by a wood-burning fire at Enso. One can dream.

HMB February 2010 3


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» CONTENTS

Money & Finance Issue. 30

24

14

8

Features

8

STAYING IN YOUR HOME Q&A with Patricia Roma and Steve Wilson

14

COOL JOBS

Departments

7 UPCOMING EVENTS 31 DOWN TO EARTH 32 SIGHTSEEING

Profiles of five unique career choices

24

I’M WITH THE BAND...

Former Coastsiders follow their love of music and try to make ends meet with their band, Battlehooch

HMB Magazine

Up next: As spring gets near, we focus on everything having to do with your garden and home. Look for it to be published on March 3. To make sure you get a copy, subscribe to the Half Moon Bay Review. 726-4424. Cover art by Mark Restani.

HMB February 2010 5


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Breakfast, Lunch, Artisan Pastries and Gelato

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» UPCOMING EVENTS FEBRUARY

Music, romance, stress reduction and ... taxes Go ‘Crazy’ over Patsy

2/5

Fans of country music legend Patsy Cline should flock to Coastal Repertory Theatre’s “Always … Patsy Cline” running to Feb. 27 in Half Moon Bay. Celebrating country music icon Patsy Cline (Catie Chase) and seen through the eyes of major fan and longtime friend Louise Seger (Roxane Ashe), it’s packed with classic Cline like “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces” and more, backed by a specially designed band. Tickets range from $20 to $35. 569-3266.

A glittering night for a good cause

2/6

An elegant dinner, silent and live auctions, high-energy dance band Beat Street, the glow you’ll get from helping your community — it’s all at the 10th Rotary at the Ritz, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. This charity gala brings the community together to raise money (more than $50,000 in 2009) to benefit local nonprofits, as well as local and international humanitarian causes, while having a glittering good time. Tickets are $195. Kevin, 726-6328.

Step lively to the salsa

Stress reduction and taxes

2/27 It is a busy day for the Half Moon Bay Library, with the presentation of two programs meant to help ease Coastsiders through the tax season. The day begins with a free tax preparation seminar for Coastsiders whose 2009 income was less than $52,000. It’s presented by the office of state Sen. Leland Yee and hosted by the library in partnership with Wells Fargo, AARP, the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, Coastside Hope, the IRS and United Way. Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event offers opportunities for free preparation of federal and state taxes by IRS-certified tax preparers and a chance to open a checking or savings account. Participants should bring along their Social Security or ITIN numbers; last year’s tax return; all W2, 1099, 1098T and other income forms; landlord contact information; unemployment compensation or 1099-G form if applicable; childcare provider’s name, address and tax ID number and a voided check for direct deposit. Pre-registration is required. And when you’re through with all that, step across the street to the Coastside Adult Day Health Center and decompress with Meditation and Stress Reduction, a meditation program offered by the library in partnership with the San Mateo County Psychological Association as one of a series of mental health fitness lectures. It’s offered by Kaisa Puhakka, who is on the core faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies as a teacher of psychology and its integration with Buddhist practice. This program begins at 2 p.m. at the center at 645 Correas St. in Half Moon Bay, which is practically across the street from the library, and pre-registration is not required. 726-2316.

2/11

You can learn how to salsa dance, and get some practice, at La Costanera restaurant at 8150 Cabrillo Highway in Montara on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Take lessons free from 8 to 9 p.m. and dance when the live band kicks off at 9:15 p.m. There’s a $5 cover for dancing — unless you stop off early at the bar for a drink and appetizers. 728-1600.

Chopin music helps make Valentine’s Day romantic

2/13

World-traveled concert pianist Lisa Spector of Half Moon Bay turns to Chopin to make Valentine’s Day romantic on the Coastside, with two solo piano concerts featuring the composer at his bicentennial: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 at 731 Main St. in Half Moon Bay. A dessert reception and chocolates will further sweeten the concerts. Admission is $25 at the door. 726-5119.

Jazz up your Valentine

2/14

Have a sizzling Valentine’s Day at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society with British jazz pianist and composer Terry Disley and his combo, who will offer “red hot and romantic jazz” in a 4:30 p.m. concert. It’s a cool mix of bebop, jazz, salsa, Latin, reggae and world music. Admission is $30 at the door. 726-4143.

High school soccer season winds up

2/17

The Half Moon Bay High School soccer season ends in the middle of the month with home matches. Boys’ soccer ends its regular season by hosting Mills at 5:30 p.m. today, and the girls’ team concludes its regular season with a game against El Camino at 4 p.m., Feb. 18. There’s no admission charge for either match. 712-7200.

HMB February 2010 7


MORTGAGES

Finding P middle ground on the mortgage

atricia Roma and Steve Wilson, longtime lawyers, friends and fellow Half Moon Bay Rotary Club members, are teaming up to offer mediation services here on the coast. HMB Magazine writer Carina Woudenberg talked to Roma and Wilson about the mediation process between mortgage companies and homeowners. When mediating with a mortgage company, who does the initial hiring of the mediator, the mortgage company or the homeowners?

Many homeowners are seeking a life raft in the form of mediation when they find themselves underwater in their loan

8 February 2010 HMB

Wilson: Let me rewind that a little bit. This is a new process in California, in fact, (state or federally funded mortgage) mediation is not even legislated‌ This summer the ABA (American Bar Association) passed a resolution, which is called Report 300. Adopted by the house of delegates, it supports “federal, state or territorial legislation, regulations or court rules that promote the use of mediation to assist in resolving disputes that could lead to foreclosure of mortgages on residential real


property.” … I think in the long term, to the extent that they keep the homeowner in place by altering the terms of the mortgage, it will enable them to work it out. What California’s doing is, it does have pending legislation to require (mortgage mediation). Assemblyman Pedro Nava from Southern California has a bill (AB 1588), which is in the Legislature right now. Is it possible to get out of a preforeclosure? Wilson: Not in today’s economy and not if you don’t have the money to pay your state of installments on a monthly basis. Most of these people are in trouble on their mortgage because the mortgage contained a poorly explained provision that enables it to adjust at a particular point in time. When it adjusts, the teaser rate goes away and snaps up to full market, and full market is too much for these folks to pay. And the house is probably underwater — that is, it’s worth far less than it was bought for. So how can you help these people who are facing foreclosures? Wilson: As I began to say, it is important to get across to the lender that it’s in their best interest to help the homeowners stay in possession, to do whatever is rationally possible to enable them to keep that house. Here’s an example: If someone here on the coast — and this is not at all out of the ordinary — bought a home for $900,000 in 2006 or 2007, and that house is now worth $550,000 or $600,000 and has a $750,000 loan on it, what is it going to profit the lender to take that house back in foreclosure and then turn around after six months of having it sit empty and degraded? You have to put a whole lot into your property to get it ready for sale, turn it around, and sell it again

at the then-market price, and pay a broker 3 to 6 percent in the process to sell that house. Who wins in that case? Would it not be better for the lender to consider actually reducing the principal by forgiving some of it and/or restating the interest terms to enable the family to make a payment that they could live with? Roma: Other ways it benefits the lender are, by keeping the people in there, the property is kept up at least to a certain degree. When the house is foreclosed upon and the people move out, the lawn begins to grow — it’s very clear to everybody walking by that nobody is living there. And often times this opens the door to (people) going into the house and either moving in there (or) people going in there and stripping the house of copper wiring, sinks, faucets … anything that might be available. Is it the lender that would come to you two and say, ‘we need a mediator here?’ Wilson: In a case like this, if the legislation passes, then the homeowner would typically be the one demanding the mediation. But that would be at no additional cost to the homeowner? Wilson: The legislation may change, but it would mostly be that the cost to the homeowner is pretty nominal. …And if the legislation doesn’t pass? Wilson: (The mortgage holder) would suggest to the lender that there’d be someone out there who would do a much better job than the two of them in trying to figure out if there was a halfway point.

“... IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET ACROSS TO THE LENDER THAT IT’S IN THEIR BEST INTEREST TO HELP THE HOMEOWNERS STAY IN POSSESSION, TO DO WHATEVER IS RATIONALLY POSSIBLE TO ENABLE THEM TO KEEP THAT HOUSE. “

HMB February 2010 9


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Mortgages

Has President Barack Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program helped at all? Wilson: Hard to tell — it’s very early. I mean it was enacted with the best of intentions. I don’t think anyone could honestly tell you there has been a discernible effect yet. What words of advice do you have for Coastsiders facing foreclosure? Roma: I would definitely have them contact an attorney because an attorney has more juice, I think, when calling a loan builder … And once the attorney is involved, then the attorney can always suggest mediation. … It’s, ‘can we get together and sit down and talk about this? And here’s how it will benefit you, Mr. Bank.’ …We would enable them to see the bigger picture and encourage them to work with the owner. Wilson: There are resources in the form of very ethical nonprofits out there that can help them. One Web site they should visit is www.naca.com. The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, which is funded in a large measure by the federal government, can be very effective in advocating on behalf of the homeowner in the earlier stages of these things. … The caution is to be extraordinarily careful about people who are foreclosure consultants because they are targeted right now by the California Department of Real Estate, due to a very large history of abuses in that area. (There are) people who are unregulated acting as foreclosure consultants (who are) typically not even lawyers, but, unfortunately, even members of our profession are taking people to the cleaners. Does it become difficult to remain neutral when the lender is the one paying for mediation?

Patricia Roma and Steve Wilson

Wilson: That question is often asked in the mediation field in all areas, and the answer is that a good mediator can always stay neutral — and should. Roma: That’s part of the mediator’s job. But generally they’ll both leave the mediation with an agreement they’re both pretty happy with? Wilson: Both live with it. Someone once said that successful mediation is defined as an outcome in which both parties are at least moderately unhappy or equally unhappy. And that’s kind of a cynical definition of it, but there’s a degree of truth in it as well. No one’s typically going to come out of mediation wildly happy. What you get is a result you can live with and then the next night you go to sleep and sleep the full night. 1

“a good mediator can always stay neutral — and should.”

HMB February 2010 11


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F. 1 -28 Artist Rebecca Holland F. 5 - R. Holland: artist reception 5-9pm F. 11- Goat Cheese Recipes book signing & paired wine tastings 6-8pm F. 13 - Sweethearts’ Valentines Night, champagne, romantic ballads & choc. cake. $50/couple 7-11pm, (res req) F. 26 - Spanish Wines & Paella Night, $15/person 7-9pm (res advised)

Love and Laughter are known to enhance your immune system and lower stress hormones. So be sure to get your daily dose of both!! Happy Loving!

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Happy Valentine’s Day Hulicat

Looking for that something special for your Valentine?

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Romance Is Always In Style

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HMB February 2010 13


!

That is one

cool job Work can be more than a means to an end, and some have figured out how to make work work for them

For many, work is a grind. n It may involve a long commute followed by longer hours, difficult co-workers or tasks unbefitting an adult of extraordinary abilities. For the work-a-day crowd, living for the weekend means looking past five-sevenths of the week. And that is a fraction that cannot be reduced nor ignored. n Then there are the friends we envy. They have managed to follow their bliss rather than the money. They are artists, outdoorsmen, pilots — people who make a living from their interests and talents. It is likely no coincidence that the best jobs often involve helping others. Perhaps that connection is the key to it all. n There are such cool jobs right here on the coast and HMB Magazine writer Carina Woudenberg found them. She asked five of your neighbors what makes their jobs so wonderful (and also, because no job is perfect, to admit something about the work that bums them out a bit). Maybe we can learn something from them. — Clay Lambert | Photos by Lars Howlett

14 February 2010 HMB


Nancy Rivard

{ AIRLINE AMBASSADoRS PRESIDENT AND FoUNDER }

! The job is cool because:

of “the chance to have my life be about something bigger than me,” says the american airlines flight attendant and humanitarian. rivard spent her Christmas in el salvador providing aid to flood victims and took an active role in Haiti’s relief efforts. she regularly travels to cities worldwide, offering a hand (or warm blanket) wherever it’s needed. When she’s not on the scene, rivard can be found in her home-based Moss Beach office — often working late into the night on the necessary business side of her humanitarian efforts. It’s the appreciative smile from those she helps that keeps her going. It’s proof that brightening the lives of others makes your own life a little brighter too.

#One bummer:

It’s very difficult to find the time and resources to get to all the projects that need attention. “We’ve bitten off so much more than we can chew,” she said. HMB February 2010 15


Get Faster Results with Greater Satisfaction

Go to mediation instead of court and save on legal fees. Patricia Roma and Steve Wilson are attorneys with 73 years combined experience in litigation and business.Take advantage of their Introductory offer good through March 31, 2010.

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Ben Forchini

{ recreation manager, ritz-carlton, half moon bay }

! The job is cool because:

Forchini makes a living on the activities that make him feel most alive. Born and bred on the coast, the outdoors enthusiast is always busy dreaming up exciting adventures for visitors. “I have the opportunity to introduce guests to the wonders of Half Moon Bay they’ve never seen before.” Whether hiking, surfing or boating, the self-described “wannabe naturalist” says he loves running around in his navy blue jumpsuit and drawing attention to the natural biology and geology on his tours. Forchini often rides his bike to work, a unique opportunity he says is not always afforded to residents who work far from the coast.

#One bummer:

“Sometimes being on stage all the time can be a challenge,” Forchini said. Tour groups can range from just a few people to a couple hundred, which can leave Forchini and other recreation staff members with little time to relax.

HMB February 2010 17


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Ellen Joseph

{ muralist and fine artist }

! The job is cool because:

she gets to use her own inspiration and problem-solving techniques to make a mural she and her client(s) will treasure. “It’s just really exciting to have a blank wall that I can do whatever I want with, pretty much,” Joseph said. And no two projects are alike, she added. One of Joseph’s specialties is creating nature-based murals and art for a healing environment. “Images of nature have a healing effect,” she said. Joseph takes pleasure in bringing indoors these “universally appealing” forms found in our backyards and beyond.

#One bummer:

The job can be physically demanding. Several hours painting while standing on a ladder cause stress to her back.

HMB February 2010 19


You Do the Math: Great Community + Great Bank = Great 4 Years! Thanks Half Moon Bay! Half Moon Bay 40 N. Cabrillo Highway 650-712-5000 ™ San Mateo ™ Sunnyvale ™ Redwood City www.unitedamericanbank.com

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NancyVail

{ FARM PRoGRAMS DIRECToR AT PIE RANCH }

! The job is cool because:

Vail says the work follows her life’s path. “It’s really a dream come true to be here on the coast engaging the youth and apprentices,” Vail said. and that is to say nothing about the fun that comes with tasty pies and monthly barnyard dances! Vail particularly enjoys taking part in the complete process of the food grown on the ranch, “from seed to harvest.” While Vail stays busy, she says she has no typical day. she says her favorite activity is either pruning the apple trees or working out in the field. “My most joyful times are when I’m out in the fields and I’m engaged with people in an educational context,” she said.

#One bummer:

the Internet connection at Pie ranch isn’t very consistent. that is actually a mixed blessing. It can make e-mail communication difficult, but it gets her out from behind the computer and allows her to stay engaged in the outdoors.

HMB February 2010 21


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Nelle Lyons

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! The job is cool because:

she’s immersed in her favorite working environment. “I get to work outdoors and share nature with people who visit,” she said. Lyons says she particularly enjoys working with groups of school children, instilling in them a necessary sense of admiration and respect for their coastal surroundings. Lyons also enjoys working with State Parks volunteers who share information with visitors, and, on a typical day, she gets to patrol many of the parks in the area.

#One bummer:

“Some of the people don’t understand the rules,” Lyons says. She’s not trying to interfere with visitors’ freedom, but certain restrictions, such as keeping dogs on leash, can cause tension. HMB February 2010 23


Making music – Members of Battlehooch rehearse in the San Francisco apartment which they all share.

24 February 2010 HMB

though not much money


getting by

Band of former Coastsiders relies on day jobs, helpful friends to make ends meet

I

By Carina Woudenberg

“In the last seven or eight months we’ve come out of the red completely.” Tom Hurlbut, Battlehooch treasurer

n difficult financial times, musicians are often among those expected to suffer the most. The term “starving artist” is a cliché for a reason. Well, “starving” might be an overstatement. On a recent weekday night, the six 20-something musicians who make up Battlehooch — a three-year-old, San Francisco-based band — planned on eating chili and cornbread they made in their eight-bedroom Sunset District apartment. In fact, the group tends to eat pretty well. And the good eats are a sign of good fortunes generally. Life as a young musician is rarely a road to early riches, but things are looking up for Battlehooch … relatively speaking. Between bites of chili and endless rehearsals, band members are unwittingly providing a road map for others looking to follow the winding road paved with dreams rather than a more linear career path. “In the last seven or eight months we’ve come out of the red completely,” said Tom Hurlbut, Battlehooch member and designated group treasurer. “The band is self-sustaining, but at this point it’s not paying any of us enough. In other words, it’s not paying any of us at all.” In early 2007, with a handwritten constitution featuring all six signatures and since decorated with now-browned drops of members’ blood, Battlehooch was born. The group met up while going to school at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Three of the members — Grant Goodrich, Ryan Huber and Tom Hurlbut — grew up on the Coastside and performed in Half Moon Bay High School musicals. The band takes pride in having created its own music genre. Fans tell them their HMB February 2010 25


Parted curtains give passerbys on the street a chance to peek in on Battlehooch’s practice.

26 February 2010 HMB


Kicking back after practice, band members and roommates talk business.

Battle

hooch

Balan ce Reven Sheet u Big Gi e: gs: $7 00 Small shows : Day jo $100 b Expen s se Chili fi s: xins, G Van tr uitar s o t Fliers, uble, Broadb rings, and, Zappa Wigs, album Re s for Mo nt, Rocket , Fuel on tou r

sound is an unusual mix of different styles. Some hear Frank Zappa and the Red Hot Chili Peppers or as one band member said, “the illegitimate lovechild of Genesis and Jesus Christ Superstar.” “We have to come up with our own genre and that’s why we’re kind of shape shifters,” Goodrich said. The band is not without ambition. Some friends of the band have dared compare it to the Beatles. And members say they want to be the first band to play on the moon. Despite such high-flying hyperbole, Battlehooch has a pretty down-to earth sense when it comes to finances. Members-know they have to have that if they want to stay afloat in the music business. “There are a lot of stories of bands falling apart over money,” Battlehooch member Ben Juodvalkis said. “We’re very aware of that so we want to be really above the board and very clear and transparent.” Even in its relatively young stage, the band has evolved and matured. Practice time, they say, has become more constructive and the songwriting process streamlined. “(There’s a) greater emphasis on songwriting and less of an

emphasis on jumping around with masks,” Huber said, referencing the band’s reputation for crazy costumes. Members still hold onto some signature Battlehooch traditions, such as dancing in front of their window whenever a train goes by. Fans riding public transportation look for them in the window, they say. That and their iconic 11-seater van with a Spongebob Squarepants sticker attached

to the side. “Everything we do, we’re always trying a new approach,” Huber said. “ With the industry the way it is you can’t really follow a model. You have to try a whole bunch of things and use all your allies and all the technology you can.” And that’s exactly what Battlehooch is doing. One friend created a Web site for the band and another designed a poster for a

HMB February 2010 27


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recent show. Another fan is trying to create his own record label and is pressing Battlehooch’s album, Piecechow, to vinyl at no cost to the band. “Basically, we’re looking for handouts,” Hurlbut said before backtracking. “That sounds really bad… Basically we’re looking for help. If people want to help us in any way by buying things or coming to shows…” “Money is kind of a hindrance,” member AJ McKinley added. “If we had 10 grand that would not even come close to our expenses.” For a headlining show in San Francisco, the band can count on $600 or $700. But for smaller gigs in the city, they usually only get $100. Venues often limit the number of gigs they’re permitted in the Bay Area over a period of a few weeks. And that often necessitates a road trip. Tours can be expensive, though. Especially with an unreliable van that only gets eight miles to the gallon. But for the band, networking is important and can often lead to free overnights at friends’ houses. “I don’t think we necessarily plan on paying for lodging unless we really need to,” Goodrich said. The band can remember only three times that they were left without a place to sleep while on the road. They generally

figure something out. On a recent tour band’s blog and other social networking through Eugene, Ore., a tattoo artist let sites. Hurlbut is the band’s treasurer and the band spend the night in his store. handles written press. Huber’s in charge “He entrusted us with his shop,” Huber said. of the digital components and art for To cover rent and other expenses, albums and Smith is on the “street team” most of the band members work day and is responsible for putting up flyers. jobs. Goodrich works as a bartender Will Battlehooch make it to the moon? and server. Hurlbut works as a service That remains to be seen. In the meanmanager and salesman at a bike shop and time, though, the band will continue on also performs with another San Francisco playing music, networking and trying out band. Juodvalkis composes music for all its crazy ideas. dance companies and provides musical “It’s always about trying new ideas, new accompaniment during dance classes. Pat things,” said McKinley. “If someone has Smith drives a taxicab. McKinley teaches an idea we almost always have to try it private lessons in the house and instructs out—even if five out of six of us think it’s a band of 9-year olds called “The stupid.” 1 Rotten Kids.” And Huber is looking for work. The band members are fortuWant m nate enough to have work that H ere’s w ore on Ba can be fairly flexible around and ot here you ca ttlehooch music tours, but scheduling is he n ? Web si r informatio find their m always a challenge. te: htt u n sic o n the p:/ Myspa Web. “We’ve all made sacrifices to ce: htt /battlehooc h. p://ww battleh keep our schedules as intact as w.mys com/ ooch pace.c Faceb possible,” Goodrich said. om/ ook: h ttp pages/ And within the band too, BATTL ://www.face bo EHOOC Twitte they’ve all taken on different H/102 ok.com/ r: http 5 : / B 96903 / A t w T TLEHO itter.co responsibilities. Goodrich 537 OCH m/ If you is responsible for booking, ’d like to che show, while Juodvalkis contacts ck Battle h ooch w out an upco o n Feb. 2 labels for upcoming shows. min ill b 6 at S lim’s in e performin g McKinley handles the g Sa n Fran cisco.

Graduates of Half Moon Bay High School, Tom Hurlbut, Grant Goodrich, and Ryan Huber trace some of their musical backgrounds to school band programs.

HMB February 2010 29


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Ask the expert

» DOWN TO EARTH

Wicked Plants:

Q:

“What the heck am I supposed to do in the garden this month?”

A:

-- Peter M., Pacifica

Everything! or nothing. Whatever you feel like doing, really.

Your grasses and tender perennials should be cut a few inches from the ground, this includes plants like miscanthus grass, salvias, and nepeta. other woodier plants, such as lavender, cistus, and other shrubs, can be tipped back for shape, and thinned out if needed. Trees should be pruned by a professional. And double-check that your irrigation is completely off — you probably won’t have to turn it back on until May or June.

The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities > by Amy Stewart

This month, it’s hard to do much weeding since the soil is so wet. But, if you do get a week or so of no rain and can easily get out into the garden, weeding and cultivating is important. You should also add a layer of compost if you have not done it in the past six months. MoSES (Midwest organic and Sustainable Education Service) has released new and updated information about why soil amending is so important. Google the service to read their assessment online.

Did you know that Abe Lincoln’s mother died from “milk sickness”? Well, I didn’t, and why milk sickness is caused by a weed is something you’ll learn if you read this delightBook review ful book by Amy Stewart. Yes, I did just describe her book about “Botanical Atrocities” as delightful. The descriptions of the annoying, toxic and often deadly plants are accompanied by interesting anecdotes that make this book fun to read. Even if you’re not knowledgeable about plants or not interested in gardening, you’ll like this book.

Also, if you get really ambitious, pansies are in season and can be planted in large clusters just about anywhere in a garden. Potted or around the perennials you’ve cut back, they will hold their color until the summer, and the bugs will be happy for the addition. other than that, grab some tea, a great book and find a small spot to relax in your garden. Spending time surrounded by your plants should be on your checklist every month. — Jls

Take, for example, (but don’t really take it or you’ll get terribly sick, or worse!) the castor bean plant. A deadly poison extracted from it was allegedly used by the KGB in the London “umbrella murder” in 1978. Stewart goes on to describe how and where the plants grow, what parts are toxic and why castor oil, from the same plant, is safe to use. And then there’s Freud, whose entire outlook on life was changed by the coca plant, or more accurately, the extract from it called cocaine. To quote him, “...I have felt wonderful, as though there had never been anything wrong at all.” This he attributed to a plant that Stewart describes as being able to inspire humans to go to war, both against each other and against the plant. See what I mean? It sounds cool, doesn’t it? I bought my copy at Coastside Books in Half Moon Bay, but it’s available anywhere fine books are sold. This author has also written some other books worth reading. Google her! — cml

“JANUARY IS THE QUIETEST MoNTH IN THE GARDEN. ... BUT JUST BECAUSE IT LooKS QUIET DoESN’T MEAN THAT NoTHING IS HAPPENING.” rosalIe muller WrIGHT, eDITor oF suNseT maGaZINe, JaNuarY, 1999 Contact Jennifer Segale, Wildflower Farms, 726-5883 and Carla Lazzarini, Earth’s Laughter, (650) 996-5168. HMB February 2010 31


» SIGHTSEEING WITH LARS HOWLETT

Crooked horizons

n When: 2:32 p.m., January 10, 2010 n Where: Nine miles off the coast of Pillar Point n Exposure: 1/320 of a second at f/5.6, ISO 200 n Photographer’s Notes: When editing photographs the normal course of action is to reject images when a subject is out of focus, their eyes are closed or the horizon is crooked. There are times, however, where such irregularities can further develop the emotional or aesthetic content of the image. On a whale-watching trip I created this image using an ultrawide angle lens leaning off the prow of the Salty Lady. Normally I’m careful to square the horizon and if I discover it askew, back at the office I will correct it on the computer. In this instance, however, I left it as is because it added to the sense of unease being out to sea. Also the angle is great enough to suggest it is intentional. A horizon that is slightly off or an image that is vaguely out of focus will confuse the viewer, no matter the underlying intention. When breaking from convention, it’s often best to do so to a large degree to help prevent others from thinking it is a careless mistake.

32 February 2010 HMB

Lars Howlett is the Half Moon Bay Review’s photographer. You can reach him at lars@hmbreview.com or twitter @HMBfoto


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HMB Magazine February 2010  

DOWN TO EARTH PAT ROMA AND STEVE WILSON GARDENING IN WINTER Q&A WITH HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MAGAZINE FEBRUARY2010 MARK RESTANI

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