Saturday, December 12, 2015
Did you know former Supervisor Susan Adams has been "representing us" ever since leaving office?
Former Supervisor Susan Adams didn't get the message after losing in a landslide election in 2014. Apparently, the lure of power is too much and she is serving as a public representative for "public health" in the Bay Area despite living in Sacramento. Susan Adams is part of the "permanent government" that wants to tell us how to live our lives. It is time to go home, Susan
Friday, December 11, 2015
From AngryRenter to SFBARF: Co-opting Tenants for Political Gain
The so-called San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation (“SFBARF”) takes money from the real estate industry and mobilizes against renter protection legislation and pro-tenant candidates. The group’s leader has even spoken out against inclusionary housing laws. Despite its name, the group does nothing to assist renters.
Front groups claiming to speak for tenants are nothing new. In 2008, with the housing market falling off a cliff, calls for the government to provide relief to homeowners facing foreclosure were on the rise. Republican Dick Armey sprung to action with a fake renter group called “AngryRenter.com.” Michael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal covered the story: “Though it purports to be a spontaneous uprising, AngryRenter.com is actually a product of an inside-the-Beltway conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and publishing magnate Steve Forbes, a fellow Republican. It’s a fake grass-roots effort — what politicos call an AstroTurf campaign — that provides a window into the sleight-of-hand ways of Washington.”
The idea of AngryRenter.com was to defeat a so-called homeowner bailout by pretending that renters opposed it. Armey even got some renters on board through the grassroots-looking website. But the agenda was not to help renters in any way. It was to kill homeowner relief.
In some ways, SFBARF is worse than AngryRenter.com. At least AngryRenter tapped into a real sentiment among renters that government policy favors homeowners over renters. In contrast, not many renters support SFBARF’s increasingly bizarre anti-renter, anti-affordable housing positions.
SFBARF is best understood by following the money. A political group with the word “renters” in the name, SFBARF provides a vehicle for real estate interests to pose as renter-friendly and fund candidates and legislation that undermine renters. SFBARF’s founder recently stated (as reported in the SF Examiner and in an online forum) that “SFBARF’s goals are simply aligned with those who have money.”
SFBARF received $10,000 from “SF Moderates” and an undisclosed amount from another source SFBARF refused to name, as reported in the San Francisco Business Times. SF Moderates (formerly Plan C) is a PAC funded by real estate interests — including major contributions from the San Francisco Association of Realtors — that regularly oppose pro-tenant candidates and legislation in San Francisco. Since SFBARF formed a PAC ( Bay Area Renters PAC), it must file additional disclosures, but the group has elected to form as a “general purpose PAC” (a legally questionable designation in light of its November 2015 electioneering), so it won’t need to fully disclose its Nov. 2015 election spending any time soon. But even the limited disclosures to date tell the story of real estate industry money funding this group.
Meanwhile, rather than standing up for tenants, SFBARF is busy denouncing SF District 3 Supervisor Candidate Aaron Peskin, one of the strongest tenant allies in San Francisco. Peskin accomplished more for tenants in his 8 years on the board of supervisors than many advocates do in a lifetime. His opponent, Julie Christensen, is endorsed by SFBARF, and by Thomas Coates, the mega-landlord who spent nearly $1 million in a failed effort to abolish rent control in 2008. He dumped over $100K into the D3 supervisor race this week against Peskin. The district at issue is more than three quarters tenants. SFBARF, supposedly a renters’ group, would like to see the district represented by Julie Chistensen, a candidate not supported by a single tenant rights advocate. SFBARF’s candidate recently suggested that tenants are making up their eviction horror stories in San Francisco.
Nobody better than vocal SFBARF leader Donald Dewsnup illustrates the sham that is SFBARF. He is a licensed luxury housing real estate agent who serves on the Government Affairs Committee of the San Francisco Association of Realtors. His LinkedIn page notes that the “world of Luxury Real Estate is a natural fit for me.” He simultaneously sits on the lobbying committee of the SF Association of Realtors — a rabidly anti-tenant organization — and then claims to represent the interests of tenants. Dewsnup was busy in recent weeks urging San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to veto the Eviction Protection 2.0 Ordinance backed by every tenant organization in San Francisco.
As noted above, SFBARF’s leader, Sonja Trauss, even opposes inclusionary housing laws. I was stunned to hear her take this position at a housing panel earlier this year. Inclusionary laws simply require a percentage of below-market rate units in new residential developments, an important way to create affordable housing opportunities. No renter group I’m aware of in the entire state opposes inclusionary laws.
As revealed in a SFBARF powerpoint, SFBARF has a goal to “disrupt the alliance between rent-control advocates and affordable housing advocates.” Apparently, the idea that advocates would simultaneously want to expand the affordable housing supply while protecting tenants from rent hikes and displacement is too much for this self-proclaimed renters’ group to bear.
Tenant groups have shown remarkable restraint in dealing with SFBARF. Perhaps that is because tenant advocates are far too busy fighting for real protections against greedy landlords and speculators in an out of control Bay Area real estate market.
SFBARF was formed in 2014 to support high-density development projects, or so it appeared. The group has strayed from its original pro-development message into attacking tenant legislation, tenant advocates, and affordable housing laws. This is where the mask comes off and we see SFBARF for what it is (or at least what it has become): an industry funded political committee that works to undermine pro-tenant candidates and legislation. Responsible reporters should remove SFBARF from their list of sources, and voters who care about renters’ rights and affordable housing should ignore any SFBARF (or Bay Area Renters PAC) endorsements
Racism is not the main problem facing blacks in the U.S.—their own dysfunctional culture is. Originally aired January 1996.
Read "The End of Racism" by Dinesh: http://www.dineshdsouza.com/books/the....
Editor's Note: You can learn a lot about culture from what is taboo. D'Souza makes the case that it is not racism or genetics that determines success. It is the culture that determines the fate of a people.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Marinwood CSD Meeting December 8, 2015
-Solar contract for pool shade structure
-Elect president, vice president of the CSD board
-creation/appointment of private ad hoc committees that will be off the public record and not subject to Brown Act.
The Board Packet containing the Solar Contract and Financial projections is available
The Board Packet containing the Solar Contract and Financial projections is available
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Bill Gleason — KentfieldDecember 8, 2015 - 7:04 AM
|Don Quixote "fixes" Sir Francis Drake.|
Our County has rather quietly put together a plan to help alleviate traffic on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Well, at least that’s the stated goal. The plan has been developing below most everyone’s radar and that’s seldom a good sign.
$13.2 million will be spent on SFD between the Ross-Kentfield Line and the Bon Air Shopping Center. Half of this goes to repaving. The remainder buys relatively little but potential headaches. The existing surface on this stretch of SFD is in far better shape than most Marin roads. But the money’s allocated and hey, it has to be spent, even wastefully.
I think most of us know the backups on SFD in that sector are really caused by the bottleneck at the 101 interchange and the lack of that third lane on the Richmond Bridge. But not one dime of the $13.2 million goes to fixing that.
The repaving and “improvements” will take two years to complete. That means two years with conditions even worse than they are now. And what are those “improvements” that will result from this extended test of our patience?
Bike lanes are high on the list. That's ludicrous for several reasons. The road isn’t wide enough without further narrowing the existing lanes for motor vehicles, which will slow traffic, and likely result in accidents. Bicycles account for less than 1% of traffic on SFD. Cars, commercial vehicles, public transport and motorcycles account for more than 99%. So, we’re going to perhaps get bicycle usage up to 2% at the enormous inconvenience of the 98% - motorists and riders of public transit? And do this in spite of there being a perfectly good bike path close by along the Corte Madera Creek? OK, there’s a gap in between Bon Air Road and the end of South Eliseo Drive, but South Eliseo has relatively little traffic and bikes are easily accommodated.
“Bulb-outs” may be built at some intersections. These take away right-hand turn lanes and have a very detrimental effect on traffic flow.
More crosswalks are in the plan. Even a crosswalk at Wolf Grade, as it seems some of the kids at Bacich Elementary School don’t like climbing up the stairs to the pedestrian bridge. Maybe their parents didn’t tell them about how they had to walk miles to school in the snow. Barefoot.
As we ponder whether any of this will be money well spent it’s important to keep in mind that this section of SFD is District 2 Supervisor Katie Rice’s turf. Both she and District 4’s Steve Kinsey are on record for opposing the addition of a second level of parking at the ferry terminal because they don’t want to encourage all day parking. They want you to find your way there by public transportation or by bike. Anyway, underneath all this is the political goal to get us out of our cars.
Kinsey just announced he is not running for reelection next June. But Ms. Rice is.
You have until Friday Dec 11 at 5 pm to comment.
Here is a promotional video for Traffic Calming. As you can see, the improvements they want to do to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard are meant to SLOW TRAFFIC and create even more CONGESTION so people will magically switch to taking public transit, bicycling or walking.
Monday, December 7, 2015
MTC staff ran the math and realized SMART were peddling Greenhouse Gas reductions based on ridership assuming:
- every train was packed full (with as many standing as could fit)
- they were packed the length of the line
- all 22 trains per day were packed
Essentially the MTC is calling them liars because they use train capacity vs. realistic ridership projections. The "train to nowhere" is along a sparsely populated corridor with few businesses to support large movements of people. Commuter rail is only economically feasible in highly dense urban corridors like New York City.
But they have a billion dollars of our Cap and Trade tax money to spend.....
Very informative clip on the real politics at the MTC and Plan Bay Area.
We must Save Marin Again!
Smart Growth is the "Gentrification" (or "Hipster-fication" or "Tech Worker-i-fication") of San Francisco. The Mission District, China Town and Marin City in Marin County are on the "hit list" for becoming "mixed use, vibrant, transit friendly urban communities". Don't believe it.
There are huge social costs to existing communities who are displaced first by government initiatives and secondly by economics.
Marin City is a target for creation of a "economically diverse" community and likely will end up displacing the vibrant, existing community of largely African Americans from their homes. While growth may be a good thing, the wholesale "improvement" may do little for existing residents while creating a pot of opportunity for a completely different segment of society and enrich developers.
Government Planning must be for EXISTING COMMUNITIES and not an excuse for removal of one group to benefit another.
Plan Bay Area is the Sherman's March through the Bay Area for the benefit of "Smart Growth developers. They have come to town and Steve Kinsey, Kate Sears, Katie Rice and Judy Arnold are leading the charge to urbanize Marin.
We must Save Marin Again!
|"War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over."|
|History's First Smart Growth Planner. General Sherman destroyed the South so a new South could be built.|
Sunday, December 6, 2015
See the Story in the Marin IJ HERE
Enjoy Some Recent Highlights of his Career
Rumors are flying with about who will run or be appointed to Steve Kinsey's seat. Among the contenders is the son of Gary Giocomini, Andrew Giocomini. Andrew serves as a managing partner for Hanson Brigett, LLC and on the Marin Community Foundation Board. It makes sense that Giocomini wants his "heir apparent" to fill that role.
Time will tell. No confirmation yet on Kinsey's resignation or wish to end his Supervisor career.