Saturday, September 5, 2015

Even in Huntington Beach, they are getting slammed with high density development

Steve Kinsey (MTC) and Pat Ecklund (ABAG) discuss the future of Regional Planning

Marin Coalition Presents:
"Planning Our Future: The ABAG/MTC Perspective”
Guest Speakers:
Steve Kinsey, Marin County Supervisor District 4 and Marin County and Cities MTC Representative
Pat Eklund, Novato Mayor Pro Tem and Marin’s ABAG Representative

Luncheon and Speaker Program – Wednesday September 2, 2015

CA legislators have been steadily expanding the authority of regional governing agencies like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Together they have brought us the 9-county Plan Bay Area and Sustainable Communities Strategies, which are plans to reduce GHG emissions by building housing near transportation corridors. But dissension is in the air.  As MTC prepares to move into its nearly $250M office building in San Francisco, they propose restricting ABAG’s funding and taking over land-use planning. Come to hear from Steve Kinsey and Pat Eklund, Main’s representatives to these two powerful agencies. Learn about their unique mission and roles, how decisions are made, what we can anticipate coming down the pike from regional planners, and how citizens can participate to make their voices heard.

Steve Kinsey has been Marin County’s District 4 Supervisor since 1996 and has lived in west Marin since 1978.  His focus has been on the integration of transportation and land use planning, watershed and fishery restoration and sustainable agriculture. He has been a supporter of regional policies that are defining the essential link between transportation and land use and while chair of MTC from 2004-06, he led the adoption of MTC’s current transit-oriented development policy.  Steve serves on the Boards for MTC, TAM, MALT and is chair of the California Coastal Commission. Steve has a B.A. in architecture from Arizona State University.

Pat Eklund is Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Novato and has served as Mayor 5 times. She is a 39 year resident of Novato and is the ABAG representative for Marin’s 11 cities. Pat serves on the Major Crimes Task Force, is a Board Member of the Hamilton Restoration Advisory Board and a Rotarian. She serves as the alternate to the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM). Pat has previously served on the Novato Planning Commission, Board Member for the Novato Community Hospital and the Marin County Flood Control Board, President of the League of California Cities, and Board Member of SMART. She is recently retired after 43 years – 7 with the US Army Corps of Engineers and 36 with the U.S. EPA as an environmental manager.

Every community has beauty

I AM CONGO - Another Congo from I AM CONGO on Vimeo.

Everyone has An American Dream. Stop the Racist "Plan Bay Area"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mapping Gentrification and Displacement in San Francisco

Mapping Gentrification and Displacement in San Francisco

The Urban Displacement Project tracks four stages of neighborhood transformation in the Bay Area.

Image University of California-Berkeley Urban Displacement Project
University of California-Berkeley Urban Displacement Project

The San Francisco Bay Area is notoriously expensive to live in. Whether you blame Silicon Valley, regional transit investmentgentrification, or housing policy follies, the reality is that low- and middle-income families are being priced out of neighborhoods they used to call home. San Francisco’s Mission District is well-known example; here’s how The New York Times recently described the fraught transformation of a middle-class Latino part of that neighborhood:
The local color is still here: Splashy murals, many with political themes, provide open-air art on numerous buildings. But the housing prices have risen well beyond the reach of the average artist: Studio apartments in the Mission are listed on Zillow, the real estate site, for $2,700 a month, and one-bedrooms for $3,800. When a family in a rent-controlled apartment leaves or is forced out, the rent is jacked up to market rate, apartments become condominiums or are advertised by the landlord on Airbnb as a good place for short-term visits.
To better understand the complex forces at play in the Mission District and other neighborhoods losing residents, UC-Berkeley and UCLA researchers developed the Urban Displacement Project, which maps the change of urban demographics in the region.
Berkeley planning professor Karen Chapple and her colleagues analyzed government housing, demographic, employment, transportation, land use, and policy data for 10-year intervals from 1990, 2000, and 2013. From this trove of information they gleaned historical red flags that signaled periods of low-income household displacement—things such as transit investment, loss of market-rate affordable housing units, and spikes in housing prices. Using this data, they divided the Bay Area into low-income tracts (where more than 39 percent of the households earned 80 percent less than the county’s median income), and high-income (which contained less than 39 percent low-income households).
They further divided each category into four stages of transformation based on historical displacement “risk factors.” Here’s the color-coded key that shows each category and its definition:

And here’s what San Francisco looks like, based on these categories:

According to the project’s accompanying report, a little more than half of the 1,569 total Census tracts are stable. About 48 percent are in the same boat as Mission District—they’re at some stage of transformation that entails, among other things, a loss of low-income residents (which the researchers use as a proxy for “displacement”). Far more tracts are “at risk” of displacing their poor residents (422) than are currently experiencing displacement (165). So if trends continue, many more neighborhoods might head the Mission District way.
“In 2030 ... many other Bay Area communities may realize that their neighborhood has turned the corner from displacement risk to reality,” Chapple writes in a related blog post.
Although “gentrification” and “displacement” are often used interchangeably, the project makes a clear distinction between the two. The researchers defined gentrification as a demographic or physical change, such as a rise in wealthier residents or in neighborhood investment. Meanwhile they viewed “displacement” as a loss of low-income residents—the one criterium that most research agrees on.
Many studies have failed to link gentrification and displacement, owing largely to the difficulty of tracking populations over time. The Urban Displacement Project found that, in some parts of the Bay Area, displacement followed gentrification and perhaps contributed to it. In others, displacement took place simultaneously or even came first. Here’s Chapple again, fleshing out the complex relationship between the two concepts:  
Displacement can be physical (as building conditions deteriorate) or economic (as costs rise). It might push households out, or it might prohibit them from moving in, called exclusionary displacement.  It can result from reinvestment in the neighborhood — planned or actual, private or public — or disinvestment.
Thus, displacement is often taking place with gentrification nowhere in plain sight.  In fact, stable neighborhoods at both the upper and lower ends of the income spectrum are experiencing displacement.
The Urban Displacement Project also notes that transit investment and new development—often decried as harbingers of gentrification—can be beneficial, if planned inclusively. Here’s how they put it in their report:
Locals are likely to benefit from improved mobility, neighborhood revitalization, lower transportation costs, and other amenities that spill over from the new development (Cervero 2004). However, more disadvantaged communities may fail to benefit if the new development does not bring appropriate housing and job opportunities, or if there is gentrification that displaces low-income and/or minority residents
Still, it’s notable that more than 53 percent of low-income households in all of the Bay Area lived in neighborhoods that are experiencing, or at risk for, displacement and gentrification pressures. Since the project only analyzed data up till 2013, after which the region saw a surge in the region’s real estate market, these numbers might understate the reality on the ground.
The map itself suggests some solutions. The research shows that places such asSan Francisco’s ChinatownEast Paolo Alto, and Marin County (below) have resisted displacement pressures through a combination of subsidized housing, tenant protections, and strong community organizing. They can serve as good models as cities prepare for the future.

While the map project is quite exhaustive, its ability to forecast the future is limited. Mobility data, for example, tells the researchers where low-income residents are leaving from but not where they’re are moving to, explains project director Miriam Zuk. Whether they left voluntarily or involuntarily is also hard to pin down.
These uncertainties make it hard for researchers to make more concrete estimates about where gentrification or displacement will take place next. Zuk and her colleagues are currently working with additional datasets to sharpen the map tool, but at the moment, it remains more a portrait than a predictio

The End of Law is Not to Abolish or Restrain, but to Preserve and Enlarge Freedom

Nanny of the Month

Monday, August 31, 2015

Major Victory for Sensible Development in Marin!

Dear MCA Supporters and Neighborhood Leaders:

As we informed you in our last update… When the Superior Court ruled in favor of the MCA and set aside the 2012 Housing Element (HE) SEIR, the county said (Marin IJ reported) the victory was theirs and the traffic issue raised was a minor issue. Then on July 6th, the County filed a Motion to Vacate the judge’s ruling. In essence the county disagreed with the judge’s decision and wanted the Court to issue a different ruling. They filed their reasons; we filed our response.

On August 7th the judge told the county that his decision stands! And he was very firm in his response to the county as to why their arguments did not hold water. You can read those docs here Chernus' Ruling

What’s next? Here are the options:

A. The county could appeal the decision.

B. MCA could appeal the decision in order to permanently throw out SEIR as inadequate.

C. The county could do the Superior Court ordered traffic study to replace the inadequate one they used in the old 2012 HE plan.

For the moment, the SEIR and the 2012 HE are LEGALLY SET ASIDE. This keeps the rampant urbanization of Marin County at bay as the BOS scrambles to address the judge’s requirements. The current HE 2015-2023 is relying on this SEIR so this could impact any development plans that rely upon the SEIR for gifts of density. Therefore, this may be a chance for Marin's citizens to legally challenge the current HE on grounds other than CEQA.

Your support has kept us going this far. We and our attorney Michael Graf have put in countless hours to protect our beautiful Marin heritage from overdevelopment and political greed.


As we anticipate the likely filing of Appeals by the deadline of Sept 9th, MCA needs your help now to be able to continue with these incredible legal victories. We need your donations to help us raise $5,000.

DONATE. to help MCA make a lasting difference for a better Future for Marin!

We rely upon your generous financial support and thank you for past contributions!

Meehyun Kurtzman
MCA Team

P.S. MCA news is disseminated via and at Marin Post. Sign up for Marin Post to see what is really going on in Marin.

SEIR (Supplemental Environmental Impact Report) click here for the site list in Marin with pre-approved high density zoning.

Attachments area

Preview attachment Court Ruling on Motion to Vacate -- C5_57522583.pdf

Court Ruling on Motion to Vacate -- C5_57522583.pdf

Thugs on Bikes

Critical Mass event turns ugly in the Marina District

By Evan Sernoffsky
Updated 9:41 am, Monday, August 31, 2015

Photo: YouTube / Bike42363

A YouTube video showing an altercation between Critical Mass cyclists and a driver in San Francisco’s Marina District on Friday August 28, 2015.

A YouTube video showing an altercation between Critical Mass cyclists and a driver in San Francisco’s Marina District on Friday August 28, 2015.

A YouTube video showing a tense altercation between Critical Mass cyclists and a driver in San Francisco’s Marina District, captured a man beating a woman’s Zipcar and smashing her window with a bike lock.

The video was purportedly shot Friday night at 8:16 p.m. on Marina Boulevard at Lyon Street during a Critical Mass bike ride.

About a dozen cyclists were seen riding against traffic on Marina Boulevard when one person stopped in front of a dark-colored station wagon and yelled, “Hey! Stop that! — No, no, no, no, no.”

The man’s buddies then swarmed over and surrounded the car.

“You ain’t going nowhere,” another man is heard saying.

“You f— hit my bike,” the original rider shouted to the driver.

“Selfish, b—,” someone else yelled.

The cyclists then lectured the Zipcar driver for several minutes while Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta” blared from a speaker on another cyclist’s backpack.

Apparently the driver had enough. She backed up and tried to drive around the pack only to be blocked again. Meanwhile, several other drivers appeared to keep a safe distance back from the altercation.

It was unclear if the incident had been reported to San Francisco police. Department officials could not immediately be reached for comment Monday morning.Finally, the Zipcar slowly pushed past the group while one rider landed four blows on the side of the car with a U-lock, smashing the driver’s side window.

YouTube user bike42363 posted the video Saturday. It already had more than 13,000 views by Monday morning and was inspiring an enthusiastic discussion in the comments section.

“Wow. You guys area pieces of s—for doing that,” YouTube user One TwiztidMunky wrote in part.

“It was a protest Einstein,” user drie wiel fired back.

Critical Mass is a monthly protest ride that happens on the last Friday of every month in San Francisco. The demonstrations began in the city in 1992 but are now held in nearly 300 cities around the world, according to the organization’s web page.

On its website, SF Critical Mass tells participants “Don’t ride into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road” and “Don’t pick fights with motorists, even if they’re itching for one.”

Evan Sernoffsky is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: Twitter: @EvanSernoffsky

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ready for adventure? Geocache in Blackstone Canyon

Ready for adventure? Geocache in Blackstone Canyon

Editors Note:  This post was first seen on my campaign website .  

Ready for adventure? I have hidden 10 medallions in plain site on the trail to Blackstone Canyon Dam at the end of Blackstone Canyon drive in Marinwood,,
I have posted pictures below with GPS coordinates. I am standing within a few feet of each medallion and most are plainly visible in the picture. Blackstone canyon is a wonderful nature walk you can enjoy with your friends. Try to find all ten medallions and post a selfie here. I will donate to the Friends of Marinwood-Lucas Valley for each selfie posted.
Each number represents a geocache location starting at the beginning of the trail near the swing and leading up to the Blackstone Canyon Dam. Have fun!
#1  Near the Tree Swing.

el Coyote

El Coyote from Javier Barboza on Vimeo.

Frank E. Petersen, First Black General in Marines, Dies at 83

Frank E. Petersen, First Black General in Marines, Dies at 83


Frank E. Petersen of the Marine Corps with an F-4 Phantom, about 1968. He was the Marines’ first black aviator.CreditPictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Frank E. Petersen Jr., who suffered bruising racial indignities as a military enlistee in the 1950s and was even arrested at an officers’ club on suspicion of impersonating a lieutenant, but who endured to become the first black aviator and the first black general in the Marine Corps, died on Tuesday at his home in Stevensville, Md., near Annapolis. He was 83.

The cause was lung cancer, his wife, Alicia, said.

The son of a former sugar-cane plantation worker from St. Croix, the Virgin Islands, General Petersen grew up in Topeka, Kan., when schools were still segregated. He was told to retake a Navy entrance exam by a recruiter who suspected he had cheated the first time; steered to naval training as a mess steward because of his race; and ejected from a public bus while training in Florida for refusing to sit with the other black passengers in the back.

In 1950, only two years after President Harry S. Truman desegregated the armed forces, he enlisted in the Navy. The Marines had begun admitting blacks during World War II, but mostly as longshoremen, laborers and stewards. By 1951, he recalled, the Marine Corps had only three black officers.

But in 1952, Mr. Petersen, by then a Marine, was commissioned as a second lieutenant and the Marines’ first black aviator. He would go on to fly 350 combat missions during two tours, in Korea and Vietnam (he safely bailed out after his F-4 Phantom was shot down in 1968), and to become the first of his race in the corps to command a fighter squadron (the famous Black Knights), an air group and a major base.

Less confident men might not have persevered.

An instructor flunked him in training and predicted he would never fly. On his first day at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, Calif., a captain claimed he was masquerading as a lieutenant and had him arrested. In Hawaii, a landlord refused to rent a house to him and his wife, and admitted to a subsequent prospect that he did so because they were black.

Racial discrimination was not all that General Petersen had to overcome.

He discovered while training that he was afflicted with acrophobia — fear of heights. And while he longed to be a general, he was happier wielding a joystick than working as a desk jockey.

After 38 years, he retired from the corps in 1988 as a three-star lieutenant general. He was the senior ranking aviator in the Marine Corps and the Navy, commander of the Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va., and special assistant to the chief of staff. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

Much had changed in America since 1950, he recalled in his autobiography (written with J. Alfred Phelps), “Into the Tiger’s Jaw” (1998) — and the military, originally recalcitrant, had led the charge.

Promotions, job assignments and disproportionate punishments “were the three areas where racism was most likely to rear its ugly head for blacks then and, to some extent, still does today,” he wrote.

Appointed a special assistant to the commandant for minority affairs in 1969, he recalled, he sought to eradicate barriers among recruits from different backgrounds, with palpable improvement.

“The signs of it are subtle,” he wrote. “As you go off a base, look around. If you see a white kid and a black kid going off together to drink a beer, you know that you’ve achieved a degree of success.”

Obviously there has been progress, he said, and the military has been a model for integration.

Had there been enough progress?


Frank Emmanuel Petersen Jr. was born in Topeka on March 2, 1932. His father, who was born in the American Virgin Islands, was a radio repairman and a General Electric salesman. His mother, the former Edythe Southard, was a teacher.

Young Frank experienced the world beyond Kansas largely through radio, and his perspective was frequently refracted through race.

Naturally, the family rooted for Joe Louis, he said, because “where else but in the ring could a black man kick a white man’s ass with impunity and walk away smiling with a pocket full of money?”

He was 9 when Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, and while he was unsure what war was, he knew the Japanese had done America wrong. “I was scared,” he recalled, “but happy that it hadn’t been black people who’d done it.”

He enrolled in Washburn University in Topeka, but when he turned 18 and no longer needed his parents’ permission (his mother had opposed him joining the military), he enlisted in the Navy.

He began as a seaman apprentice and electronics technician and in 1951 entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program.

He graduated in 1967 from George Washington University and later received his master’s degree, both while in the Marines.

General Petersen’s marriage to the former Eleanor Burton ended in divorce. Survivors include their children, Gayle, Dana, Lindsey and Frank III; his second wife, the former Alicia Downes, and their daughter, Monique; a grandson; and three great-grandchildren.

After leaving the military, General Petersen became a vice president for corporate aviation at Dupont de Nemours. He retired in 1997.

In a video interview for the National Visionary Leadership Project, he reflected on becoming the first black Marine Corps general and the only one for nearly a decade until he retired.

“Just to be able to say you kicked down another door was such a great satisfaction,” he said, but it was also a challenge. “Whereas you thought you could perform before, now you must perform.”

Beijing Boasts of Its "Crucial Role" in UN Plan for Humanity

Beijing Boasts of Its "Crucial Role" in UN Plan for HumanityFor those wondering why the United Nations “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” reads suspiciously like a Marxist-Leninist recipe for total global tyranny, at least one of the reasons is becoming clear. It turns out that the Communist dictatorship ruling mainland China played a “crucial role” in setting the 15-year UN plan for humanity, the regime’s officials boasted in Chinese propaganda outlets. Considering Beijing’s brutality and oppression, the influence of the People’s Republic of China over the global plan that will leave “nobody behind” should be troubling — at least to anyone who values liberty and individual rights. Ironically, perhaps, the plot was dubbed the “People’s Agenda.”
Dictators, genocidal maniacs, and other heads of UN member governments will convene at the UN headquarters in New York City this September to rubber stamp the radical agenda. It aims to replace the last 15-year UN plan, dubbed the “Millennium Development Goals,” set to expire this year. Already, the UN is demanding trillions of dollars every year to implement its latest 15-year plan. “All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan,” declares the document, adopted by "consensus" on August 1 by UN member governments and dictatorships. “We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”
UN boss Ban Ki-moon was evidently excited about the agenda. “‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ encompasses a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world,” the UN chief said in a statement, falsely claiming that the proposed global “sustainable development” regime was the result of a “truly open, inclusive and transparent process.” “This is the People's Agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind. It seeks to ensure peace and prosperity, and forge partnerships with people and planet at the core. The integrated, interlinked and indivisible 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the people's goals and demonstrate the scale, universality and ambition of this new Agenda.”
The purpose of government, according to America’s Founders and the Declaration of Independence they produced, is to protect the God-given rights of individuals — the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness; rights self-evidently endowed to each person by his or her Creator. By contrast, the UN’s newly unveiled 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” represent a vision that could not be more at odds with the Founders’ views on government. For instance, under the 17 planks, the UN and its oftentimes savagely brutal member regimes are presented as benign parents or nannies responsible for taking care of young children. Everything from food and education to welfare, healthcare, and jobs is covered under the far-reaching scheme. Bureaucrats are demanding $5 trillion per year — yes, trillion with a t — to implement the plan.  
But why is the nightmarish and costly vision of total government control — a vision so far removed from traditional U.S. ideals about the role of government to safeguard individual rights — so embedded throughout the UN’s latest master plan? It almost certainly has something to do with the nature of the totalitarian-minded regimes that developed it. A key player among those dictatorships was the Communist Chinese autocracy, infamous for forced abortions, censorship, religious and political persecution, the “one-child policy,” terrible pollution, kangaroo courts, brutal tyranny, and of course, murdering more human beings than any other entity in all of human history. And Beijing’s role in the UN agenda is hardly a secret, with Communist Chinese propaganda organs trumpeting it.      
“China has made important contributions to the global efforts in reaching a fair, inclusive and sustainable post-2015 development agenda,” the regime’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Wang Min, was quoted as saying in a report by the Communist Chinese news and espionage service Xinhua. “China is also very active in putting forward Chinese proposals…. The agreement includes important proposals by China and many other developing countries in numerous aspects.” In the Xinhua article, headlined “China plays crucial role in formulating historic global development plan: envoy,” the Chinese dictatorship is also presented as key player in unifying the UN’s member regimes around the radical agenda.     
Beijing used its vast propaganda bureaucracy in an effort to drum up some semblance of public support for the draconian master plan. The regime’s propagandists, for example, repeated UN talking points, claiming the new agenda was devised “to redefine how the global community works together to tackle poverty and improve living standards while protecting the environment.” Similar language about the UN’s agenda somehow saving humanity and the Earth from evil humans and capitalist exploiters has been touted for months by pro-UN propaganda outlets masquerading as media outlets. Indeed, as The New American reported last month, the UN is currently working on the largest propaganda blitz in its history to try to create at least the impression of some public support for its agenda.  
The Communist Chinese government, which has its operatives at the top of myriad UN agencies, is looking forward to the sustainability planks being rubber stamped next month. “The agreement also lays a sound foundation for a successful summit on development in September,” said Wang, the dictatorship’s deputy UN representative. “China looks forward to the successful adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the UN Summit on Development, and this will help promote the international community to further focus on the development agenda and create a better international environment for the development of developing countries and the common prosperity of the world.”
In recent years, the Chinese dictatorship and its autocratic allies have become increasingly vocal in demanding an empowered, more totalitarian UN. From global wealth redistribution to a global currency, the regime continues to push for what it often describes as a “New World Order” — an order with a neutered United States and a powerful UN that is more responsive to the demands of Third World autocrats. Those sentiments mesh well with the latest UN master plan. For example, “Goal 10” on the list is “Reduce inequality within and among countries.” Goal 12, meanwhile, declares that the UN and its member regimes must “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” If those planks sound suspiciously Communist-inspired, they should.     
You and your family are in the UN’s crosshairs, too, as the document itself makes clear. “This is an Agenda of unprecedented scope and significance,” the agenda boasts. “It is accepted by all countries and is applicable to all.” That, of course, means you, too — and lest you think you might escape the “sustainability” agenda, the text mentions on at least five occasions that nobody, not a single human being, will be left “behind.” So while it may be touted as the “People’s Agenda,” based on the UN’s own documents, the “people” will have no choice about whether or not they wish to participate in the UN’s grandiose plans. Again, it is “applicable to all,” and “no one will be left behind.”
But for those Americans who wish the UN and its member regimes would leave them and their liberties alone, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act would withdraw the U.S. from the UN while removing the dictator club’s headquarters from U.S. soil.