Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Plan Bay Area is Racist and Locks the Poor into Poverty.

Do minorities "prefer" to lived in cramped apartments?  That is what the planners of Plan Bay Area want you to believe.   If the Housing Element and Plan Bay Area are approved, not only will we have massive affordable housing complexes,  our neighborhoods will be upzoned to 50 units per acre.

Wake up and smell the coffee!  We must fight the Housing Element and Plan Bay Area!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is Satire? A special note for the "Outraged ".


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Satire is a form in art or writing which makes criticisms of a person, government and institution, often through humour. Satire can be humorous and make people laugh, but it is not just for making people laugh. Satire makes fun of people’s faults. It shows that they are bad or stupid and makes the reader, viewer or audience laugh at them. Satire can be found in paintings, plays, books, songs, TV or movies. Satire often uses irony to make its effect. Satire may be trying to change the way people behave by showing their weaknesses, or make them angry or sad by showing their flaws.
Satire was used long ago, even as long ago as the Ancient Greeks. It was widely known in Elizabethan times. Swift used satire in his book Gulliver’s Travels to make fun of people’s stupidity. Works like The Beggar’s Opera (1728) used satire to show how silly the politicians of the time were. In modern times the German playwright Bertolt Brecht used a lot of satire in his plays.

Satire is not possible under dictatorships. It was not allowed, for example, in the Soviet Union. Anyone trying to make fun of Stalin would have been put to death immediately.
Satire often points out bad things that powerful people are doing, but may also harm disadvantaged or nonfamous people like you and me. The adjective is satirical.

For a related story see:  Wanted Gay Eskimos

 For a related post on FREEDOM

West County Gateway idea riles Occidental residents (Priority Conservation Areas are coming. Wake up West Marin!)

see article in Santa Rosa Press Democrat West County Gateway idea riles Occidental residents

Jacques Levy leads a group upset with proposals to turn Occidental's community center into the hub of the West County Gateway. ((JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat))

The fate of the aging and underutilized community center in Occidental has spawned a bitter controversy that has split neighbors over questions of how best to use public lands — and about the limits of government power.

Residents of the unincorporated town were surprised to discover earlier this year that their community center appeared to have been designated as the future hub ofsomething called the West County Gateway, an expansive vision for linking more than 11,000 acres of parks and open space, using trails and shuttle buses, from Jenner to Bodega Bay and inland to Occidental and Monte Rio.
The humble community center, a nondescript concrete artifact of early '70s municipal architecture that is now the regional home for the YMCA, would be reborn as an Adventure Day Lodge, with a visitor center, bike and hiking equipment rentals, food service and public gathering areas.
Local critics learned of the two-year-old concept in January, when it came up as a minor detail in a county Regional Parks presentation to the Board of Supervisors. The news set off an uproar, with some neighbors arguing that unaccountable bureaucrats were making secret decisions about the community's destiny, and others arguing that risk-averse NIMBYs were threatening progress by refusing to discuss reasonable options for the future.

“It's caused a little bit of division,” said Pieter Myers, one of the residents supporting the gateway idea. “People I used to be close to, we view each other with a little bit ofsuspicion because we're on different sides of the issue.”

An ad-hoc committee calling itself the Town HallCommittee, meanwhile, has been gathering what information it can about the gateway idea and has called a June 4 meeting to discuss the findings. Members say it appears that the Regional Parks agency has invested considerable time and energy on the plan without giving area residents any idea of its scope or implications in terms of new tourists, cramped parking and increased traffic on the narrow local roads.

Many people in Occidental “don't want a government agency coming in and changing it in such a radical way,”msaid Jacques Levy spokesman for the group.

But it is not entirely clear if the West County Gateway is even a real plan. Whether the flap is the result of a secret government plan or a comedy of errors depends on who you ask.

“You've got to recognize that their concerns are about a concept that is unfunded and unplanned and is not a project at this time,” said Caryl Hart, head of the county's Regional Parks Department, which owns the community center. “Right now, the only thing we're involved in is the OccidentalCommunity Center.”

Hart says the West County Gateway was nothing but a concept paper her office dashed off back in 2011 to apply for a small community outreach grant from the National Park Service. Into that paper went an assortment of big ideas about interconnecting the vast patchwork of county, state and federal lands that sprawl across the Sonoma Coast. Much of that land is inaccessible to the public, often simply because it lacks basics such as parking, trailheads, restrooms or even access roads.

Even the name West County Gateway is just a working title, she said. Some area residents don't believe a word of it. Levy points out that the very same details from the grant application, including the name Adventure Day Lodge, were written into the county's official Capital Improvement Plan as part of the project to rehab the community center. The Board of Supervisors just approved the latest version of that plan on May 21.

And while the county's website has made no mention of West County Gateway until this week, Hart or her staff has mentioned it in an offhanded way at least twice to the supervisors, most recently in January during a discussion of tourist improvements in Bodega Bay.

These tantalizing traces of evidence suggest to Levy and others that the parks agency has been viewing the West County Gateway as something close to a done deal, all without a single public meeting or any environmental review.

“Our contention is that the county and the community need to get together in a way that doesn't imply top-down dictation,” he said.

Others in Occidental, however, aren't so suspicious of the the idea, and welcome some kind of tourist hub.  Heidi McNeal, longtime member of a group called Save the OccidentalCommunity Center, said the gateway plan is far from perfect, but she appreciates the agency's effort to find some self-sustaining uses for the center. She worries that the sponsors of the June 4 meeting willsimply oppose any change and kill off any effort to revitalize the property.

“We all get it: Nobody likes everything ... but let's hear where Parks are now,” she said.
Supporters of the gateway concept have been trying to rally like-minded residents to attend the June 4 meeting to provide a counterweight to what they fear will be a largely hostile agenda.

“We have got to get together and talk about what's best and stop talking about what's bad about the gateway,” Myers said.

The dispute appears to have come as a rude shock to Hart, herself an Occidental-area resident who has headed the county parks agency for just over two years. Previously, she was best known as a private activist pushing for land preservation and greater public access to recreational lands.
All she really wanted to do in this case, she said, was help the people of Occidental come up with some interesting way to keep the money-losing community center open. The sharp reaction to the resulting gateway proposal has made her realize that the lofty, high-concept ideas she espoused as a private citizen may not sit comfortably with her new job.

“Now that I am a government official, there are limitations,” she said, with evident frustration. “I have to out what that middle ground is between assisting people in raising money and creating a sense that government is acting too quickly and is going to do something without any process.”

Former west county Supervisor Eric Koenigshofer agrees, saying Hart's relative inexperience as a bureaucrat led to a process that “has gotten out ofsync a little bit with the community.”

Koenigshofer, an Occidental lawyer and a board member of the conservation-oriented Bodega Land Trust, has agreed to moderate the June 4 meeting, saying he hopes to keep it reasonable and fair. The sponsors of the meeting are “understandably confused” by what they know of the gateway concept so far.

Hart, meanwhile, said she has heard the concerns from the community and is in the process of removing phrases like “adventure day lodge” from official documents, including eventually from the capital improvement plan. On Friday, her office posted its first official mention of the gateway concept here.

She promised to call her own meetings over the summer to give residents a chance to say what they do — and do not — want.

“If they don't support it, it's not going to happen,” she said.

See related article:  If you own rural land beware

For more on the West County Gateway project see Gateway Project in Occidental and Bodega Bay

Sunday, July 21, 2013

VIDEO: Uptown vs Downtown at Occupy Wall Street

Is this Upzoning Nightmare coming to Marinwood-Lucas Valley?

see the Full episode on Infill Development

See what Seattle is facing : One Home per Lot

Supervisor Susan Adams recently remarked that it was okay for 30 units per acre East of Las Gallinas and "somewhat less" elsewhere (20 units per acre?).  This is an enormous up-zoning of our neighborhoods.  Soon we will share the same problem as John Taylor in Seattle with high density housing or apartments peering over our backyards.   The planners and politicans have gone mad.  They want to up-zone land throughout Marin and will lose our neighborhood forever to high density dwellings.

It is not just affordable housing we must be concerned with,  it is the destruction of our quiet suburbs through upzoning to allow lot splitting and building multifamily homes on single family lots. 

 Supervisor Adams has kept this quiet since August 7, 2007 when she helped create the Marinwood Priority Development Area.

Goodbye quiet family suburbs.