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Big wave film festival in Half Moon Bay

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 5:24 pm in Half Moon Bay, Mavericks, San Mateo County

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.

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Speier votes no on war-funding bill

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 at 5:55 pm in 2008 Congressional Race, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Jackie Speier

Spokesman Mike Larsen has confirmed that Rep. Jackie Speier voted against a $106 billion bill Tuesday to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speier did so despite some “mild” lobbying from the White House and the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Larsen, who noted that ending the war in Iraq and bringing home the troops was her top issue when campaigning for office last year.

“This didn’t seem to be much different than plans in the past,” Larsen said. “She felt it was a vote for another open-ended war.”

The bill still needs to pass the Senate.

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“Not the Cow Palace!”

By Aaron Kinney
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 5:22 pm in Arnold Schwarzenegger, Daly City, Economy, San Mateo County

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
You’re Welcome – California Budget Crisis
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Newt Gingrich Unedited Interview

The jewel of Daly City gets a shout-out on “The Daily Show” during a discussion of California’s catastrophic budget situation.

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Eshoo scolded for single-payer stance

By Aaron Kinney
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:25 pm in 2008 Congressional Race, Anna Eshoo, Democratic Party, San Mateo County

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, is the subject of some harsh criticism from blogger “sworddance” over at the Daily Kos, the liberal political blog, for ruling out the idea of a single-payer option before the process of crafting a bill to overhaul the health care system has even begun.

Eshoo apparently feels there aren’t enough votes in Congress for the single-payer option, further evidence for disappointed progressives that hope for true universal health care at this time is all but dead.

Sworddance points out that Eshoo received roughly $725,000 in campaign contributions from the health care industry in the 2008 cycle and claims: “Rep. Anna Eshoo backs insurance companies over humans.”

We’ll give Eshoo’s office a call later this week for more on her position on the single-payer option.

Tonight at 7, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, is holding her telephone town-hall meeting on health care. To participate, call 877-229-8493 and enter the number 13867 when prompted.

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More graduation photos

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 5:04 pm in Belmont, Daly City, Education, Pacifica, San Mateo County, Schools

A bunch of good photos from the Carlmont, Jefferson and Terra Nova high school graduations last week were left on the cutting-room floor. Here’s the best of what didn’t get into the paper. In the photo above, Charlotte Carpenter waves to family members during Jefferson’s graduation ceremony Thursday in Daly City. (Photo by John Green)

Jefferson class speaker Bongie Matudio (left) leads her fellow seniors onto the football field. (John Green)

Joshua Delai stikes a pose after receiving his diploma at Terra Nova’s ceremony Thursday in Pacifica. (Photo by Dan Honda)

Jessie Harris takes pictures at Carlmont’s graduation Friday in Belmont. (Dan Honda)

Carlmont’s Associated Student Body President Mitchell Cappa gives a thumbs-up to the graduating class. (Dan Honda)

Carlmont senior Josephine Kitekeiaho shows her joy at receiving her diploma. (Dan Honda)

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Speier to hold health care meeting by phone

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 3:47 pm in Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, San Mateo County

Rep. Jackie Speier will hold a town-hall meeting by telephone tomorrow with constituents on the subject of health care reform.

The Obama administration’s attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system is expected to heat up this summer. Speier will be taking calls from members of California’s 12th Congressional District from 7 to 8 p.m. to solicit their views and concerns. To participate, visit and click on “Healthcare House Call,” e-mail your name and phone number to, or call (650) 342-0300.

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More from Memorial Day weekend

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 1:17 pm in San Bruno, San Mateo County

We didn’t have a chance to get all the great photos we shot on Saturday at Golden Gate National Cemetery into the newspaper. Here’s a sampling of some of those images. In the photo above, John Loftus, a member of Troop 50 from Palo Alto, carries a load of flags to place on graves at the San Bruno cemetery. (Photo by John Green/MediaNews.) Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts from around the Bay Area placed more than 116,000 flags on graves for Memorial Day.

Another one of those Scouts was Moroni Mafi, above, of Troop 34 in San Bruno. (John Green/MediaNews)

Curt Shepord and his wife, Paige, who live in Arizona, visited the graves of her parents — First Lt. Anne Arcularius and father Lt. Cpl. Robert Arcularius — both of whom served in the military during World War II. (Maria Avilas/MediaNews)

A bird perches atop a tombstone in the photo above. Below, Howard Yoneta and his wife, Glynis, of San Mateo, paid their respects to her father, William Finster Busch, who served in the Korean War. (Both photos by Maria Avila/MediaNews.)

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Reaction to Prop. 8

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 4:56 pm in Activism, Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, Leland Yee, San Mateo County

Rep. Jackie Speier and state Sen. Leland Yee have issued statements in response to the California Supreme Court’s ruling on Prop. 8.


“I am disappointed in the decision by the California Supreme Court but not surprised. ‘Equal protection under the law’ is the most basic of our constitutional rights, yet history has shown that it never occurs without a fight. Marriage equality will happen soon enough, but only if those of us who care deeply about the issue continue to educate our neighbors that this is not about special rights, but simple fairness.”


“A year ago, our Supreme Court reaffirmed the highest ideals of our republic. Today, it is only Justice Moreno in his dissent who now stands on the right side of history. Proposition 8 and the decision reached by the Court today weaken our Constitution. All minorities could now be at risk of losing fundamental rights by the will of the majority — a concept completely counter to the equal protection clause.

“For far too long, our nation has unfairly allowed state-sanctioned discrimination. We must not stop this effort until all loving relationships and all families are fully recognized with the rights, privileges, and joys of marriage.”

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Notre Dame de Namur graduation

By Aaron Kinney
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 4:07 pm in Aaron Kinney, Awards and Accolades, Belmont, Education, Schools

We have a few extra photos lying around from Saturday’s commencement ceremonies at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. In the photo above, Yang Zhou holds her 1-year-old son Raymond.

Former teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan, above, was the keynote speaker. Morgan, who got her teaching credential at Notre Dame de Namur in 1974, was a member of the space shuttle Endeavour crew that performed a two-week mission in 2007, making improvements to the International Space Station.

Derek Joseph DeGrenier, above, waved to friends during the commencement ceremonies.

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More Cinco celebration

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, May 7th, 2009 at 4:56 pm in Education, Redwood City, San Mateo County

We thought it would be worthwhile to share two photos from a Cinco de Mayo celebration on Tuesday at the Taft School in Redwood City that didn’t make it into Wednesday’s paper. Above, third-grader Ashanti Caravez is among those watching a student performance of traditional Mexican dance, which is depicted in the photo below.

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