Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Night Movies

Michael Robbins Furniture from Element Media Santa Fe on Vimeo.

rising vessels II from Benjamin Portas on Vimeo.

1982 from Gina Breslau on Vimeo.

a wander through Hong Kong from Billy Boyd Cape on Vimeo.

HOUT from HOUT on Vimeo.

Find Snowboarding: KAZAKHSTAN from TransWorld SNOWboarding on Vimeo.

Dripped from ChezEddy on Vimeo.

Living With Jigsaw from Chris Capel on Vimeo.

The Nether Regions from WÖNKY Films on Vimeo.

Gone South with Vita Brevis Films from VITA BREVIS FILMS on Vimeo.

Pional - It's all over from Tomás Peña on Vimeo.

STUFF PICK from Ground's Oranges on Vimeo.

Paris Through Pentax from Maison Carnot on Vimeo.

Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order

Editor's Note: Kissinger observes that wars and political strife are "bad for business".  His solution?  A new world order governed by elites in regional governing entities.  Sound Familiar?  This is essentially the idea behind  United Nations Agenda 21.

 Republicans have megalomaniac dreams too.

They see salvation in business and economic prosperity.  Some want the international barriers to markets lowered so international corporations can have a better business climate.  This is just corporatism not true free market capitalism or democracy.  While I am not a fan of big government, neither am I enamored with the altruism of big business.  The elite politicians and corporate titans want to concentrate their power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.


What happens to be wrong with the peaceful coexistence of nations living beside one another?  Is economic prosperity and government efficiency the acme of democratic evolution or is freedom and liberty?  Apparently, "geniuses" like Dr. Kissinger feel elites alone are up to the task of guiding our lives.  Don't believe it.


Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order

The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis

Henry Kissenger when he was Secretary of State for Richard Nixon

The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis, writes Henry Kissinger. Above, a pro-Russian fighter stands guard at a checkpoint close to Donetsk, Ukraine in July. European Pressphoto Agency 
Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan's young democracy is on the verge of paralysis. To these troubles are added a resurgence of tensions with Russia and a relationship with China divided between pledges of cooperation and public recrimination. The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis.
The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies. In the decades following World War II, the U.S.—strengthened in its economy and national confidence—began to take up the torch of international leadership and added a new dimension. A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace. The traditional European approach to order had viewed peoples and states as inherently competitive; to constrain the effects of their clashing ambitions, it relied on a balance of power and a concert of enlightened statesmen. The prevalent American view considered people inherently reasonable and inclined toward peaceful compromise and common sense; the spread of democracy was therefore the overarching goal for international order. Free markets would uplift individuals, enrich societies and substitute economic interdependence for traditional international rivalries.
In the Middle East, religious militias violate borders at will. Getty Images
This effort to establish world order has in many ways come to fruition. A plethora of independent sovereign states govern most of the world's territory. The spread of democracy and participatory governance has become a shared aspiration if not a universal reality; global communications and financial networks operate in real time.
The years from perhaps 1948 to the turn of the century marked a brief moment in human history when one could speak of an incipient global world order composed of an amalgam of American idealism and traditional European concepts of statehood and balance of power. But vast regions of the world have never shared and only acquiesced in the Western concept of order. These reservations are now becoming explicit, for example, in the Ukraine crisis and the South China Sea. The order established and proclaimed by the West stands at a turning point.

First, the nature of the state itself—the basic formal unit of international life—has been subjected to a multitude of pressures. Europe has set out to transcend the state and craft a foreign policy based primarily on the principles of soft power. But it is doubtful that claims to legitimacy separated from a concept of strategy can sustain a world order. And Europe has not yet given itself attributes of statehood, tempting a vacuum of authority internally and an imbalance of power along its borders. At the same time, parts of the Middle East have dissolved into sectarian and ethnic components in conflict with each other; religious militias and the powers backing them violate borders and sovereignty at will, producing the phenomenon of failed states not controlling their own territory.

The challenge in Asia is the opposite of Europe's: Balance-of-power principles prevail unrelated to an agreed concept of legitimacy, driving some disagreements to the edge of confrontation.
The clash between the international economy and the political institutions that ostensibly govern it also weakens the sense of common purpose necessary for world order. The economic system has become global, while the political structure of the world remains based on the nation-state. Economic globalization, in its essence, ignores national frontiers. Foreign policy affirms them, even as it seeks to reconcile conflicting national aims or ideals of world order.
This dynamic has produced decades of sustained economic growth punctuated by periodic financial crises of seemingly escalating intensity: in Latin America in the 1980s; in Asia in 1997; in Russia in 1998; in the U.S. in 2001 and again starting in 2007; in Europe after 2010. The winners have few reservations about the system. But the losers—such as those stuck in structural misdesigns, as has been the case with the European Union's southern tier—seek their remedies by solutions that negate, or at least obstruct, the functioning of the global economic system.
The international order thus faces a paradox: Its prosperity is dependent on the success of globalization, but the process produces a political reaction that often works counter to its aspirations.

A third failing of the current world order, such as it exists, is the absence of an effective mechanism for the great powers to consult and possibly cooperate on the most consequential issues. This may seem an odd criticism in light of the many multilateral forums that exist—more by far than at any other time in history. Yet the nature and frequency of these meetings work against the elaboration of long-range strategy. This process permits little beyond, at best, a discussion of pending tactical issues and, at worst, a new form of summitry as "social media" event. A contemporary structure of international rules and norms, if it is to prove relevant, cannot merely be affirmed by joint declarations; it must be fostered as a matter of common conviction.

The penalty for failing will be not so much a major war between states (though in some regions this remains possible) as an evolution into spheres of influence identified with particular domestic structures and forms of governance. At its edges, each sphere would be tempted to test its strength against other entities deemed illegitimate. A struggle between regions could be even more debilitating than the struggle between nations has been.
The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another. These goals are not necessarily self-reconciling: The triumph of a radical movement might bring order to one region while setting the stage for turmoil in and with all others. The domination of a region by one country militarily, even if it brings the appearance of order, could produce a crisis for the rest of the world.
A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages.
To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?
For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
Dr. Kissinger served as national security adviser
 and secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Adapted from his book "World Order," to be published Sept. 9 by the Penguin Press

Editor's note: Though I cannot vouch all the claims, I find this article on Kissinger interesting HERE

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Night Music: Pink Floyd

Recent Political Cartoons by Seamus O'Reamus

Opps.  This isn't a political cartoon, it is the real life Solano County Sheriff tank.  Makes me feel all safe and secure knowing that war machines will be used on other citizens to "keep us safe" 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thousands More Commuters from Rohnert Park to Flood the 101 Freeway

Sonoma County is expected to add THOUSANDS of new housing units in Rohnert Park which will have dramatic impacts on the 101 Highway commute.

Thursday, January 2, 2014, 1:30 pm

State Farm campus buyer plans transit-based community

City sees 30-acre site as its new ‘heart’

    State Farm campus aerial - Cushman & Wakefield
    An aerial view of the former State Farm campus. (image credit: Cushman & Wakefield)

    ROHNERT PARK — A Southern California-based housing developer purchased the nearly 30-acre former State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance campus, a move toward realizing a long-held community goal to create a new “heart” for Sonoma County’s third-largest city.

    Several buyers considered acquiring the property in the three and a half years since the insurer pulled up stakes from the 320,000-square-foot insurance claims center complex at 6400 State Farm Dr., but Irvine-based SunCal Cos. opted to pursue acquisition, closing the deal Dec. 24.

    The sale price wasn’t disclosed. Purchasing entity North Bay Community, LLC, financed $30 million of the acquisition through New York-based Catlin U.S. Investment Holdings, according to public documents.

    “We are very, very bullish on the Bay Area in general, and the North Bay has tremendous potential,” said Joe Guirra, who oversees SunCal’s Northern California acquisitions and entitlements. “The site has great infill potential.”

    Entrance to former State Farm campus in Rohnert Park.

    As one of the nation’s largest privately held developers of master-planned communities, SunCal has been known for working with huge projects throughout the U.S. with hundreds of acres and homes. The developer also has undertaken several projects of the size of the one in Rohnert Park, including a small project near San Rafael a number of years ago, according to Mr. Guirra. One such project is a 50-acre undeveloped property near Vallejo and Benicia that SunCal is in contract to buy.

    SunCal has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Denver, Austin, Savannah, Ga., and Melbourne, Fl. In Northern California, the developer in November received approval for nearly 2,000 homes, school, parks and shops in the 189-acre Dublin Crossings partial redevelopment of the Camp Parks Army base in Dublin. SunCal also is securing entitlements for the Delta Coves project in eastern Contra Costa County as well as several projects around Stockton. Large projects are under way in Savannah, Washington, Austin and Las Vegas.

    Two major things that made SunCal pursue the Rohnert Park opportunity over the past year was a major redevelopment planning effort city government has under way and a Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit station planned to be built next to the property, according to Mr. Guirra.

    “A clear trend in development is pedestrian access, and that is easier to do when you have a library and shopping center across the street and transit coming in the next couple of years,” he said.

    The first aspect is an anticipated three-year planning effort for the 282-acre Central Rohnert Park Priority Development Area. The City Council launched the land-use planning initiative early last year after receiving a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to promote transit ridership.

    ‘At the heart of our city’

    The city has been trying to create a downtown area for years, and departure of State Farm in July 2011 opened up a field of opportunities. New civic buildings and mixed-use developments were added to the City Center district across Rohnert Park Expressway to

    How we got to Plan Bay Area and the Sleazy World of Politics, Money and Power

    How we got to Plan Bay Area



    Population Council created in 1952, founded by John D. Rockefeller 3rd


    Nixon Administration

    Rockefeller Commission report: Population and the American Future


    NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969


    US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)


    Environmental Quality Council Reports:

    1. The Unfinished Agenda


    2. Use of Land


    Environmental Protection goes global: United Nations

    UN Bruntland Commission report Our Common Future, the three E's: equity, environment economy the pillars of Sustainable Development


    UN Agenda 21 (international environmental management system)

    National land use plan changes our urban, suburban and rural land use to urban, open space, agriculture and wildand/habitat.


    UN Biodiversity Assessment



    Bush Administration

    Signed on to the 1992 Earth Summit Action Plan for sustainable development aka Agenda 21


    Clinton Administration

    Executive Orders creates President' Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD)


    Sustainable Development is Smart Growth (urban) and wildlands (rural)


    HUD grant to American Planning Association (APA)

    This APA legislative guidebook was prepared under HUD

    Cooperative agreement H-59-51‐CA in 2002


    Obama Administration

    Executive Order creates Rural Council


    Sustainable Development in Federal Agencies

    United States federal executive branch agencies implementing sustainable development:



    State of California


    AB32 Climate Change Act


    SB375 Regional Sustainable Community Strategy


    State Housing Element Law

    Regional Housing Needs Allocations (RHNA)


    Essential Habitat Connectivity Map


    Joint Policy Committee (JPC/JPA)


    Regional Initiatives


    Plan Bay Area


    Follow the Money: Nonprofit Maps



    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Marin housing plan: 10 sites, 502 dwellings (303 units are in Marinwood plus a "density bonus".)

    Marin housing plan: 10sites, 502 dwellings    (303 units are in Marinwood plus a "density bonus")

    County proposal earmarks

  @nelsjohnsonnews on Twitter

    POSTED:   08/26/2014 04:45:33 PM PDT0 COMMENTS


    A housing plan allowing development of at least 502 dwellings in Marin's unincorporated areas has the blessing of county planners and will be forwarded to state officials for preliminary review.

    The county Planning Commission on Monday approved a tentative plan earmarking sites for 361 low- and moderate-income and 141 market-rate dwellings, after making minor revisions to a program endorsed earlier this summer.

    Thanks largely to the addition of Silveira-St. Vincent's lands to the housing list, the plan calls for more than twice as many units as required by state policies in order to provide what officials called a "buffer" enabling planning flexibility. The state says Marin's unincorporated areas need to provide for potential development of just 185 housing units — including 37 moderate and 87 low-income units — through 2023.

    Two commissioners protested that because of extra units allowed developers of low- and moderate-income housing, the program could potentially pave the way for more than 600 dwellings. They joined colleagues in agreeing to submit the plan to the state for comment before the commission takes a final look in November and passes the program along to county supervisors.

    The commission voted 5-2 to reject a proposal to trim the 502-unit plan by about 100 dwellings to offset potential "density bonus" or extra units for affordable housing developers. Commissioners Don Dickenson and Margot Biehle dissented, noting county general plan policies allow up to 502 units, not 600 or more, at the 10 sites the new program earmarks for housing.

    "On some properties this could result in significantly more units," Dickenson said on the state bonus program. "It potentially could end up a lot higher than what's on the countywide plan."

    County policies, for example, allow 221 homes at the Silveira-St. Vincent's tract, but bonus incentives could boost the number to 298. "If it's closer to 300, what good's the general plan?" Commissioner Biehle wondered.

    Colleague Katherine Crecelius said any bid for more than 221 units on the ranch tract as agreed during laborious general plan proceedings would be a highly unlikely "kamikaze" gambit. And county principal planner Leelee Thomas noted that as a practical matter, only seven "density bonus" units have been approved countywide in recent years, including only two by the county in the past decade. "They are not exactly flying out the door," Thomas noted.

    Several commissioners noted that the key point of the housing program is to increase affordable housing, and that no matter how many units the county provides, the need for more will remain. "It's not just about playing number and buffer games, it is about trying to address" the lack of affordable housing in Marin, Commissioner John Eller said. "We're way short of what the actual need is," added Commissioner Peter Thelan.

    As carved out during "straw votes" a month ago, then endorsed on Monday, the commission's program drops two controversial Tam Valley sites from the housing list. Potential dwellings envisioned by the program through 2023 if developers step forward include 268 low income, or 181 more than the state requires; 93 moderate-income, or 56 more than required, and 141 market rate, or 80 more than required.

    The designations include: Silveira-St. Vincent's, 100 low-income, 50 moderate and 71 market-rate units; Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in Strawberry, 20 low and 20 moderate income; Drake Avenue in Marin City, 15 low income; Woodland at Auburn, California Park in San Rafael, 40 low income; Marinwood Village, 72 low income and 10 market rate; Sir Francis Drake behind 7- Eleven at Oak Manor in Fairfax, 10 moderate income; Easton Point on Paradise Drive, Tiburon, 43 market rate; Indian Valley Road, Novato, five market rate; Tamarin Lane, Novato, three market rate, and 150 Shoreline Highway, three moderate income. The plan also calls for 40 second units: 21 low, 10 moderate and nine market rate.

    A familiar parade of speakers including housing advocates, density foes, neighborhood activists, nonprofit agencies and environmental groups, many of whom dominated previous housing hearings, repeated arguments, concerns, philosophies and theories. More than 30 speakers in an audience of about 50 rose to review the issues at hand.

    Everyone seemed to embrace affordable housing, but opinion differed on where to put it. Some asserted their community wasn't the proper place or asserted San Rafael neighborhoods were being asked to provide more than the area's fair share. Others worried about the density bonus situation.

    Foes of high-density complexes said they supported "infill" housing blended into neighborhoods, painted grim scenarios of WinCup-style "Corte Mazillas" or warned that special interests and agencies who stand to profit were behind a rush to develop, and urged more environmental study and reflection before proceeding with a blueprint. Traffic is jammed, transit is inadequate, water is in short supply, schools are full and environmental issues are overlooked, development opponents said.

    "There is no mystery as to why developers want to develop now," Jennifer Larson of Corte Madera told the commission. "The mystery is why you want to roll out the red carpet."

    Affordable housing advocates argued attractive apartment projects can be designed to brighten the community, noted including more dwellings in a project cuts costs while increasing affordability, and asserted Marin must do its part to accommodate California's growing population. They noted extraordinary public outreach included 16 workshops or hearings already held on a plan that in most respects was similar to one approved in 2013 covering the past several years.

    Marge Macris, a former county planning director who spoke for the Environmental Housing Collaborative, said there has been plenty of time for public review of the plan and urged its submission to state officials as scheduled. The lineup of other groups urging the commission to proceed as proposed included Habitat for Humanity, Sustainable San Rafael, the Greenbelt Alliance and Marin Association of Public Employees.

    "There will be more people in California in five years whether we like it or not," noted Roland Katz, head of the employees association, the largest union at the Civic Center. "These people will need housing," Katz continued, adding that half of the Civic Center's employees live outside the county. "We urge you to move forward with the plan."

    Pam Drew of Novato begged to differ, saying growth must be limited to save the planet. "Do not schedule four times the number of homes required," she said. San Rafael attorney Ed Yates contended the buffer of extra dwelling sites will pave the way for more projects, hand local authority to developers and disenfranchise the public. "There's no reason to rush," he said, suggesting officials ignore a Jan. 31 deadline for submitting a plan.

    Other focused on development sites on their own areas, with a Cal Park resident saying he was shocked to learn of plans allowing 40 low-income dwellings on 1.7 acres near his backyard — a project that would be "two thirds the size of the existing neighborhood."

    Both sides traded accusations, with transit advocate David Schonbrunn claiming neighborhoods are being stirred up by "instigators" with "right-wing goals." Density foes said the real culprits are special interests including agency advocates who depend on grant "revenue streams."

    "You have the power. You have the money. But you don't have the people," declared Steve Nestel, head of, who indicated the process is rigged. "You're going to push this through," he told the commission. "It doesn't matter what I or anyone else says."

    Planning staffers said sending the plan to the state for review does not preclude changes by the commission or county supervisors later this year.

    The commission will welcome partisans on all sides of the housing debate back when it takes another look at the plan at 1 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Civic Center.
    Frederick Douglass, Former Slave and Abolitionist 1849

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and this will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those who they suppress."
    -- Frederick Douglass, 1849


    A Much Better use for Marinwood Plaza that will serve ALL PEOPLE of Marin

    View Larger Map

    Above is an immersive Google Business View of the Vancouver Indoor Farmer's Market.   It is a food lover's paradise.  Such an awesome market could be built on the site of the former Marinwood Plaza and feature, fresh, locally grown food.  It is a perfect location for this venue as it is on the main route to Napa/Sonoma county wine country and the Cheese trail. The market would serve the local community and provide a permanent venue for local farmers and small businesses.  It would provide jobs and economic stimulus to Marin. 

     The Oxbow Market in Napa is a wonderful place to shop, eat and relax.

    In the past I also referenced similar markets in the Bay Area that are successful such as the Oxbow Market in Napa County. See the article HERE.  See the Lancaster Market the nation's oldest indoor farmer's market  HERE

    Monday, August 25, 2014

    John Oliver on the Police Militarization in Ferguson, Mo

    Dick Spotswood: Habitat for Humanity sets fine model for workforce housing

    Dick Spotswood: Habitat for Humanity sets fine model for workforce housing

    Marin Independent Journal
    Posted:   08/23/2014 09:42:15 PM PDT

    Click photo to enlarge
    Dick Spotswood writes a weekly column on local politics for the Marin Independent... (Robert Tong)
    There is a right way to create affordable and workforce housing in Marin and a wrong way.
    Elected officials, planners and concerned Marinites should look at the soon-to-be built Mount Burdell Apartments in Novato to learn how to go about building so-called affordable housing without tearing the community apart.
    Sponsored by the independent Greater San Francisco chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Mount Burdell Apartments will soon provide 10 affordable owner-occupied condominiums. While committed to building housing for those historically unable to afford home ownership, Habitat's business model doesn't demand high density. It is not opposed to big-scale development, it just isn't required to accomplish its mission.
    During the recent Great Recession, the local Habitat had even purchased single-family Marin homes in foreclosure. Novato, hard hit by underwater homes, was a great place to act. It was the ideal method to simultaneously help the community by stabilizing property values while enabling lower income folks to become property owners.
    Habitat's approach should enlighten both those Marinites who have reservations about adding affordable housing to their communities as well as nonprofits and regional planners steadfast in the belief that the only way to accomplish the task is with community-destroying high-density housing.
    Mount Burdell Apartments, whose construction is slated to start in mid-September, is right-sited. The well-designed Fourth Street and Olive Avenue condos are just a block from downtown Novato. They are surrounded on three sides by longstanding apartments of similar density. Across Fourth are small single family homes compatible with the neighborhood's mixed single family home-apartment makeup. Its new residents will undoubtedly be employed all over the Bay Area.
    Will they use public transit? Likely no more than other central Novato residents. It just depends on where they find acceptable employment.
    It's refreshing that Habitat, while encouraging transit proximity, doesn't guilt-trip the public into falsely believing that this project will somehow save the environment.
    That's not what it's about. Its goal is simple: assist working families into home ownership. Habitat doesn't try to bamboozle the public, gullible county supervisors and planners with a lot of politically correct but misleading rhetoric.
    Mount Burdell Apartments enjoys strong community support. A unanimous Novato City Council loaned the project $427,438 to purchase the land. Taxpayers ultimately will be paid back. Habitat will provided mortgage assistance for resident families earning between $41,200 and $82,400 annually.
    The legitimate purpose of facilitating affordable housing is to encourage a mix typical of classic American small towns with a range of incomes, occupations, ethnicities and lifestyles.
    While adding rental homes and apartments to that combination is desirable, there's something particularly appropriate at Mount Burdell Apartments, where new residents will become property owners. That will give them a long-term stake in Novato's future.
    Habitat does something unique that encourages an ownership ethic. Those wishing to buy the units must contribute 500 hours of hand-on work during the construction phase. Prospective residents not willing to devote three months of their lives toward making the project a success need not apply. Anyone putting in that effort will likely be a good future neighbor.
    For those looking for a model of affordable housing that's equitable for the entire community, look no further than Mount Burdell Apartments.
    Habitat's process will not work out so well for those big-time real estate developers who hide behind high density to create massive profit centers for themselves and their allies. Conversely, it is a fine model for potential working-class homeowners.
    It's also a positive move for all North Marin residents who'll have the satisfaction of helping to create true workforce housing that's compatible with existing neighborhoods.
    Columnist Dick Spotswood of Mill Valley shares his views on local politics every Sunday and Wednesday in the IJ. His email is

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    How to Grow a City

    Although ZEDES seem to be a worthwhile experiment especially in the corrupt and poor county of Honduras, I am skeptical of it's long term viability.  Isn't this merely a trade off of one kind of control by the government to a corporation?  Think about it. Your life would absolutely be controlled by your supervisor.  You'll have to do everything he/she wants or be thrown to the wolves outside the gate. 
     This is not the "free" labor market.  A society needs a constitution guaranteeing individual rights.  I am worried that the autonomous ZEDEs  will abuse their power as much or more than the corrupt government.  This is why our system of a democratic republic is best.  

    Report on the Board of Supervisors Meeting August 18, 2014

    Katie Rice, Marin County Supervisor

    Kate Sears, Marin County Supervisor

    Steve Kinsey, Marin County Supervisor

    Judy Arnold, Marin County Supervisor

    Brian Crawford, Marin County Community Development Director and Matthew Hymel, County Executive in foreground.

    Brent Ainsworth, Marin County Communications Consultant, photographed dissidents in the audience.

    Report from the August 18, 2014 Marin County Board of Supervisor's meeting

    by Peter Hensel

    At the sups meeting, before Marin Community Development Director Brian Crawford gave his presentation, at least two of the sups---Katie Rice and Judy Arnold---seemed to take some pleasure in rankling high density foes sitting in the back of the chambers.

    "I see a lot of familiar faces and a familiar color--red," noted Rice. She said she was glad we were taking an interest in the proceedings and the issues but chided us to make our comments "fact-based". Her tone was outwardly pleasant but the import held a lecturing, schoolmarm-ish edge.

    Judy Arnold went one better on Rice. She said, from the rostrum, that the sups have been receiving lots of email which echoed the message of Community Venture Partners. (CVP is a new grassroots activist group with some land use expertise and legal clout, boasting stellar environmental attorney Ed Yates as one of its members).

    Arnold opined that Community Ventures Partners seems to be little more than "a recycled version of Citizen Marin". She then proceeded to read aloud---and into the record---a letter written by an unnamed citizen that urged the supervisors to go forward post haste with an uber ambitious housing element plan that would sanction building in Marin's unincorporated areas as much as four times the number of units mandated by the state, which is 185.

    She euphemistically referred to that massive cushion as a " buffer"---which theoretically would facilitate prompt state certification of the Marin County Housing Element.

    The other sups, Katie Sears and Steve Kinsey, sat listening impassively. They didn't volunteer any opinions diverging from those of Rice and Arnold. Kinsey especially seem to be preoccupied with a personal sheaf or papers on the rostrum countertop.
    Steve Kinsey, typically does not look up from his papers to acknowledge the audience during meetings.

    It was only after this intro, followed by Crawford's fifteen minute presentation lauding the merits of the HE plan, that the high density foes---some wearing red, some not---were invited to form a line and each given three minutes to speak from the floor.

    The facial expressions of the sups changed at that point, from confident to mildly ill at ease. Could it be that real listening is not their strong suit?

    Activist Stephen Nestel of Save Marinwood went first.

    "Mr. Kinsey, this (visioned) high density building (along and near the 101 corridor) would not be in your backyard, would it?" Kinsey, who lives in West Marin, did not reply.
    Ms. Rice," Nestel continued, "this high density building would not be in your backyard, now, would it?.."
    Silence from the rostrum.

    And so on down the line.

    Supervisor Susan Adams was spared Nestel's scrutiny because she was absent on 20th. Adams, of course, was voted out of office last spring. In the same election, incumbent Judy Arnold only very narrowly survived a challenge from upstart Toni Shroyer.

    But that didn't stop Arnold from throwing out her public dig at Pat Ravasio and Corte Madera Council as the public hearing portion of the meeting ended and the activists headed for the door.

    One might ask, if Arnold disses Corte Madera Council (and she does) why does she now support upzoning in unincorporated Marin that would potentially allow building four times the number of units now rising on the ill-fated WinCup property?