Saturday, February 6, 2016

Birth of Suburbia


Straight Talk About Planning - The Other Side of Sustainable Development



Most of us see sustainable development as helpful. In fact, sustainable development planning is costing people their property values and the grant money planners provide usually comes with strings that further limit property owners' rights while recasting the social makeup of your community.

Videos about the Toxic Waste at Marinwood Plaza

Friday, February 5, 2016

Important Public Hearing on Toxic Waste Cleanup Wed, Feb 10th at 7:30 PM




Important Community Event!
Public Hearing on
Marinwood   Toxic Waste Cleanup

"Get the facts" with: Damon Connolly, Marin County Supervisor, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Geologica and the Clean up Marinwood Plaza Now Oversight Committee.

Learn:  What is PCE, TCE and its dangers ?
What are risks to our community if it goes untreated?
How this will affect my property values and our future?

You'll see the latest test reports, current maps of the toxic plume and other exhibits.  Experts available to answer your questions.

Don't Miss it!  One Night Only!

Wed. Feb 10th at 7:30 PM.
Mary Silveira School
375 Blackstone Dr.
Marinwood, CA 94903



Assembly Member Marc Levine's blunt remarks on Steve Kinsey, Richmond Bridge, MTC and CalTrans



(5 min)

Assembly Member Marc Levine, (D) San Rafael  addresses the Marin Coalition Lunch on the topic of the Richmond Bridge, the MTC and the politically opportunist Supervisor Steve Kinsey.

We applaud Marc Levine for sponsoring a bill to change the designation of Marin County to "suburban" at 30 units per acre and opening the third lane on the Richmond Bridge.  He also sponsored legislation to disband the MTC to a more responsive, elected agency.

Mr. Levine is showing strong leadership for the North Bay and has our support.



Full meeting 1 hour


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Buried Secrets", Documentary about toxic drinking water & EPA corruption




We expose how the EPA knew a toxic Superfund site was contaminating residents' drinking water for 23 years but never told anyone about it. Since our reports, a criminal investigation has been launched, a civil case has gone before the US Supreme Court and new regulations have been enacted. Unfortunately, residents say the site is making them terminally ill and they're still waiting for a cleanup. Investigative Reporter Mike Mason explains.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

All That Glitters is Not Green

As seen in the Marinpost.org and Planningforreality.org

SMART

All That Glitters is Not Green

Recently, I found myself locking horns with a SMART train believer. They had fully bought into Measure Q, which passed by a narrow margin based, amongst other wording, on the premise:
"To... fight global warming...all funds supporting these environmentally responsible transportation"
My adversary, perturbed by my failure to buy into this green train, and pointing to conclusive analysis that showed that the train will certainly increase CO2 emissions asked:
“I'm also wondering if you looked at the emissions issue pertaining to other greenhouse gasses like NOx. I just want to make sure you are not being selective about the facts you are sharing.
This seemed like a fair question. So I started to dig. Many readers may already be aware Nitrogen Oxides only represent 5% of man made greenhouse gas emissions, while CO2 dwarfs this at 82% of anthropological greenhouse gas emissions. But Nitrogen oxides are far more harmful…
Googling "Nitrogen Oxides, living near effect on health" turns up a litany of studies and articles documenting the high impact these gases have on the respiratory system – particularly on children.
How Much NOx Do Cars In Marin Emit?
Looking at EMFAC / CARB for gasoline cars (LDAs) in Marin in 2017, aggregate speed and season, emissions of NOx are 0.088g NOx per vehicle mile. A caveat – to increase accuracy one one might aggregate cars and light trucks to weight the distribution of gasoline, diesel, hybrid and electric vehicles - a mix which is steadily improving for cars and that will be unique to Marin.
How Much NOx Will the SMART Train Emit?
According to SMART, for a roundtrip between Larkspur and Cloverdale - 140 miles - emissions of NOx and NMHC would be 1,175g, which translates to 8.4g per mile. The actual number would be higher when this is translated to revenue miles to take into account deadhead miles .

Source: Page 17, table 3: SMART Vehicle Study
Compare this with car NOx emissions of 0.088g per mile (Source California Air Resources Board EMFAC data for average car on the road in Marin in 2017). That makes SMART 95 times higher NOx emissions than gasoline cars, and this gap is only widening as cars are becoming cleaner much faster than trains.
Applying the APTA mode shift factor of 42% of train riders will be former car occupants, this means SMART would need 227 average daily riders (per train) to breakeven and reduce NOx emissions. Even the New Jersey Hudson Line running alongside Manhattan in a dense urban area has an average ridership of only 33 riders. Portland’s light rail is under 25. To presume that SMART - a train serving rural and suburban Marin - would come close, let alone exceed a ridership of 227 is to be spinning a fairy tale.
It's worth mentioning some caveats in these calculations:
  • deadhead miles (positioning, maintenance) are not considered would make the SMART emissions worse;
  • SMART emissions include NMHC (non methane hydrocarbons) while the car figures do not (EMFAC does not appear to show NMHC figures or combined NOx/NMHC figures).
So once again the evidence shows that not only will SMART certainly raise CO2 emissions significantly, it will very likely do the same for the highly toxic and greenhouse gas of Nitrogen Oxide.
What if Measure Q Had Been Accurate?
If Measure Q had accurately reflected that the train is certain to increase CO2 and NOx emissions would it have passed? The old saying goes “all that glitters is not gold”. Perhaps it should be updated in a world rightly obsessed with fighting climate change to “all that glitters is not green”.

SMART is coming. Be careful on the tracks!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

3-D Visualization of a Dry Cleaner Toxic Plume like Prosperity Cleaners

Serfs up with California's new feudalism


Serfs up with California's new feudalism



ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS MORRIS, CONTRIBUTING ARTIST
Is California the most conservative state?
Now that I have your attention, just how would California qualify as a beacon of conservatism? It depends how you define the term.
Since the rise of Ronald Reagan, most conservatives have defined themselves by pledging loyalty to market capitalism, supporting national defense and defending sometimes vague “traditional” social values. Yet in the Middle Ages, and throughout much of Europe, conservatism meant something very different: a focus primarily on maintaining comfortable places for the gentry, built around a strong commitment to hierarchy, authority and a singular moral order.
Until recently, modern California has not embraced this static form of conservatism. The biggest difference between a Pat Brown or a Reagan was not their goals – greater upward mobility and technical progress – but how they might be best advanced, whether through the state, the private sector or something in-between. Under both leaders, California evolved into a remarkable geography of opportunity.
In contrast, California’s new conservatism, often misleadingly called progressivism, seeks to prevent change by discouraging everything – from the construction of new job-generating infrastructure to virtually any kind of family-friendly housing. The resulting ill-effects on the state’s enormous population of poor and near-poor – roughly-one third of households – have been profound, although widely celebrated by the state’s gentry class.
Demographics of a new feudalism
One factor that made California such a disruptive economic, cultural and political force was its large percentage of people hailing from elsewhere. Yet as California’s basic costs, notably for housing, have risen to well above the national average, even adjusted for incomes, the state has become ever more dependent on those born here and far less on obstreperous outsiders.
In the 1930s, barely a third of Californians were born in the state, and the share remained less than half unti about 2000. Today more than 55 percent of state residents are natives. This trend will become more pronounced in the next generation, as more than 70 percent of teens and young adults in California were born instate, up from barely half in 1990. At the same time, more domestic inward migration has dropped; since 2000 the state has lost a net 1.7 million domestic migrants.
Even immigration, long a major source of new energy for the state, has been trending down. The foreign-born population is no longer growing rapidly and, as a recent USC report suggests, the next generation will be largely homegrown: over 90 percent of children in California are homegrown.
The USC researchers label this shift “the homegrown revolution.” On the positive side, they argue, this shift to the native population could provide greater stability in a state that has generally lacked that characteristic. But societies dominated by the native-born – think of the Deep South traditionally, the Midwest or much of Europe outside the large cities – also tend to be conservative in their nature, often more interested in preservation of status quo – whatever that might be – than shaking things up.
some of greatest inequality
At a time when twentysomething billionaires are being minted, largely in the Bay Area, California’s middle class is being hammered. The state now ranks third from the bottom, ahead of only New York and the District of Columbia, for the lowest homeownership rate, some 54 percent, a number that since 2009 has declined 5 percent more than the national average. The peasants, it appears, are expected to remain landless much longer, or be forced to leave the state.
Rather than a land of opportunity, our “new” California increasingly resembles a class-bound medieval society. The proportion of aggregate income taken by the top 1 percent is greatest in a couple of Californian metros, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as New York. California is the most unequal state when it comes to well-being, according to the report by Measure of America, which is a project of the Social Science Research Council.
These inequities clearly aren’t changing the state’s policy direction. Gov. Jerry Brown explains the state’s leading poverty rate as simply a reflection of how grand things are and California’s natural attractiveness. Poverty, he says, is “really the flip side of California’s incredible attractiveness and prosperity.” It’s a view not far from the old excuse espoused by British tories, that “the poor will always be with us.”
This inequality is being justified – and made worse – by attempts to turn California into a mecca for the most extreme measures to reduce greenhouse gases. Like a good medievalist, Brown blames this one phenomenon for virtually everything, from wildfires to the drought and mass migrations. Like a medieval cleric railing against sin, Brown seems somewhat unconcerned that his beloved “coercive power of the state” is also largely responsible for California’s high electricity prices, regulation-driven spikes in home values and the highest oil prices in the continental United States.
Once the beacon of opportunity, California is becoming a graveyard for middle-class aspiration, particularly among the young. In a recent survey of states where “the middle class is dying,” based on earning trajectories for middle-income cohorts, Business Insider ranked California first, with shrinking middle-class earnings and the third-highest proportion of wealth concentrated in the top 20 percent of residents.
New theology emerges
How can this approach be sold to the masses? The climate religion is key, since it implies that people’s suffering is endured for a greater cause. And, in classic medieval fashion, those who disagree can expect to be silenced and even subjected to criminal penalties. “God,” Gov. Brown recently suggested, “is not mocked.”
The new religion had better be strong, given what it will ask of the masses. Increasingly, the honest green answer – as opposed to the “green jobs” chimera sold by well-financed environmental publicists – is to move our society away from the competitive, capitalistic system which, for all its flaws, has created unprecedented global wealth. One popular idea, particularly in Europe, is to embrace the idea of “degrowth,” which even calls for removing such measures as GDP from consideration.
This approach has been bolstered by the entry into the fray of Brown’s former colleagues in the Roman Catholic Church, under Pope Francis. Brown, meanwhile, increasingly speaks of climate change in theological terms. Although it’s hardly the stuff of political campaigns, Brown embraces Francis’ opposition to increased “creature comforts” – like air conditioning – as part of a general move toward achieving the desired “level of enlightenment.”
Medievalism: A New Model?
For the past 170 years, California has stood at the apogee of rapid change, often using engineering – most notably with water and electricity – to build its economic power. Yet, just as the citizens of the declining Roman Empire began to lose faith in its systems, our leadership, both public and private, seems to have decided that most growth, except that what raises asset prices, is bad because of its inevitable effects on climate change.
This belief makes a certain amount of sense, particularly for those, notably public-sector workers, tech millionaires and affluent retired homeowners, who actually may benefit from stagnation. Widespread, broad-based growth and change is not necessary if your key goal is to pick up a comfy pension, or use regulations to up the value of your old single-family house. In contrast, the losers in this arrangement are the ascendant working class, young families and other newcomers.
For many who, in other times, might have come to California, coming here now, as Dartmouth College economist William Fischel has shown, means trying to enter “exclusionary regions.” Due to their often unattainable costs, the state’s most desirable urban centers – San Francisco, Silicon Valley, West Los Angeles, coastal Orange County and San Diego – seem destined to become enclaves primarily for the old, who bought homes during less-expensive times, the children of the rich, a transient young population and – of course – lots of low-paid service workers.
Meanwhile, the fastest growth in the ranks of college-educated millennials in recent years has been in such lower-cost regions as the four large Texas cities (Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin), Nashville, Tenn., and Orlando, as well as such “rust belt” cities as Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Families also are settling in small, relatively inexpensive metropolitan areas, such as Fayetteville in Arkansas and Missouri; Cape Coral and Melbourne in Florida; Columbia, S.C.; Colorado Springs and Boise, Idaho.
With California’s economy now largely tied to abstract reasoning and serving those with accumulated wealth, there may be little chance here for advancement by those whose talents lay with their hands or by grass-roots entrepreneurial guile. Once the land of opportunity, the Golden State, indeed, is devolving into something very fundamentally conservative: class-bound, dominated by natives and lacking in opportunities for all but a few. Our state leaders are building a future that boosts their senses of self-worth, while consigning much of our population to permanent status as serfs or struggling commoners.
Staff opinion columnist Joel Kotkin is R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University. He is executive editor of www.newgeography.com and executive director of the Center forOpportunity Urbanism.

Monday, February 1, 2016

I wonder if the Nextdoor moderator in Flint Michigan removes posts on lead in the water?

I wonder if the Nextdoor moderator in Flint Michigan removes posts on lead in the water?  That is what is happening in Marinwood on the topic of Toxic waste that is threatening Casa Marinwood and Silveira Ranch. 

I posted two educational videos on the watershed and the Toxic waste in Marinwood.  Bruce Anderson, former Marinwood politician and "consultant" for developers removed them.  I did not post my website www.savemarinwood.org but merely posted youtube links.

The information is scientifically accurate and informative.  

Here are the two links.  Please post them on your nextdoor neighborhood and be certain it reaches the Marinwood neighborhood.  The only way we combat censorship is to persist with the truth. 

https://youtu.be/nyro8Gt8zq4  Anatomy of a Dry Cleaner Spill (1 minute 30 sec )

https://youtu.be/guqinVOHTqc  How an Aquifer works  ( 6 minute 30)


  
Former Marinwood CSD Politician Bruce Anderson and part time "consultant" to developers
now is a full time CENSOR on Marinwood/Lucas Valley NextDoor. He is intentionally telling people that the toxic waste at Marinwood Plaza is a "few pounds" and "probably safe" in direct contradiction to the truthful record published
on Geotracker.  His does not want people to know the truth.

Tell Bruce Anderson, Liz McCarthy and Geoff Mack that you believe in open, respectful dialogue.

Censorship is not "neighborly"



Anatomy of a Dry Cleaner Toxic Waste Spill



Important Public Hearing!
Wed, Feb 10th at 7:30 PM
Mary Silveira School
375 Blackstone Dr.
Marinwood, CA 

This is your opportunity to meet with state regulators from the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), Geologica (consultant for Marinwood Plaza), Damon Connolly and community leaders.

We need this site excavated for the health of our community and to allow redevelopment of the plaza.  

How an aquifer works like the Miller Creek Watershed.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Frog and the Crocodile

Be careful with whom you place your trust.
Once, there was a frog who lived in the middle of a swamp. His entire family had lived in that swamp for generations, but this particular frog decided that he had had quite enough wetness to last him a lifetime. He decided that he was going to find a dry place to live instead.

The only thing that separated him from dry land was a swampy, muddy, swiftly flowing river. But the river was home to all sorts of slippery, slittering snakes that loved nothing better than a good, plump frog for dinner, so Frog didn't dare try to swim across.

So for many days, the frog stayed put, hopping along the bank, trying to think of a way to get across. The snakes hissed and jeered at him, daring him to come closer, but he refused. Occasionally they would slither closer, jaws open to attack, but the frog always leaped out of the way. But no matter how far upstream he searched or how far downstream, the frog wasn't able to find a way across the water. He had felt certain that there would be a bridge, or a place where the banks came together, yet all he found was more reeds and water.

 After a while, even the snakes stopped teasing him and went off in search of easier prey. The frog sighed in frustration and sat to sulk in the rushes. Suddenly, he spotted two big eyes staring at him from the water. The giant log-shaped animal opened its mouth and asked him, "What are you doing, Frog? Surely there are enough flies right there for a meal." The frog croaked in surprise and leaped away from the crocodile. That creature could swallow him whole in a moment without thinking about it!

Once he was a satisfied that he was a safe distance away, he answered. "I'm tired of living in swampy waters, and I want to travel to the other side of the river. But if I swim across, the snakes will eat me."

The crocodile harrumphed in agreement and sat, thinking, for a while. "Well, if you're afraid of the snakes, I could give you a ride across," he suggested. "Oh no, I don't think so,"

Frog answered quickly. "You'd eat me on the way over, or go underwater so the snakes could get me!"

"Now why would I let the snakes get you? I think they're a terrible nuisance with all their hissing and slithering! The river would be much better off without them altogether! Anyway, if you're so worried that I might eat you, you can ride on my tail."
The frog considered his offer. He did want to get to dry ground very badly, and there didn't seem to be any other way across the river. He looked at the crocodile from his short, squat buggy eyes and wondered about the crocodile's motives. But if he rode on the tail, the croc couldn't eat him anyway. And he was right about the snakes--no self-respecting crocodile would give a meal to the snakes.

"Okay, it sounds like a good plan to me. Turn around so I can hop on your tail."

The crocodile flopped his tail into the marshy mud and let the frog climb on, then he waddled out to the river. But he couldn't stick his tail into the water as a rudder because the frog was on it -- and if he put his tail in the water, the snakes would eat the frog.

They clumsily floated downstream for a ways, until the crocodile said, "Hop onto my back so I can steer straight with my tail." The frog moved, and the journey smoothed out. From where he was sitting, the frog couldn't see much except the back of Crocodile's head. "Why don't you hop up on my head so you can see everything around us?" Crocodile invited.

"But I don't want to see anything else," the frog answered, suddenly feeling nervous. "Oh, come now. It's a beautiful view! Surely you don't think that I'm going to eat you after we're halfway across. My home is in the marsh-- what would be the point of swimming across the river full of snakes if I didn't leave you on the other bank?"

  Frog was curious about what the river looked like, so he climbed on top of Crocodile's head. The river looked almost pretty from this view. He watched dragonflies darting over the water and smiled in anticipation as he saw firm ground beyond the cattails. When the crocodile got close enough, the frog would leap off his head towards freedom. He wouldn't give the croc a chance to eat him. 

"My nose tickles," the crocodile complained suddenly, breaking into the frog's train of thought. "I think there might be a fly buzzing around it somewhere, or a piece of cattail fluff swept into it while I was taking you across the river."

"I don't see a fly," the frog said, peering at the crocodile's green snout. It seemed odd that anything could tickle a crocodile through it's thick skin. "Would you go check my nose for a piece of cattail fluff, then?" the crocodile begged, twitching his nose. "I'm afraid I'll sneeze and send you flying. I don't want to feed you to the snakes." A tear seeped out of his eye, as if he was holding back a mighty sneeze.

The bank isn't too far, the frog thought. And it's the least he could do to repay him for bringing him over. So he hopped onto the crocodile's snout and checked the nostrils. Just a little closer, and he could jump... "I don't see--" he began. Just then, with a terrific CHOMP! the frog disappeared. The crocodile licked his lips in satisfaction and gave a tiny half-sneeze. "Good, I feel much better already," he smiled, and turned around to go back home.
Crunch!!!


What a Drycleaner contamination site like Marinwood Plaza looks like in a 3D animation.




Marinwood Plaza ,  Toxic Waste site contamination contains PCE and TCE and is expected to look similar to this 3 D animation of a site along the Ohio River.

Note that PCE and TCE goes BELOW the groundwater level and can spread far.  If you substitute "San Francisco Bay" for Ohio River, you have a pretty good model for the Prosperity Cleaners Site. Obviously the data and the plume spread will be different.


Dry Cleaner Toxic Waste and Community Response in North Carolina.


(3 MINUTES)
"Every day that goes by without cleanup, the situation gets worse"


"They have to get that source removed by excavation or it will continue to fall through the soil column and spread throughout the groundwater."



(2 minutes)

"There is $11 million dollars in taxpayer money wasted on investigating the problem and still no cleanup of the site"

Marinwood Plaza Dry Cleaner Toxic Waste Contamination explained. ( 4 minutes)



Here is a brief video explaining the dry cleaning contamination as is found at Marinwood Plaza.
Prosperity cleaners occupied Marinwood Plaza for approximately fifteen years and high levels of PCE contamination was found in December 2012 at 2000 times above the legal limit.  PCE is associated with major health risks and was banned in California in 2007. This report was produced by Stanford University students in 2008 of another drycleaner with issues similar to Prosperity Cleaners.

The PCE toxic waste was extends from Marinwood Plaza, under the 101 freeway and is threatening the water supply of the Silveira Dairy Ranch.

A clean up order has been issued to current Marinwood Plaza owners, Marinwood Plaza LLC (aka Hoytt Enterprises) to remove the PCE by August 1, 2016.   On January 12, 2014, Hoytt Enterprises appealed the order to allow more time for clean up to a distant date in the future so that Bridge Housing could get permitting and financing together to build Marinwood Village, a 81 unit apartment complex.

Despite the threat to the Silveira Ranch, the dairy herd and the health of potentially thousands of people, Supervisor Susan Adams and Assemblyman Marc Levine, lobbied the  RWQCB to remove the order and delay the clean up for the benefit of Bridge Housing, Wells Fargo Bank and Marinwood Plaza,LLC.
Dry Cleaning Toxic Waste Health risks

Supervisor Susan Adams (PHD, Nursing) asked for a delay for the PCE Toxic Waste cleanup from RWQCB on behalf of
Bridge Housing, Wells Fargo and Hoytt Enterprises.
Thankfully the Board demanded immediate action to protect the Silveira Ranch water supply that feeds the dairy cattle, ranch employees and thousands of consumers of milk.

After hearing the appeal from Wells Fargo Bank,  Geologica and Marinwood Plaza and objections by Silveira Ranch and Marinwood residents, the RWQCB voted unanimously to keep the order in place for the health of the community and our water supply.  Half of the directors even supported an accelerated cleanup by July 1, 2015 due to the severity of the risk.

See the full Marinwood Plaza Hearing: HERE