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Wednesday, June 16, 2010






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Serving the entire San Mateo Coastside since ı898


The California drought is over, say local water managers. They are quick to add, however, that now is not the time to

crank on the lawn sprinklers or rip out the drought-tolerant gardens. After a series of statewide drought years, local water districts have been cautious in how they address this year’s remarkably higher rainfall. Water directors want to make sure local residents keep their eye on conservation even though water supplies are adequate, for now at least. “It’s still important people conserve

[ police ]

water,” said Dave Dickson, general manager at the Coastside County Water District. “Our water supply will be limited in the future.” Reports of replenished water stocks in the Hetch Hetchy system led the Coastside water district last week to lift a drought advisory that had been in place since 2007. The Half Moon Bay water district receives about 90 percent of its water from

the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which has been low for years. In the Half Moon Bay area, rainfall was approximately 70 percent of average for the last three years. But this year, water levels have already met historic averages. And with several months left, rainfall levels this year could set a high-water mark. Dickson said the water district will

Gray water: Some in the Bay Area push for rainwater collection. 6A Pescadero sewers: South Coast leaders look again at wastewater plans. 6A

See WATER a 8A

[ gr aduation ]

[ business ]

Downtown merchants give conflicting signs

City may need new top cop



By Mark Noack [ ]

By Mark Naock [ ]

Half Moon Bay elected officials could be searching for a new police chief soon. Police Chief Don O’Keefe has been nominated to serve as U.S. marshal for the Northern District of California. If approved by the U.S. Senate, O’Keefe would become the head Don O’Keefe federal law enforcement official for an area stretching from Monterey County to the Oregon border. City leaders hope to investigate finding a new police chief in the coming weeks. City Manager Michael Dolder said he planned on scheduling council discussions on the issue in July. “We have some lead time since this is a months-long process,” Dolder wrote in an email. “As soon as public information in that process is available I will let you know.” The nomination was announced on the White House Web page last week. O’Keefe would replace Federico Rocha, who currently

More wet stuff

Lars Howlett / Review

Half Moon Bay High School graduate Lauren Ward watches as “the wave” travels up the line of students waiting to enter the gymnasium for graduation ceremonies at the high school.





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ast week’s Half Moon Bay High School graduation ceremonies were 100 years coming. About 200 seniors sat in robes and caps while a packed gymnasium roared with cheers on Thursday night. Beaming with delight at the ceremony podium, Principal Mary Streshly had special reason to be giddy. The campus was finishing its 100th school year, and just two days earlier Coastside voters had approved more funding for local schools. Graduation was a perfect hat trick for the school, and the outgoing senior class did its share of celebrating. “I want to thank this class for the immense school spirit you leave behind. You Cougars are the centennial class at Half Moon Bay High!” Streshly said. “How about that? One hundred years of Half Moon Bay High and Measure E all in the same week!” A lot has changed since the days of the modest, Spanish-adobe-

See CHIEF a 8A

See GRAD a 8A

Lars Howlett / Review

U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo blows a kiss to Half Moon Bay High graduates during her commencement speech on Thursday.

[ education ]

South Coast schools could be out of red LA HONDA-PESCADERO BUDGET COMING SOON By Lily Bixler [ ]

The La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District may have clawed its way out of the red after financial missteps required the county to step in. Next week the district’s budget for the upcoming year will be ready for public view, and even though the state proposes shifting more financial burden over to the district in coming years, according to Superintendent Dennis Dobbs, things are looking up for the district. “We’re going to end the year with about a half-million dollars,” Dobbs said. “That equates

“The district was in a dire situation. So this year was a critical year to make sure we keep the district above water.” — Superintendent Dennis Dobbs

to 11.7 percent of the budget. The state requires the district to have a 4 percent reserve but we currently exceed that.” Marcia Kimbal, who has been working with a county assistant on the 2010-2011 budget, said the South Coast school district’s proposed budget is, “pretty much in line with other districts.” The county office of education concurs with Dobb’s upbeat assessment.

“The district’s financial records have been put in order. State and federal reports have been submitted for prior years … The district is projecting a healthy ending balance for the current fiscal year and two subsequent years, and it’s planning some further structural reductions for the 2010-2011 year,” county fiscal adviser Steve Waterman and fiscal expert Krishna Kirpalini wrote in a June letter to the district Board of Trustees. The South Coast school district found itself in a financial straightjacket when it exceeded bond payments to be used to renovate aging facilities and build a new high school. The district defaulted on a $15 million bond fund by about $2 million and spent more than $8 million in the process. The district was forced to turn to the counSee SCHOOL a 8A

The hot weather is here — at least it exists over the hill — and that means carloads of visitors are making the pilgrimage over Highway 92 to visit the Coastside shoreline each day. That could be a great opportunity for the downtown business corridor, Tour de HMB? except for one ob- Business leaders debate stacle — many whether they want to ask people visiting Amgen Tour of California Half Moon Bay organizers to bring the bike race down Main Street. don’t even know it See story, Page 9A. has a downtown. The downtown business community hopes to rethink its marketing efforts to get more visitors gravitating down Main Street. Posting prominent signs along highways 1 and 92 has long been suggested as the obvious solution and, in general, is strongly supported by merchants and business experts. “The sign issue is something I’ve been complaining about for a long time,” said Charise McHugh, president and CEO of the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau. “When visitors get to a place, they want good signs to help them find what they want. If they don’t get that, they go home.” But bringing in new signs hasn’t been a simple endeavor. The city already has three postings along Highway 92 advertising the historic city center to drivers, but the signs are generally regarded as inconspicuous and ineffective. Last week, the chamber of commerce took the initiative by commissioning sign graphics, and asking local business owners to choose between two prototypes — a green and beige sign or a blue and white one. Receiving the votes via e-mail, McHugh anSee BUSINESS a 8A

Lars Howlett / Review

Business leaders agree they want a better sign alerting shoppers to Half Moon Bay, but they can’t entirely agree on what that sign should look like.

Editorial a 4A | Weather & Tides a 5A | Police Log a 5A | A&E a 2B | Sports a 5B | Real Estate a 1C | Classifieds a 3C


Review page 1 06.16.10