Half Moon Bay Review - September 2, 2020

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September 2, 2020



General Excellence 2

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DA: Deputies acted reasonably in fatal shooting REPORT REVEALS CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO DEATH By Clay Lambert

The San Mateo County district attorney’s office said last week that San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies acted rea-

sonably when they killed a woman armed with a shotgun in downtown Half Moon Bay earlier this year. Deputies killed Sandra Harmon the evening of May 5 in the parking lot behind Pasta Moon restaurant on Main Street. They were called to the scene on the report of a woman warning of a race war and carrying a long gun through downtown Half Moon Bay. Friday’s announcement

from the district attorney included a narrative of the autopsy report that states that the 56-year-old woman from Humboldt County was shot eight times and that three of the wounds were fatal. The fatal gunshots entered her back and side, according to the report. She was also shot in her hip, arms and left leg. The shots were fired by deputies David Dominguez, who was the first to encounter Harmon,

and John Baba, who arrived in the parking lot after the first shots were fired. A toxicology report reportedly revealed that Harmon had traces of methamphetamine, amphetamine and cannabis in her system as well as prescription medication for depression. Her blood-alcohol level measured .09, the report states. Dr. Louis Pena, who conducted the autopsy, said that the levels of meth and am-

[ czu august lightning complex ]

phetamine in her body were toxic and potentially lethal amounts. The shooting started shortly after 7:47 p.m. that evening. Acting on a tip from a local resident, Dominguez approached an RV parked behind the restaurant. Moments later, Harmon reportedly emerged and yelled a profanity at the deputy. She ducked back inside the RV and when she came out again, he says she was pointing a

shotgun at him. He sought cover behind his vehicle and says he heard a shotgun blast from where she stood, less than 10 feet away. The deputy told investigators that Harmon continued toward him and that he yelled for her to drop the gun. When she pointed it at him again, he says he fired four to six rounds at her and believes he hit See HARMONa 8A

[ san mateo county ]

Governor has business owners seeing purple in San Mateo County NEW COVID-19 FRAMEWORK REVEALED By Sarah Wright

Adam Pardee / Review

Firefighters continue to surround the CZU Lightning Complex fires on the South Coast and into Santa Cruz County, but the damage is becoming clear. This is all that remains of the general store at Big Basin State Park.

Barbershops and hair salons have resumed indoor service as of Monday in San Mateo County after Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed a new county monitoring framework on Friday. The changes are part of a new tiered system called “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” which replaces the “monitoring list” used previously to

regulate the state’s openness based on many factors. The new system uses just the case rate and positivity rate to categorize counties and determine where they sit on a path to slow reopening. After little more than four weeks of monitoring due to worrisome COVID-19 metrics, San Mateo County falls into the most strict “purple” category. That means risk is “widespread,” but the county will be able to make tweaks to its operations soon. Starting Monday, indoor retail can operSee PURPLEa 8A

[ special report ]

Firefight continues near Butano Name that dune LONG RECOVERY EFFORTS ONLY BEGINNING By Sarah Wright

More than two weeks after the CZU August Lightning Complex fires tore through the Santa Cruz Mountains, conditions are improving. While firefighters are working toward containment, they are still battling flames on the front lines. And hundreds of South Coast residents remain

displaced. CalFire reported Tuesday that the fire spanned 85,218 acres and was 43 percent contained. Altogether, 921 residences have been destroyed by the fire, which moved south well into Santa Cruz County last week, destroying homes and businesses in the communities of Bonny Doon, Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek. One death has been reported as a result of the fire so far. County Communications Chief Michelle Durand confirmed that in San Mateo County, 11 homes have been destroyed, but assessments

are ongoing as firefighting efforts continue on the north line, particularly around Butano State Park. Durand said additional homes may also have been damaged. A map of known damage in San Mateo County is linked on CalFire’s CZU incident page. Many South Coast residents from Pescadero and La Honda returned home on Thursday, relieved to find their communities intact. But evacuation orders remain in effect for Loma Mar, Dearborn Park, Pescadero Creek County Park, Butano State Park and nearby neighborhoods as parts of the

northern edge of the fire continue to threaten those communities. The county reported 329 fire evacuees at hotels countywide. Some area roads remain closed as well, including Highway 1 at Gazos Creek and Cloverdale Road and Pescadero Creek Road at Butano Cutoff. On Monday, CalFire Operations Chief Mark Brunton said the majority of firefighting efforts are happening near Butano Park, where crews are constructing fire lines and conducting limited burn opSee FIREa 8A

[ funds ]

County’s Strong Fund largely goes toward rental assistance HUNDREDS HELPED ON COASTSIDE By Vanessa Ochavillo Photo courtesy Coastside Hope

Donations from the Sea Crest School community were funneled through Coastside Hope to benefit those displaced by the CZU Lightning Complex fires.

The creators of a new countywide fund to benefit people adversely affected by COVID-19 report that more than $2 million have

been used to keep more than 2,000 families and individuals housed since April. The San Mateo County Strong Fund, created and administered by a partnership of private and public agencies, raised more than $8 million, according to a new report released last week. A quarter of that funding has gone to families and individuals, largely to pay for rent.

About $2.8 million was raised exclusively to help with families’ and individuals’ financial needs, such as rent, utilities and transportation. The remainder of the $8 million was distributed to service organizations and small businesses. Between April and August, at least 3,500 households apSee FUNDa 8A


I’m named either for the original Lone Ranger or my dad’s high school buddy, depending upon whom I ask. Important places are often named for mere men (and, as we will see locally, they were almost always named for men). These monikers weren’t always bestowed with love. They sometimes were meant to By clay lambert connote power — power over our surroundings or others. Start with your own name. Sometimes they convey a subMaybe it carries the weight tle message that is lost on the of some family expectation. oblivious but perfectly obvious We’re named after our to others. grandmother who perTake anything severed despite odds named for Christopher that make our curColumbus, for examrent travails seem trivple. ial. You might be a juToday, in this newsnior, expected to live paper and in the On up to the standards Clay Lambert the Coastside magayour father set. The Dylans zine that is included for suband Marleys among us give scribers, we take a look at why baby boomers a smile of rec- some local landmarks carry the ognition. As often as not, our names are obscure references. See NAMESa 8A

The names of the Coastside

Review staff writer Sarah Wright and intern Kara Glenwright collected information on the monikers of many Coastside landmarks. Their work can be seen inside and in the September issue of On the Coastside magazine, which is inserted for subscribers and available at hmbreview.com and at Review offices. t Inside: Find a map that points out some categories of names on the coast and how they came to be. Also, see a timeline of popular names. Page 10A t On the Coastside: Review reporters interview historians for context on local names. Free insert.

Editorial a 7A | Weather a 4A | Police Log a 4A | Seniors a 9A | Sports a 12A | Real Estate a 1B | Classifieds a 6B

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