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County students excell at Berklee College of Music

Who knew there were so many local kids attending, and thriving at, the Berklee College of Music in Boston?

We got an email today saying that eight students from San Mateo County made the dean’s list for the 2009 spring semester, meaning they had GPAs of 3.4 or higher:

– Lauren Blocker, Portola Valley
– Thomas Hass, Moss Beach
– Kelsey Luongo, Hillsborough
– Nate Marsh, Millbrae
– Torin Martinez, Half Moon Bay
– Chayah Miranda, Millbrae
– Heather Rose, Half Moon Bay
– Christopher Sullivan, Burlingame

Congrats to all these students.

Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Under: Burlingame, Education, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Moss Beach, Portola Valley, San Mateo County, Schools | No Comments »

Major Mavericks drama

Jeff Clark, the man who discovered Mavericks, issued a statement Thursday in response to the announcement earlier in the week that he had stepped down as contest director of the Mavericks Surf Contest. Here’s the statement in full:

“Over the past several years, it has been obvious that my vision and priorities are not in line with those of Mavericks Surf Ventures. I have had in the past, and continue to have, strong differences of opinion with the present CEO and Board about the direction, image and priorities of the company and the contest.

“The press release issued by Mavericks Surf Ventures this week stating that I ‘stepped down’ and I am ‘passing the torch to the next generation’ is wrong. The reality is that I was ousted as contest director by the current CEO.

“I must also note that, while the company’s news release states that this year’s contest will be held to celebrate ‘the 35th anniversary of Jeff Clark’s first session at the now world-famous break,’ the 35th anniversary is actually next season, in 2010-11. I will not allow the company to use my accomplishment as a marketing tactic.

“Effective today, I have resigned from the board of directors of Mavericks Surf Ventures.

“My vision for the Mavericks Surf Contest has been unwavering: It is about the family of big wave surfers, the spirit of the ocean, and this amazing wave. I never wanted that to be compromised for the sake of money or marketing opportunities. I think that focus is obvious to anyone who knows me or who has seen my priorities over the years.

“Mavericks has been an integral part of my personal and professional life for more than 30 years, and I hope that it continues to be a part of both in the future.

“I wake up looking at Mavericks, and I have watched and surfed those waves most of my life. I started the contest 10 years ago, and I can say one thing for sure: Mavericks is Mavericks. The waves will come – or not – when they will.

“The one thing I would truly regret would be to see a committee deciding, based on sponsorship money and media opportunities, when the best day to run the contest would be, and have it turn into just another 10 foot swell with a lot of hype and not a lot of substance. Any true Mavericks surfer wants and deserves a real test of ability.

“I wish everyone well, knowing that Mavericks will always take care of itself.

“I wish I could say more at this time, but I have had limited time to absorb these changes and will have more to say about this situation as things become clearer.”

Wow. The Mercury News had a brief story Friday on Clark’s statement that included an interview with Mavericks Surf Ventures CEO Keir Beadling, who took a couple veiled shots at Clark, saying it would be “sad” for anyone (Clark?) to think Mavericks is about just one person.

He also said, “There’s been a long-term sense of tyranny that we’re now out from under.”

Basically, it looks like Beadling thought Clark was too picky and capricious when it came to selecting a contest date, while Clark doesn’t want marketers to hold contests when the waves aren’t right just to make a buck.

The Times will have more on this feud, which simmered for a long time and has now broken fully into the open, early this week, I’m sure.

Posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2009
Under: Half Moon Bay, Mavericks, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Big wave film festival in Half Moon Bay

The first-annual Half Moon Bay Big-Wave Surfing Film Festival is underway at the Oceano Hotel in Princeton Harbor, not far from the Mavericks* break. (File photo above, taken by Mathew Sumner, depicts Grant Long scoring a perfect 10 on a wave during the 2008 Mavericks contest.)

You can still catch Friday and Saturday night’s festivities. Here’s a listing of what’s on tap, courtesy of the organizers:

Friday, June 19, Harbor Villages Atrium
Reception at 6 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by “Year of the Drag-In,” a film produced by Eric Nelson, Curt Myers and Frank Quirarte, featuring a cast of international stars as they took the tow-in revolution to new limits in waves up to 70 feet on the face.

8:30 p.m. “Maverick’s,” a documentary film produced and narrated by Grant Washburn, written with Bruce Jenkins, chronicles the story of how Maverick’s became one of the world’s top big-wave surf spots.

Saturday, June 20, Harbor Villages Atrium
Reception at 6 p.m, followed at 7 p.m. by “One Winter Story,” by Frank Films. Filmmakers Sally Lundburg and Elizabeth Pepin study the inspiring life of Santa Cruz surfer Sarah Gerhardt, the first woman to ride Mavericks.

*Is “Mavericks” supposed to have an apostrophe or not? Trying to figure it out gives me a headache. We’ll have to consult with Coastside reporter and resident Mavericks expert Julia Scott when she returns to the office on Monday.

Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2009
Under: Half Moon Bay, Mavericks, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Wackiness in Half Moon Bay school district race

No election in Half Moon Bay would be complete without at least a small dose of small-town silliness, and this season’s Cabrillo Unified School District board race is no exception.

School board challenger Ken Johnson suffered a blow in the public relations department after taking control of a URL that used to belong to John Moseley, one of two incumbents defending their seats in this election.

Johnson then employed the Web site — www.ElectMoseley.com — to upload language implying the two men were running as a slate. Moseley had used the site in 2004 during his first run for the school board, but had since allowed the domain name to lapse.

Meanwhile, Johnson was telling anyone who would listen that he intended to see both Moseley and himself elected to the school board and not Charlie Gardner, an incumbent who Johnson calls “not a friend.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008
Under: 2008 Local Races, Aaron Kinney, Education, Half Moon Bay, Julia Scott, Political Campaigns, Schools | No Comments »

Vaughn Walker, Half Moon Bay and a woodshed

hmb-photo.jpg

[This post was updated Friday at 9 a.m. See below.]

It all looks so peaceful from above, doesn’t it? That’s the view (courtesy of one Jeremy Zarodny) approaching Half Moon Bay Airport, which is lucky not to depend on the city for funding.

Half Moon Bay is in a world of financial hurt following the ruling of a federal judge last week in a dispute with Chop Keenan, the owner of a 25-acre property just east of Highway 1 and north of state Highway 92.

(To view the location, go to Google and enter “Terrace Avenue Half Moon Bay.” Results of this search are here. Then click “Satellite” and you’ll see that Beachwood is the empty green parcel between two housing clusters along Grandview Boulevard and Terrace Avenue.)

For those not inclined to slog through the 167-page decision, the Insider takes a closer look.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker gave the city of Half Moon Bay a thorough and embarassing spanking in his $37-million ruling in favor of the owners of Beachwood, a decision that threatens to hamstring the city finacially for years and perhaps decades to come, since its annual budget is only about $10 million.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Environment, Half Moon Bay, Housing, Lawsuits, San Mateo County | 3 Comments »