Saturday, April 4, 2015

China's Controversial Square Dancing Grannies/International Woman's Day | China Uncensored

Marin IJ screws up the story on Marinwood Plaza Toxic Waste AGAIN!

It almost seems that the Marin IJ is intentionally misleading the public regarding the toxic waste at Marinwood Plaza.  The toxic waste from the Prosperity Cleaners site has been allowed to fester for TEN YEARS(!) while Susan Adams,  Steve Kinsey and others have been trying to get a low income housing development built on the site.

In this time, the toxic waste plume has spread underneath the freeway and endangers the Silveira Ranch dairy farm.

If you think, Susan Adams, Nursing PHD and county supervisor would never let that happen to her community, you'd be wrong.  She lobbied along with State Senator Marc Levine to DELAY THE CLEANUP ORDER on financial grounds. (see the video)   Marinwood be damned.

In the meantime,  a CANCER HOTSPOT emerged just a hundred yards from the property in Casa Marinwood.

In today's article New Developers for Marinwood Plaza Nels Johnson quotes the consultant for the Marinwood Plaza LLC as claiming no significant migration has occurred. (Since when does a consultant for the defense say, "my client is absolutely guilty of all charges") against the sworn facts presented to the Regional Water Quality Control Board by Geologica that elevated levels are present on the Silveira Ranch property.  The first video clip is the testimony by RWQCB staff member presenting its finding to the board in February 2014.  Let there be no mistake. 

Megan Hansen was far more even handed in her 2014 Article, State Orders Cleanup of Marinwood Plaza where she wrote; " State water officials issued an order Wednesday compelling Marinwood Plaza property owners to clean the chemical-ridden site after discovering contaminated groundwater within 550 feet of a drinking water well at Silveira Ranches.
The six members of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board spent 21/2 hours Wednesday at a state office in Oakland discussing whether an order outlining a cleanup plan for the property was necessary. They voted unanimously to adopt a multistep order that requires Marinwood Plaza LLC continue cleaning the site and investigate the severity of the groundwater pollution, culminating in the creation of a cleanup action plan by Jan. 1, 2016."  
Megan did not include the outrageous attempt to intimidate the State Regulators by invoking the Supervisor Susan Adams and State Assemblymen Marc Levine by Marinwood LLC as "favoring" their cause. (See it in the video above).  Her story is otherwise fair and accurate.

Perhaps the WORST EXAMPLE of reporting was by Richard Halstead that was totally biased in favor of the polluters: "Marinwood Plaza Toxic Waste poses no risk to wells".   I do not know how Richard Halstead sleeps at night .   Is he a journalist or a propaganda agent?   This is not even reporting.  It is advocacy.  Unfortunately PEOPLE COULD DIE because of these lies. Hundreds of people in Casa Marinwood could be exposed to toxins and THOUSANDS of of people could be harmed with toxins in our MILK.  Did he fact check at all? 

Lastly, the Marin IJ has published numerous opinion pieces that contain significant factual errors including Susan Adams famous Marin Voice piece Dispelling Fears of Housing where she claimed that the toxic waste had been "mitigated".  It was this bold faced "un-truth" and others that really provided the fuel to the "Recall Susan Adams" campaign and ended her elected political career. (No worries for Susan Adams supporters,  She now serves on ABAG's regional planning commission where she represents "public health" .  Ironic isn't it? The woman who has lobbied FOR POLLUTERS is representing the public health.)

There are two issues at Marinwood Plaza.  The first and most important is PUBLIC HEALTH and ENVIROMENTAL RISKS due Toxic Waste.  The second issue is the appropriate land use of the property that is the ONLY commercially viable lot in Marinwood/Lucas Valley.  If we are to build a "Bike-able, Walk-able" community, we need essential commercial services.  Taking this choice location for more housing only makes us more CAR DEPENDENT.  

It is time to rethink the Marinwood Plaza project for the benefit of EVERYONE not just a few political insiders. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Irish Water claims Ownership of the RainWater

It is actually illegal in Colorado to collect the rain that falls on your home

It is actually illegal in Colorado to collect the rain that falls on your home

By Jeff Guo March 24

In this May 1, 2014, photo, irrigation water runs along a dried-up ditch between rice farms to provide water for the rice fields in Richvale, Calif. A federal agency said Friday that it will not release water for most Central Valley farms this year, forcing farmers to continue to scramble for other sources or leave fields unplanted. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Do you live in Colorado? Does it rain on your house? Do the drops patter off the roof, compose romantic puddles on your porch?

Guess what: That water isn’t yours. You can’t have it. And you most certainly cannot set out a tank to catch what falls from the sky, you thief.

Water laws are so strict in Colorado that rainwater collection is virtually prohibited. The doctrine is written into the state’s Constitution. All the rain is already spoken for. It belongs to someone, and that someone probably isn’t you. So don’t you touch it.

“The rain barrel is the bong of the Colorado garden,” local columnist Dave Philipps wrote in 2007. “It’s legal to sell one. It’s legal to own one. It’s just not legal to use it for its intended purpose.”

That might change soon, slightly.

On Monday, Colorado representatives voted to allow people to store up to 110 gallons of the rainwater that flows off their roof. One hundred gallons is on the high end of how much water a person in America uses per day. It’s about three tubs full of water, or four loads of laundry.

Rain barrel legalization will not save the world, nor even Colorado, where already the law against rainwater collection is rarely enforced. H.B. 1259might not even pass Colorado’s Senate. But it’s a symbolic step toward a more modern way of thinking about water in America’s dry Western states.

In the West, water belongs to someone

The principle at stake is called prior appropriation, which is legalese for “first come, first served.” This doctrine forms the bedrock of water law in the Western states, where long ago settlers raced to gobble up all the water rights. Prior appropriation helps explain why water-intensive agriculture is still a major industry in a place as arid as the West: Many of the early claimants were farmers seeking to irrigate their crops.

These days, with drought parching the region, there’s hardly enough water to go around. According to the law, the people who get first dibs are the ones who called it first, which tend to be the agricultural users and not the city dwellers.In Colorado, other people’s water rights even extend to the raindrops that fall onto your roof.

Why? Because those raindrops might tumble into the gutter; they might seep into the ground; might, in some other eventual, serpentine fashion, find their way to a river where somebody’s great-great-grandfather once established a claim.

Legal experts have long criticized the Wild West principle of prior appropriation. They say that the tradition of dibsies is incongruent with the way that people demand water in the 21st century.

“It’s this very rigid, very old system of water rights that hasn’t really changed that much in over a century,” said Reed Benson, a law professor at the University of New Mexico.

“Prior appropriation is so deeply embedded in Western water law,” said Robert Glennon, a law professor at the University of Arizona. “We academics criticize it but it’s not going anywhere.”

Benson has studied all the different ways that Western states have grappled with an increasingly stale idea like prior appropriation, which allocates water according to seniority instead of need. Bills legalizing rainwater collection are an example of how legislators have sought to carve exceptions into that way of thinking. (California passed a similar law in 2012.)

“There are a lot of good, practical, common-sense arguments in favor of a bill like this,” Benson said. “The fact that it’s controversial, the fact that it’s taken this long, shows you how well-entrenched that old tenacious legal system is.”

A snowboarder threads his way through patches of dirt at Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, Calif., on March 21. Many Lake Tahoe area ski resorts have closed due to low snowfall as California’s historic drought continues. (Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Whose idea was this, anyway?

Some laws are crafted by Congress; but the system of water rights in the West is a lesson in how customs can calcify into legal doctrine.

As the story goes, the dibsies approach to water management dates to the

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bruce Anderson reports "positive news" about Marinwood Plaza.

Bruce Anderson is reporting on Next Door Neighborhoods that Marinwood Plaza has been "sold" to a new buyer.   Here is what he wrote according to my source:

"Some of us have been informed that a new purchase agreement is in place for Marinwood Plaza. It is not with Bridge and the purchaser has not been disclosed so details are sketchy at this time. However I include this quote from a note we received from Bridge: 
"The brokers representing the Owners of Marinwood Plaza have informed us that the Owners have selected another “qualified” buyer to move forward with. The brokers are unable provide details about the transaction, including the name of the buyer, other than the following: the buyers are a group out of Southern California; the offer is an As-is offer which will close after a 90 day feasibility period; the price and terms of the offer are very strong; and there will be a required affordable housing component to the buyer’s proposed project. 
The brokers have agreed to keep us updated with any new information. They anticipate knowing in about 50 days whether this offer may be moving forward or not. " 
And "as is" offer means that the buyers have agreed to purchase the property with the existing zoning, rather than on the condition that the zoning will revised. The existing zoning provides significant incentives to build affordable housing."

More information is needed and Bruce Anderson is an unreliable source of facts.  As a CSD director for twelve years, he obscured development plans in Marinwood CSD and the terrible state of the CSD finances.  He worked "behind the scenes" with developers, calling into question his objectivity in CSD politics.  Like Susan Adams,  he was ousted in a landslide election by Justin Kai, Bill Shea and Deana Dearborn.

It is possible that the "new buyer" is merely a new corporate entity created to limit the liability exposure to the toxic waste plume that has been allowed to fester for at least a decade.  We note that a family trust in Beverly Hills is a principle recipient of Regional Water Quality Control Board documents.   

Is this really a "new buyer"?  We need to find out.  It could merely be a legal ruse. Rumors of a class action lawsuit are brewing.

Meanwhile, Bruce Anderson is creating more havoc in Marinwood/Lucas Valley with his policy of censorship of speech that he finds politically inconvenient.  It is positively appalling that Gordon Strausse, of NextDoor has allowed Bruce to be the nextdoor neighborhood bully.

I suppose Bruce needs to get his kicks from something these days.
We will not let our neighborhood be exploited!

Marin reacts to mandatory water restriction order by governor

Marin reacts to mandatory water restriction order by governor

Golfers play the ninth hole at Indian Valley Golf Course on Wednesday. Golf courses, cemeteries and organizations with other large landscapes will be required to make significant water use reductions.Robert Tong — Marin Independent Journal

If Marin County residents didn’t take California’s drought seriously before, they will now.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order for mandatory water reductions calls on local water agencies to create tiered water pricing scales that will charge higher rates as more water is used.
Libby Pischel, Marin Municipal Water district spokeswoman, said the water district already has a tiered water pricing structure, but the plan is to develop new water use restrictions once the Water Resources Control Board releases the full details of the governor’s order.
She said the district was already in the process of complying with new emergency water use restrictions announced by the water board March 17 when the governor’s mandate came along.
“Water agencies have 45 days to either write their own or adopt the state restrictions. The most notable proposed restriction is a limit on the number of days for outdoor watering,” Pischel said.
The water district plans to propose its own water restrictions, which would potentially include limiting landscape watering to a specific number of days per week on a permanent basis. The district’s Board of Directors is expected to discuss the idea April 7. If adopted, the restrictions would take effect immediately.
While Marin Municipal Water District customers have voluntarily reduced their water consumption by 12 percent since July 1, 2014, compared to 2013 numbers, the state overall has lagged behind. Since the governor declared a statewide drought emergency in January 2014 and asked Californians to voluntarily cut water use by 20 percent, residents have only cut their use by 9.7 percent between June 2014 and January 2015, compared with the prior year.
Representatives with the North Marin Water District in Novato could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Marin residents can expect to do away with dark green lawns and lush street medians. Brown’s order bans watering of ornamental grass on public street medians and will require local governments to replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought-tolerant landscaping.
New homes and developments will be prohibited from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip systems are used. Outdoor irrigation makes up 44 percent of water use in California’s urban and suburban communities, according to the state water board.
Brown’s order will specifically require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and organizations with other large landscapes — of which there are many in Marin — to make significant water use reductions.
Greg Nelson, vice president of college operations at College of Marin, said the college will continue its water reduction efforts.
“College of Marin made significant water reductions last year by turning off sprinkler systems at the Indian Valley Campus for all grounds related to the college. The Kentfield Campus monitors water output on a monthly basis and we irrigate using well water on campus versus the municipal water supply, which also helps to reduce costs. The Kentfield and Indian Valley Campus pool sites use pool covers to prevent evaporation,” Nelson said.
In addition, new construction projects on the college’s campuses utilize dual-flush toilets, touchless faucets and landscaping with native and drought-resistant plants, Nelson said.
Pat Sorber, general manager at Peacock Gap Golf Club in San Rafael, said Marin County is lucky in that it hasn’t been hit as hard by the drought as other areas of the state. She said her staff is in the process of determining how to respond to the executive order.
“We’re strategizing and putting things into place,” Sorber said. “Everybody is going to have to do their part and we’re certainly going to have to work and rearrange what we do here at Peacock Gap.”
Bruce Wilmott, a head golf professional at McInnis Park Golf Center in San Rafael, said he doesn’t believe McInnis Park will be affected as other golf courses because it uses reclaimed water. He said it’s going to be hard for courses to keep their grass green and lush.
“They’ll have to be aggressive with their water-saving,” Wilmott said. “We still try to conserve as much as possible.”
Kathy Curry, manager of Fernwood Cemetery in Mill Valley, said her property won’t be affected much as it’s an eco-friendly cemetery that doesn’t water the majority of its land. However, she said it’s going to be potentially difficult for other cemeteries to maintain happy customers.
“I think it’ll be a challenge for them,” Curry said. “They may have families of loved ones who don’t appreciate seeing brown grass. Others might understand.”
Buck Kamphausen, owner of Mount Tamalpais Cemetery in San Rafael, said he’s no longer watering the cemetery. At other cemeteries he manages in Napa, Vallejo and Oakland he has also stopped watering, making some visitors angry. But he said most people are understanding of the situation.
“To me, the idea is we’re in a drought. That’s a problem. We need the water for bathing, cooking and irrigating crops,” Kamphausen said.
He said he wishes the governor had signed the executive order last year.
“People just don’t realize the value of water,” he said. “Water is the most precious resource we have.”
Follow Megan Hansen’s blog at

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Propaganda Cartoon on Smart Growth

It is important to understand the "ideas" behind Smart Growth that are pushing Plan Bay Area.  Despite many attempts to achieve this "beautiful utopia" none actually exist anywhere on earth.  Portland, Oregon is often held up as an example but businesses have left town while real estate prices have made it very unaffordable.  East Portland, a one time suburb has become a hodge podge of affordable housing and substandard infrastructure. Sidewalks, schools and water capacity are in short supply. Public transportation has actually gone DOWN over the last decade.

Notice that suburbs in most of Marin aka"tangletown" (10:50 in the video)  will disappear and become an urbanized center. Plan Bay Area calls these Priority Development Areas.   

The plan for Smart Growth is a plan to radically redevelop our community.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Selling Plan Bay Area 2.0 to Marin County

Marin County ABAG delegates discuss the public process to engage the public's input to Plan Bay Area 2.0.  Also ABAGs Chief Economist discusses the methodology used to determine growth projections for housing, jobs and transportation.

"Maybe the dogs don’t like it" Selling Plan Bay Area 2.0

Maybe the dogs don’t like it

Once upon a time a pet food company created a new variety of dog food and rolled out a massive marketing campaign to introduce the product. Despite hiring a first-rate advertising agency, initial sales were very disappointing. The agency was fired and a new agency and a new campaign was launched. Sales continued to disappoint. If anything, they fell even further. In desperation, the CEO called in all of the top executives for a brainstorming session to analyze what had gone wrong with the two campaigns and how a new campaign might revive sales.
The meeting went on for hours. Sophisticated statistical analysis was brought to bear on the problem. One VP argued that the mix of TV and print ads had been messed up. Another argued that the previous campaigns had been too subtle and had failed to feature the product with sufficient prominence. Another argued that the TV ad campaign had focused too much on spots during sporting events and not enough on regular programming with a broader demographic. Another argued the opposite–not enough sports programming had been targeted. After the debate had raged for hours, the CEO felt they had accomplished very little. He asked if anyone else had any theories that might explain the failure of the new product. Finally, one newly hired employee raised his hand and was recognized. "Maybe the dogs don’t like it", she said.
Right now, ABAG is trying to sell Plan Bay Area II.  They are struggling with new ways to engage the public but the prescription is the same-  The intensive urbanization of Marin.   Supervisors Kinsey, Rice and Sears are leading this charge and hope to win re-election in their districts.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Novato police investigate shooting in Hamilton neighborhood

Novato police investigate shooting in Hamilton neighborhood

Novato police officers and Marin County sheriff’s deputies investigate a shooting Sunday near Hamilton Meadow Park School in Novato. (Frankie Frost/Marin Independent Journal) 
Novato police Officer Christopher Gamboa searches a field near Hamilton Meadow Park School on Sunday afternoon after a shooting nearby. (Frankie Frost/Marin Independent Journal) 
Novato police are investigating a shooting Sunday that left a victim hospitalized with wounds to his stomach and leg.
The shooting occurred at about 4:15 p.m. in the area of Hamilton Meadow Park School on Nave Drive. Novato police and Marin County sheriff’s deputies swarmed the neighborhood in search of a man and a girl who might be connected to the shooting, according to police broadcasts. They were seen heading east on Main Gate Road.
Police arrested two suspects a short time later in the area of Bolling Drive and Captain Nurse Circle. Their names were not released Sunday night.
The victim was conscious when firefighter-paramedics reached him, said Battalion Chief Jeff Veliquette of the Novato Fire Protection District. The victim was taken to Marin General Hospital for treatment.
He is expected to survive, said Novato police Lt. John McCarthy. The age of the victim was not released.
Novato police were still investigating the motive and the circumstances leading to the shooting. Police did not say whether gang affiliations are suspected.
The incident caused a stir around the neighborhood, where last Sunday a 9-year-old boy was severely injured after climbing to the roof of Hamilton Meadow Park School and falling through a skylight.
Tyron Broussard of Novato and his son Markus, 10, were practicing batting at just down the road from the school when they heard what they first thought were two bursts of firecrackers around 4 p.m.
“Then we saw a sheriff drive by and he asked us if we saw anything,” Tyron Broussard said. “We asked what had happened and he said they were gunshots.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chris Pareja: Plan Bay Area II needs to listen to the People

African American Church gets Cheated in Government Land Swap (Racism in Smart Growth Planning?)

Property Rights Abuse and the Evergreen Baptist Church from Don Casey on Vimeo.
Evergreen Baptist Church overlooks I-65 between Birmingham and Gardendale, Alabama. The Church was required to surrender its property through eminent domain for road construction. The Church agreed to a property swap with the State Department of Transportation. The Church at its old location was serviced with water, gas and electricity - all modern conveniences. Before construction began on the new Church building, Rev. Smith contacted the Birmingham Water Works to ensure that water would be available. With the Water Works assurance, construction was begun. When construction reached ¾ completion, it was
disclosed that the Birmingham Water Works would require $80,000.00 to install a new water main. The Church, consisting of a small congregation, could not afford the demands of the Water Works. Two years have passed and the inequity in the land swap has not been resolved. The Church pleads for a just and appropriate public outcry.

During the 2009 Alabama legislative session, legislation was introduced which will elevate this inequity in future land swaps through eminent domain procedures.

EDITOR'S NOTES:  The Reverend's wife makes a particularly passionate plea about halfway in the clip.  The cost for the water main was due to "smart growth" restrictions on building outside the Urban Growth boundary.  Soon, all rural landowners will notice crushing fees for building outside the "city centered corridor" in Marin and throughout the rural lands in the Bay Area.

  Note that the prior white property owners had water and sewer service on the site.