Saturday, March 14, 2015

One Bay Area: A Template for Regional Governance

Dump Truck Convoys to Roll on Lucas Valley Road Soon.

From the County Website: 

A special permit approved March 5th for Mr. George Lucas

No EIRs, no Public Notice in Lucas Valley, just an over the counter permit. It is nice to have friends in high places:


The applicant is requesting approval of a Design Review Amendment to a previously approved

project located on Big Rock Ranch in Nicasio (Big Rock Ranch Remodel project: DR 15-0009;

Project ID number 2014-0249). Per the amendment request, the applicant is requesting

permission to allow up to 4,000 cubic yards of excavated soil associated with grading activities

related to the approved development project to be off-hauled to one or more off-site locations.

A fleet of “super ten” trucks will be utilized for transport of the soil. Per the application, each

truck can carry approximately 10 cubic yards of soil; therefore approximately 400 truck trips [800 one way trips] 

will be necessary to complete the off-haul operation. The 40’ wide by 102” long, four-axle trucks are

proposed to be either tarped or filled one foot below the top of the truck bed to reduce dust. The

trucks are rated at 66,500 lbs maximum gross vehicle weight when loaded.

The majority of the soil to be off-hauled is proposed to be transported to the Loch Lomand

Marina, with a smaller portion of the soil proposed to be transported to the Nicasio Rock Quarry. [Editor's note: All of it will be coming down Lucas Valley Road]

The truck trips will be staggered to avoid truck traffic congestion. The off-haul operation is

proposed to take place Monday through Friday, from 7:30 AM until 4:30 PM. The applicant is

not proposing any other revisions to the Design Review project, as previously approved.

Meet the New Neighbors: Homeless Shelters in Lucas Valley at Rotary Field

Editor's Note:  Last night, I received a note from a resident who lives in Lucas Valley Homeowner's Association, wishing me to confirm or deny a rumor that the recent construction on Jeanette Prandi Way will be for a new homeless shelter.  This follows the revelation earlier in the week that Marin County Supervisor,  who lives miles away from our district, thinks that homeless shelters in Lucas Valley is an idea worth considering.

Sure enough, there is a movement a foot to relocate the homeless services to the county areas by Mayor Phillips and homeless advocates.  One suggested that a city of garden sheds be erected in Rotary field that could serve as shelter and storage for the homeless.  He cited garden sheds from home depot would cost as little as $1000 and kitchen and bathroom facilities could be at central facility.

He is right.  This would cost much less for county than the $450,000 plus for each affordable housing unit now under construction.  It would eliminate Mayor Phillips political problem outside of the city limits.

Of course, few people know that hundreds of homeless people may be camping in Rotary Field.   Because Marinwood-Lucas Valley is largely politically unorganized we may well be the latest victim to Steve Kinsey and the Supervisor's social engineering.

And don't get me started about the secret approval of the Civic Center to bring 400 dump trucks down Lucas Valley Road in the next several months.  George Lucas is moving at least 4000 cubic yards from his property at Big Rock Ridge.  Of course, no one in the valley noticed this either unless you looked at a bulletin board posted in Nicasio.

Oh, the supervisors are having fun playing God.

From Marin IJ in November 2014

The Organizing Committee wants to find a permanent home for the program so the shelter can operate 365 days a year. It is seeking pledges from all 11 of the county's municipalities to help foot the cost. The Organizing Committee has estimated a year-round program with a permanent home would cost $1.25 million per year. It is seeking contributions from municipalities to cover 20 percent of that cost.
The Organizing Committee hopes the county of Marin will account for 40 percent of the cost, the Marin Community Foundation and other private donations for another 20 percent, and local congregations for the final 20 percent, mostly through in kind contributions. So far, only the town of Fairfax has made a firm commitment of $16,392 per year.
One major hurdle, however, is to find an appropriate location for such a shelter. Currently, the bulk of the county's homeless services are based in San Rafael, and some business owners and residents are unhappy with the status quo.
In December, San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips and Larry Meredith, director of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services, pledged to work together to try to create a new, year-round emergency shelter for the homeless.
But Phillips said he made it clear during an October meeting with Marin Community Foundation CEO Thomas Peters, Supervisor Steve Kinsey and Supervisor-elect Damon Connolly that the shelter must be a responsibility shared by the entire county.
"I'm willing to consider housing a third of the people in San Rafael, but I also want a third of the people housed in the county and also a third in another city in Marin County," Phillips said. "We're willing to do more than we have thus far, but I need to see some additional help from various other cities. Just writing a check is easy, finding a location is not quite so easy."
Parnell said, "Given the difficulties we've been experiencing finding an appropriate site for one, it is hard to imagine it would be easier to find three sites, and it ignores the exponential increase in cost for the staffing of three separate sites."
On Monday, the San Rafael City Council will receive a progress report on a "quality of life" initiative aimed at reducing homelessness that it launched in 2012. Listed among the initiative's key accomplishments are: guiding 16 people into treatment programs, finding permanent employment for 32 homeless individuals as street cleaners, removal of 212 homeless encampments and the issuance of more than 320 citations to the homeless. The program was estimated to cost $1 million.
"We're pretty much eliminating all of the homeless encampments," Phillips said. "We were having a fire virtually every other day caused by the encampments. For the last 60 days we've had no such fires."
Phillips has said in the past that consideration was being given to moving St. Vincent de Paul and Ritter Center, which provide services to the homeless, out of San Rafael's downtown area.
Cia Byrnes, Ritter Center's interim director, said her organization's lease at 16 Ritter St. expires in December 2015 and its lease at 12 Ritter St. ends May 2016. She said she has discussed with the Organizing Committee the possibility of moving Ritter House into a new permanent shelter, if a location can be found.

In the meantime, REST continues with business as usual on Saturday with the Lucas Valley Community Church playing host to homeless men.
"No matter how tired I am at the end of the week when I participate in serving these men I'm completely energized by the end of the night," said George Rothbart, a member of the congregation who has participated in REST since it started.
"It's very restorative to be able to serve the men," Rothbart said, "to affirm their dignity, to acknowledge who they are, to remind them they are precious in the sight of God."

History: Poor Farm Took In Marin’s Homeless on Smith Ranch Road. Now to house WildCare

History: Poor Farm Took In Marin’s Homeless

From 1880 to 1963, Marin County operated a farm, hospital and cemetery for the care of the poor in Lucas Valley.
Time was that Marin County cared for its homeless population by providing a residence, a hospital and a cemetery. The Marin County Poor Farm, Hospital and Cemetery, tucked against the hills just north of Lucas Valley Road, served Marin County’s poor for over 80 years.

 In 1880, Marin County’s Board of Supervisors voted to establish a county farm to house and care for the ill and indigent elderly. They purchased the land, 94,118 acres, from John Lucas for $5716.46 and appointed Dr. A.W. Taliaferro visiting physician.

Early buildings included two “pest houses,” for patients with contagious diseases and their families. With the residence and working dairy farm, the county maintained a cemetery for those that died indigent or without remaining family. County taxes paid for burial of the poor.

A report from the Marin Journal of March 9, 1893 describes a visit to the facility:

“The farm consists of nearly one hundred acres, much of the soil being level and exceedingly rich. About thirty acres are in cultivation. There is a small orchard which raises an abundance of apples and some prunes. The apples and prunes are dried and are consumed by the inmates of the farm…Much hay is raised on the farm, and quite a quantity of vegetables.

“The dairy was sweet and clean. In one corner were a dozen rolls of butter, carefully put up in regulation style. The inmates have all the fresh bread and butter they want three times a day. They have meat in some form twice a day. Many of them are old and toothless and the meat is frequently served in the form of stews or hash," which was easy for residents to chew.

Initially only the supervisors and the county physician recommended persons to the facility. The only requirements for entry were a year’s presence in the county and proof of need. Later any physician or social agency could place someone in the facility.

More details are provided in the Sausalito News of January 19, 1901 on the quarterly costs of running the Poor Farm. The article lists the farm’s assets, including  “four horses, six cows, three heifers, one calf, one bull, four hogs, a farm wagon, spring cart, dump cart, mowing machine, sulky rake, two plows, two sets harnesses, buck rake, two harrows, a roller, fire hose and cart and twenty-eight tons of hay. Butter was sold to the amount of 251 pounds, one cow and two hogs were slaughtered, $52.60 was received for the butter, hogs and hide sold.”

The dairy continued operations until California state sanitary codes for pasteurization forced it out of business.

Over the years, the public’s attention was drawn to Poor Farm’s administration. In 1939, County Auditor Leon de Lisle called the farm a “political cesspool,” and a citizen’s committee was formed, headed by Mrs. William Kent, wife of one of Marin’s most prominent citizens.

Vera Schultz, Marin’s first woman supervisor, states in her oral history for the University of California's Bancroft Library,  “It became the custom of the board (of supervisors) to meet out there regularly in order to keep tabs on conditions at the County Farm.”

By the mid-1950s, state inspectors found that the two-story main hospital building failed earthquake standards. In 1959 plans drawn for a new one-story facility with 175 beds, but it was not funded. In 1963 the patients were transferred, and in 1994 the buildings were torn down to make way for 80 units of senior housing.

The buildings are gone, and signs of the cemetery are hard to find. The grave markers, coffee cans filled with concrete and a numbered tag, are covered with grass.  Yet the names of the indigent who were buried there are not totally forgotten. They are listed in the archives of the Anne T. Kent California Room of the Marin County Library.

History has much to teach us. Although the County Poor Farm was far from a perfect solution to poverty, it did provide the needy with a home, food, medical care and burial.  Can we say we're doing as well today?
In the modern era, each year the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy holds a memorial procession to honor the people who have died on the streets of Marin. Names of the deceased are read and acknowledged so that they will not be forgotten. The 14th annual Memorial Procession for Homeless will be held this summer.

Editor's Note:  The "Honor Farm" picture previously published with this article is not the Poor Farm described in the article.  Those buildings are long gone.  The Honor Farm is the future home of Wild Care.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Permanent Homeless Shelters in Marinwood/Lucas Valley?

Marin County Planning meeting Oct 8th  Zoning has been created for permanent homeless shelters In Marin  See the video starting at 1:30:00.  The planners did not indicate where they "planned" to locate these in our community.

Will homeless shelters be at Grady Ranch, Silvera Ranch, Big Rock Deli, Marinwood Village or St Vincents?

Don't you think you have a right to know?  Should you have a voice in this decision?

This is another act of the "imperial" central planning thrust upon us in unincorporated Marin.
We believe that citizens should be a part of the planning process and not simply governed by political elites and bureaucrats. It is a part of a pattern of bypassing the citizens for expediency and to minimize opposition.

Of course, we are not asking for a callous approach for those in need.   Why are such decisions made by an elite minority behind closed doors?  Shouldn't we have a say in the future of our communities?

If we are going to save Marin from being steamrolled into urbanization we must be involved in the planning process. That means the community must be properly notified.  Meetings must be held in the evening and weekends when people are free to attend. Planners and politicans must actively seek guidence from the full community and not simply housing advocates and developers.

If that isn't enough to upset you, check out this article:

Why more homeless shelters should allow alcohol

Political Humor for Non Partisans.

We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author 
Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed
by those who are dumber.
~Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where
there is no river.
~Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician 

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm
beginning to believe it.
~Quoted in 'Clarence Darrow for the Defense' by Irving Stone.

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go
out and buy some more tunnel.
~John Quinton, American actor/writer

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds
from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
~Oscar Ameringer, "the Mark Twain of American Socialism."
I offered my opponents a deal: "if they stop telling lies about me, I will
stop telling the truth about them".
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.~ Texas Guinan. 19th century American businessman

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be
left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to
change the locks.
~Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924
Olympic Games in Paris , 1902-1981)

When happens if a politician drowns in a river? That's pollution.
If all of them drown, that would be a solution!!!


When Local Government Gets Into Land Speculation

Urban Renewal aka "Poor Folk Removal". Planning/Redevelopment's Sordid Legacy in San Francisco's Fillmore/ Western Addition..

In Their Words: Western Addition's Displaced from Adelaide Chen on Vimeo.

Planners need to understand that displacing communities is not building "sustainable communities"  It is destroying the lives of many and replacing it for the politically powerful.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Homeless Shelters allowed at Marinwood Village and Big Rock Deli

Homeless Shelters allowed at 

Marinwood Village and Big Rock Deli

Editor's Note: After reading the recent remarks from Supervisor Adams and Mayor Phillips concerning their commitment to a homeless shelter in the unincorporated Marin, I contacted the Community Development department at the County of Marin.  I suspect that the old Poor Farm next to Silvera Ranch is a possible location of a permanent homeless shelter and I asked for confirmation or denial.  They responded that WildCare is taking over the facility but suggested that locations at Tam/Almonte are being considered. However, we cannot conclude that a homeless shelter is out of the question at the Poor farm in conjunction with the WildCare facility much like the historic use of the property.  

Effective January 1, 2008, SB 2 (Chapter 633, Statutes of 2007) required every California city and county to engage in a detailed analysis of emergency shelters and transitional and supportive housing in their next Housing Element revision, regulates zoning for these facilities, and broadens the scope of the Housing Accountability Act to include emergency shelters as well as supportive and transitional housing. As part of this bill we are required to establish a zone or zoning districts were a homeless shelter is a principally permitted use. Planned Commercial (CP) and Retail Business  (C1) were selected during the Planning Commissions hearings and were adopted by the Board in January 2012 as part of a package of development code changes.

Below is a table which shows the number of parcels, status, range of uses and locations. Attached is a map of these zoning districts.

Zoning District Analysis for Homeless Shelter

Planned Commercial
Retail Business
Total Parcels

Publically Owned
Range of Uses
Commercial, Industrial
Distributed throughout the County.
Some weight in Tam Junction

Fairfax, Santa Venetia, Tam Valley

Eminent Domain is about the destruction of Communities for the Powerful and Well Connected.

Willets Point: The Iron Triangle from Nicholas Weissman on Vimeo.

Conversation Portrait: Eminent Domain from Flash Rosenberg on Vimeo.

Willets Point - A Different World Within NYC from Dana Kalmey on Vimeo.
Echoes from the Iron Triangle from Noah Rosenberg on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wendell Cox and Randal O'toole talk about so called "Smart Growth" in Colorado

Thank God for Strong Women!

Thank God for Strong Women!

Woman are the best organizers.  They have been at the forefront of every battle for the preserving the environment in San Francisco and Marin.  Even today, the most vigorous leaders in Marin are all women.    We will save Marin Again!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Romanian Man criticizes One Bay Area Plan and Central Planning

A Romanian man who has lived under communism warns the dangers of central planning found in One Bay Area Plan.  He doesn't blame people for wanting the dream, it just that it doesn't work.

Its seems so comfortable to rest here...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Shopping in a Moscow Grocery Store in 1986- A lesson for Plan Bay Area supporters.

Those who revel in Plan Bay Area should take time to examine the reality of top down central planning. This is example of a Moscow grocery store in 1986 in the old Soviet Union. Contrast it with Costco, Safeway or even a 7-11 in the west.  It is a testimony to the virtues of capitalism and free markets over the central planning model. 

 Plan Bay Area ( is a 40 year plan to completely transform the transportation, land use and redistribution of "social equity" based upon a central planning model. Even the Soviet Union didn't think they could predict the future so accurately. They had only had five year plans. Ask a Russian emigre which system of government they prefer.

When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Clear Lake

When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Clear Lake

Posted on April 7, 2014 | By Craig Hlavaty

Boris Yeltsin in Houston


A post earlier this year on Houston’s Reddit that mentioned late Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s wide-eyed trip to a Clear Lake grocery store led to a trip to the Houston Chronicle archives, where a batch of photos of the leader were found.

It was September 16, 1989 and Yeltsin, then newly elected to the new Soviet parliament and the Supreme Soviet, had just visited Johnson Space Center.

At JSC, Yeltsin visited mission control and a mock-up of a space station. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, it wasn’t all the screens, dials, and wonder at NASA that blew up his skirt, it was the unscheduled trip inside a nearby Randall’s location.

Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”

Shoppers and employees stopped him to shake his hand and say hello. In 1989, not everyone was carrying a phone and camera in their pocket so Yeltsin “selfies” weren’t a thing yet.

Yeltsin asked customers about what they were buying and how much it cost, later asking the store manager if one needed a special education to manage a store. In the Chronicle photos, you can see him marveling at the produce section, the fresh fish market, and the checkout counter. He looked especially excited about frozen pudding pops.

“Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,” he said.

The fact that stores like these were on nearly every street corner in America amazed him. They even offered free cheese samples. According to Asin, Yeltsin didn’t leave empty-handed, as he was given a small bag of goodies to enjoy on his trip.

About a year after the Russian leader left office, a Yeltsin biographer later wrote that on the plane ride to Yeltsin’s next destination, Miami, he was despondent. He couldn’t stop thinking about the plentiful food at the grocery store and what his countrymen had to subsist on in Russia.

In Yeltsin’s own autobiography, he wrote about the experience at Randall’s, which shattered his view of communism, according to pundits. Two years later, he left the Communist Party and began making reforms to turn the economic tide in Russia. You can blame those frozen Jell-O Pudding pops.

“When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people,” Yeltsin wrote. “That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it.”

Yeltsin died in 2007 at the age of 76. The Randall’s he visited, just off El Dorado Boulevard and Highway 3, is now a Food Town location.AGE 1 OUT OF 10