Friday, March 4, 2016

Acts of Resistance: Warsaw's Blinking Lights | Learn Liberty

Civil Disobedience

Marinwood Kids learn about the Water Cycle but not about the Toxic Waste threatening Miller Creek

Marinwood science fair ‘truly a student event’

Cole Simon, 9, explains his Rubber Bones project at the Mary E. Silveira science fair in San Rafael.Alan Dep — Marin Independent Journal

By Janis Mara, Marin Independent Journal

“Water travels in a cycle, yes it does,” the gaggle of kindergartners sang. “It goes up as evaporation, forms a cloud as condensation, then goes down as precipitation, yes it does.”

Having rocked out polysyllabically with appropriate circular hand gestures, the group of 5- and 6-year-olds at Mary E. Silveira Elementary School’s science fair took a bow. Meanwhile, hundreds of adults and children milled around in the Marinwood school’s multipurpose room Wednesday, admiring a variety of exhibits illustrating the students’ experiments and their results.

The fair has been going on for about four years, according to Principal Will Anderson. It gives the fourth- and fifth-graders a chance to show off experiments they’ve conducted, “and other grades come and support them,” said Julie Phillips of San Rafael, the proud parent of Jack, 10, who did an experiment to determine what stain remover works best.

The Water Cycle Singers, selected members of Karen Madden’s kindergarten class, were Simone Low, 6, Violet Schoenwald, 5, Tatsuma Koshikawa, 6, Ayla Henry, 6, Ava Marin, 5, Charlotte Ludin, 6, and David Frack, 6, all of San Rafael.

“Having the song as an anchor made it easier for them to understand the concepts,” Madden said.

See the story in the Marin IJ HERE

Editor's Note: 
Happy that the kids at Mary Silveira are learning about the water cycle. They should also know that Miller Creek watershed is being harmed from the toxic waste at Marinwood Plaza and they can do something about it. Where are the environmentalists?

Thursday, March 3, 2016



This essay is part of a new report from the Center for Opportunity Urbanism called "America's Housing Crisis." The report contains several essays about the future of housing from various perspectives. Follow this link to download the full report (pdf).
It is not primarily the fault of land developers that the American suburbs are thought to be dysfunctional and mundane. The blame belongs largely to the influence of boiler-plate zoning regulations combined with design consultants who seek the most minimum criteria allowed by city regulations.
Yet for all its problems, decade after decade 80% of new home purchases are not urban, but suburban. Some (architects, planners, and university professors) suggest we should emulate the dense growth of other nations not blessed with the vast area of raw land within our country, yet most of those countries as they prosper strive to emulate our American suburbs.

Figure 1 A model in the sales office of a new Suburban Development by AMARILO in Bogota, Colombia
The planning of our cities is about design. Yet, for the past quarter century a highly organized group consisting mostly of architects (acting as planners) have pushed a New Urbanist agenda that is as much about social engineering as it is design.
Their ’The Congress of New Urbanism’ ( preaches of the world to come where all people of all races and incomes live in harmony along straight streets where densely compacted homes are aligned perfectly along a tight
grid. This ’New Urbanism’ is exactly how cities were designed before contemporary suburbia. In this sense they are not so much new, but as they themselves suggest “neo-traditional”.

Figure 2 A new development near Charleston, South Carolina using New Urbanism Design Methods
To convince others of the evils of suburbia they present the worst suburban examples lacking proper design as emblematic of their essence. Their solution is to forever banish suburban growth by whatever means necessary—usually through regulation --- that essentially eliminates choice for the  consumer.
For most urban planning professors there appears to be just one singular solution: ever higher levels of density and a return towards the urban core. Young students study such models but, from my experience as a land planner, are grossly under-educated about what works in suburbia, where the majority of growth has been, and, short of a total political triumph of “progressive” planners or another catastrophic recession, will continue to take place.
One tragic result of this anti-suburban meme is that very little attention is played to how to improve suburban development, where design standards have stagnated since the mid-1950s. That is, until now… A new era of innovation made possible by technological advancements solves most, if not all, of the suburban growth problems, in a manner that deflates
the New Urbanist ’one solution fits all’ agenda.
Density is the most misunderstood and misrepresented excuse  to attack suburban growth. Density and affordability are two very different concepts.
New Urbanists argue their high density solution allows people of all incomes to live in harmony, yet finding any affordable (non-heavily subsidized) dwelling in a New Urban development is highly problematic. The CNU boasts of their gentrification which by definition means upper income.
It turns out that diversity has nothing to do with ’design’ and everything to do with people wanting to live in neighborhoods with others, like themselves. Many conventional suburbs are far more diverse in terms of class and ethnicity than new urbanist communities, or revitalized parts of  our downtowns.
Similarly, restricting how many families can be sardined into an acre of land (the definition of density)  has absolutely nothing to do with affordability—if it did the New Urban projects would be the most affordable, not the most expensive.
New Urbanists are quick to point out the sprawl of new growth, completely ignoring today’s environmental restrictions. If cities of the past were designed using today’s wetland preservation (and buffers), shoreline buffers, slope restrictions, tree preservation, open space targets, and detention ponding, they would have sprawled also. Cities built with 2015 restrictions would likely consume 1/3rd more land area than if planned using 1915 restrictions. Much of today’s sprawl is due to environmental restrictions which have counter-productive side effects—higher housing costs, less convenience, and more commute time.
Those arguing against sprawl fail to recognize that a suburban land developer’s main goal is to maximize the number of units on their site, not build the least homes. Consultants hired by the developer assume maximum profit is achieved by the greatest number of homes, thus decreasing sprawl. If a developer could increase profits by proposing a 20 story multi-family building on their suburban tract of land they would seek an approval. But this runs up against demonstrated consumer preference: suburban dwellers do not commute to be on the 18th floor of a high-rise, instead they seek the most home on the largest lot within their budget.
However, a suburban problem is that higher density too often relates  to ’cheapness’, and can result in unsustainable growth as characterless projects decrease in value over time.

Figure3 Unfortunately suburban higher density often equates to substandard housing as this example in Fargo, North Dakota
Developers will submit site plan proposals based upon market conditions. If the market desires large lots with estate-sized homes, that is what they will pursue. If the market desires dense single family homes with no usable yard squeezed in at six per acre that’s also what they will pursue.
However, because of possible forced regulations by New Urbanist, in some instances the developer may not have a choice but to submit a proposal with excessive densities when there is no market demand.
For example, in 2014 we designed a 60 acre site in Lake Elmo, Minnesota at a mandated high density. The city was forced by court order to adhere to density mandates of the Metropolitan Council, an agency who controls both transportation and sewer service for a seven county region surrounding Minneapolis and St Paul. In order to get approvals we had to design narrower than usual single family lots including high density multi-family.
However, the developer could not secure a viable multi-family builder as the market demand favored only single family. Luckily the site was located next to a medical clinic, so a high density senior housing building was proposed and was marketable, however, the single family homes would be harder to sell with a towering building in their immediate back yard. Other developers were forced to submit hundreds of multi-family units housing without residents to buy them.
That is why the New Urbanism movement and their Smart Growth agenda is so dangerous, they lead to instances where choice in density and in some cases design standards, is no longer a developer’s option.
In most of the country, city regulations allow various uses (Land Use) be placed within a certain defined boundary or zone (Zoning). Each ’Land Use’ will have a set of minimum setback distances between structure and lot property lines for side, front, rear yards, and minimum lot size.
The problem with suburban zoning is that it encourages placing the highest density (the most families) in the worst locations, and the lowest density (least families) in the best locations. What constitutes the worst locations? Along noisy highways, behind loading docks of strip malls, and near loud railroad tracks. Somehow this ’transition’makes sense to City Planners who advise municipalities on growth.
Prime development land would have city water and sewer as well as provide great schools. For example, a non-serviced farm has low value, but when sewer service extends to the 80 acre corn field, developers are likely to come a calling enticing the farmer with a lucrative offer. After securing the land, the very next step is to ’plan’ the project
for submittal, most likely contracted with the local civil engineering firm.
In order to secure their lucrative engineering fees, the consultant offers to design a quick layout (typically for free) using the regulations most minimal dimensions to maximize the number of homes allowed on the site for a given zoning classification. Read more HERE

The Marinwood CSD Meeting on the Leash Law on February 9, 2016

LA Weekly Managing Editor leaves job to head the Coalition to Preserve LA.

Stewart: Neighborhood Integrity Initiative Is LA's Response to Unplanned Density and Insider Deals

Jill Stewart, formerly managing editor of LA Weekly, has left her position to head the Coalition to Preserve LA, the group behind the controversial Neighborhood Integrity Initiative that may appear on the November ballot. In this exclusive TPR interview, Stewart outlines the central arguments of the initiative—criticizing how development deals get made in the City of LA, questioning expansion of the county’s transit network and the move toward TOD, and calling for increased community participation in these processes. 

Jill Stewart
"I have not been impressed by the new urban theory that very dense development through neighborhoods near bus stops, and so on, is going to reduce congestion. In fact, we’ve seen the opposite.” -Jill Stewart
You’ve announced that you’re leaving your position at LA Weekly to become the campaign director of the Coalition to Preserve LA, stating, “I’m incredibly proud to be joining a group that is fighting for community and a sense of place, without which this vast and wonderful city would be unlivable.” Elaborate on this coalition and what attracts you to this particular cause.
Jill Stewart: As a journalist, I’ve been writing about development for years. It’s one of my favorite topics, along with the disaster in public education, child abuse, and a few other things that I think are really important to a big city.
I have not been impressed at all by the city’s Department of Planning, which of course I call an oxymoron. I have not been impressed by the new urban theory that very dense development through neighborhoods near bus stops, and so on, is going to reduce congestion. In fact, we’ve seen the opposite. The key projects that have been created have increased congestion. I put that theory on par with the urban planning theory that crowding poor people together into high-rise public housing was a good idea. It was a social disaster. I put it up there with the notion that putting strip malls all over the city was a good idea—another planning disaster.
This is much more powerful because it’s got big environmental groups on its side that believe this is somehow going to cut down on driving. It does not. The Environmental Impact Reports show again and again that it is not going to get people out of their cars. It’s just going to be an option for those who don’t drive. Wonderful—but rebuilding the city based on that thin idea is taking away livability and community. That’s what I’ve seen as a journalist.
Tell us a bit about the coalition that is hiring you and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation behind this initiative.
The Coalition to Preserve LA is funded largely, although not totally, by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Most people don’t know that AHF is an incredible $1-billion-a-year organization with thousands of doctors in 35 countries. They’ve turned around AIDS. In fact, they’ve stopped the spread of AIDS in South Africa and now they’re working on Uganda. They talk governments into doing it in an intelligent way; in fact, they talk governments into letting them do it in clinics. It’s working. I think their biggest challenges in the world right now are India and Russia. But Africa is turning around, and it’s largely because of the efforts of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They are huge heroes of mine.
Secondly, they have separate business lines that make huge amounts of money. They make their own money. They take small amounts of donations, but they’re mostly self-funded. It’s all non-profit driven. A small portion of that money they spend on political efforts that they think are important. They’re fighting the Confederate flag in Mississippi on the ballot and they are fighting the price of all pharmaceutical drugs in Ohio on the ballot. They veer away from AIDS when they think something is important. They have the knowledge and the chops to be a big force against other big forces, like a racist in the South and pharmaceuticals in the Midwest.
In this case, Michael Weinstein thought: Developers are these incredible, huge, moneyed organizations. But we have fought big groups before. We have fought whole countries on issues. Let’s save LA as we know it. Let’s do smart, forward-thinking development. Let’s end this smoke-filled-room development—decisions made between councilmembers and developers and then forced upon areas. It’s straight out of the 1960s, when the zoning corruption trials hit Los Angeles, except that we don’t have any trials going right now. 
I suspect the counterattack to this effort will be: The Healthcare Foundation is involved because they don’t want their views impacted by a major development planned next to them in Hollywood—in other words, this is a NIMBY reaction to a specific project, generalized as a citywide campaign. 
Of course it will be. Fine—bring it on. It’s absurd and I’m not terribly worried about it because it’s not going to stick. The group has had a citywide and region-wide focus for years. The whole condoms-in-porn issue was region-wide, statewide, and citywide. They’re not interested in little battles. They’re much bigger thinkers than that.
Weinstein has made a lot of enemies by being very outspoken. He’s also made a tremendous amount of friends and backers who like the fact that there’s someone who stands up, says unpopular things, and fights the powers that be.
I think the Coalition to Preserve LA hopes to move beyond LA, because there are a lot of cities screwing themselves up based on these theories of close, crowded living that reduces congestion. It’s just B.S.
Let’s get into the possible ballot measure itself and use of the term “neighborhood integrity.” For you and the people that have now retained you, what is the deeper meaning of “neighborhood integrity”? 
It goes back to the lack of a modern General Plan. The City Council does not want to do the work of creating a new General Plan. They’ve allowed the one from the 1980s to fester and be unworkable. At City Council meetings, they talk about how great they are, spend hours on irrelevant issues, and barely discuss the important ones. They still have a high percentage of unanimous votes with very little discussion on key issues. They’re not an admirable body.
The problem here is that they are doing what’s called spot zoning. If a developer comes forward with an idea that’s close enough to a bus stop or in their transit-oriented district program, they will approve it. Then the neighborhood must deal with an idea that’s being forced on them and radically changes the neighborhood.
I have talked to a number of hardcore transit advocates that openly discuss the idea that we have to do this to serve the transit line. We need more people on our transit lines, so therefore we’re going to go into a community that is happy with what it is—that is neighborly, friendly and livable. It might not be beautiful and brand new but it might be filled with older, affordable housing. East Hollywood is a great example of that. It’s not gorgeous. It’s working-class. People there love where they live and are huge fighters against the density plans.
Each neighborhood that sees this coming should have the right to be involved. But there’s no General Plan telling people what is coming. There is no General Plan discussion and debate—which would take years before the City Council, given how slow they go, but really should only take months. City Council is avoiding that overall debate. They have mired themselves in one fight after another after another. Then they blame local neighborhood as NIMBYs. This is so wrong, sneaky, underhanded, and unfair. The City Council has created these individual fights because they won’t do their job and just redo the General Plan.
So the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative forces the City Council to update the General Plan in the next two years and put a moratorium on all spot zoning for developers while that goes on.
In 2010, when Michael LoGrande was chosen by Mayor Villaraigosa to succeed Gail Goldberg, Mark Winograd wrote a column for us in The Planning Report. He concluded that LoGrande was a planning facilitator, not even a planner, and that his appointment meant there was really no one in charge of the built environment of Los Angeles. His selection signified that the Council wanted no one to be the steward of the built environment, except for themselves in their own districts. Is that your take today?
I think that’s a brilliant description of what happened. Michael LoGrande was the yes-man for the City Council and the urban planning groups who are rah-rah behind what the City Council is doing. Individual councilmembers control development in their areas, through buddy-buddy relationships with developers, behind closed doors, and Michael LoGrande puts on the stamp of approval. I believe we wrote in the LA Weekly that under Michael LoGrande, 90 percent of all exceptions, variancesm and changes to zoning were approved. It was a done deal once a developer came forward and said, “I want to build something that’s completely not allowed on this land.” 
In 2013, we carried a piece by Laurie Becklund regarding Millennium Hollywood, in which she wrote: “The city isn’t really acknowledging it, but there’s almost no way to read its own reports without worrying about the impact these projects will have on our public safety, air quality, and ability to penetrate the gridlock to get to work if you live in an area without public transit.” Was she right?
I agree in part with the wonderful Laurie Becklund, but I will differ a bit. Yes, it is virtually impossible to read reports. The art of obfuscation is City Council’s specialty and the City Department of Planning’s specialty, as well.
But I don’t agree that transit will help, or is helping. Metro’s had a major drop in riders, and the millennials are rejecting it. They’re using Uber. The big crowd that uses transit is the same crowd that’s always used transit—the working class. That will go on into the future. That’s why 50 percent of the riders are Latino. That will change as our working class changes—who knows what nationality and background our working class will have in 20 or 30 years?
People who can afford to own cars continue to drive their cars. This is true in Paris, in London, and every other city with a lot of transit. No amount of discussion will get people to give up that freedom. It’s a fantastic thing, to be able to drive your car. That’s not cool to say, but that’s what the vast majority of people are thinking. 
You referenced the outdated nature of Los Angeles’ General Plan. Some critics have said, for years, that there is no constituency for good planning in Los Angeles: Even folks who are upset with the current discretionary planning abuses have no interest in a community plan that would predict and drive development where it’s most needed, and investment in infrastructure to support that development. Is that a misplaced criticism? 
That’s a really good point. There’s never been a citywide vote on the issue of whether to create a well-thought-out, cohesive framework, which is what the General Plan is. We’ve been living with an old General Plan since the 1980s. We have two entire generations of people who don’t know anything about redoing the General Plan. To say that they don’t want to do it is  pure guesswork.
We need to bring it before them. We need to start the process. We’ll see who decides it’s of interest, jumps in, and wants to do it. It’s going to be people who are deeply involved in their communities—people who go to group meetings at night. It could be those from craft groups in Silverlake to the Audobon people out in the Valley.
I hope and believe that a lot of these different people will say, “This is a very cool thing. We don’t agree with urban planners and their snotty attitudes about how we should live and how they know best.” “Just leave it to the planners” is a terrible thing to say to people. They’ve been so wrong throughout the history of the planning industry. The people are smart and the people know what LA needs. I think a lot of people are going to step up.
The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative has already generated a coalition to oppose it, which includes affordable housing, labor, and some environmentalists. What is your tact going to be in response to assertions that this will reduce LA’s ability to build the housing it needs and to provide opportunities for those seeking housing—and to do it in a clean, creative, affordable way? 
I can’t talk about our plans because I’m not in the job yet. But I will talk about what I’ve seen as a journalist in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. The development of luxury housing in the last more-than-decade in Los Angeles has wiped out a net number of housing units that’s a scandal. The last report came from Laura Chick, and the city has avoided creating any new reports to my knowledge. I can’t find one.
There has been a net loss of 13,000 affordable housing units because the affordable-housing community is waiting and begging for luxury developments to add a few units here and there, and for the city to create a few projects here and there. Affordable housing is going to continue to die off in Los Angeles as long as the land game continues bidding up the land between developers through land-flipping and land speculation. Developers know that they can get a lot of amazing density on that property. They’re building the housing, as Laura Chick found, for an average person making $135,000 a year. That number is higher now because there’s more luxury housing going in and incomes have gone up.
You cannot have affordable housing ever on land that has been bid up by developers. The era of affordable housing has been wiped out by the very behavior that the affordable-housing groups are caught up in. They’re like hostages to it. I hope that some of them will break out. I don’t think it’s going to happen.
You referenced earlier your skepticism about public transportation. Would your group oppose a second sales tax initiative to further investment in public transit for Los Angeles County? 
I can’t speak for the organization. But I have been long opposed to additional taxes going into the next 60, 70 and 80 years for transit. They haven’t proved that it’s working. They’ve given us some nice lines that I enjoy—I’ve used the Red Line and Orange Line many times. But right now, their Environmental Impact Reports—especially the Purple Line’s—show that it will reduce congestion by less than one-half of one percent. People are going to continue to use their cars at the exact same rate between the Westside and Downtown after the Purple Line is done.
Let’s not live in a fantasy world. If I were the god of transportation in Los Angeles, I would give people who agree to work at home a $2,000 sales-tax rebate from the City of Los Angeles. I would not be asking them for more taxes.
But the city is caught up in what every city is caught up in. It’s like a religion. They don’t look to see if it works; they just talk about how they need more people. If they follow what people are actually doing now and reward it, they’ll get much more done.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

An Open Letter on Dog Leash Policy in Marinwood Park

Dear Marinwood CSD Board Member

As you know, eliminating the "leash optional" area in the Panhandle is extremely unpopular in the community. Two polls on Next Door show that voters want to continue to allow responsible dog owners by a margin of two to one.  Similarly the letters received prior to the voter were strongly in favor of maintaining the Panhandle policy and at the meeting almost all the speakers were in favor of the existing "off leash" area.

Politically speaking, the prohibition will not stand and will be overturned either through CSD action,  a referendum or civil disobedience.   You cannot simply override the will of the clear majority of residents.   

The proponents of establishing the "off leash" ban cite liability and safety as the chief reasons to establishing it.  Although no one denies minor incidents of bad dog behavior,according to Eric Driekosen, confirmed there have been NO DOG INCIDENTS reported in the park causing a report to the Marin Humane Society or legal action at least since 2006.

Marin Humane Society for Animal Control, Captain Cindy Merchado estimates that in 30 years serving as a dog officer, she can only recall about 20 incidents ever in Lucas Valley.  "It just isn't a problem area" she says.  

Cindy and another officer are the only enforcement officers for our 850 square mile county.  " Dog leash laws are not "even on the radar" for enforcement.  We are busy with neglected animals and pet hoarders,"she says.

"We see conflict arise from time to time from dog walkers and people who want to ban off leash activity.   It is always a huge issue.  The only thing that works in my experience is when you establish separate areas as policy.  You have to serve the whole community, not just a portion of the population.  We know that exercise and social play is extremely important for good dog behavior.  As dogs become more confined,  problems arise. We support off leash areas for dogs'

Off leash areas (official and unofficial) are common in jurisdictions throughout Marin. It is rare to hear of people hurt or liability issues. The alarm about liability is not supported by the facts.

We are prepared to overturn the ordinance through a referendum.  

You can save the community from this very public process and the costs of the election by simply overturning the ordinance at the March 8, 2016 Board meeting.

That said, there are ways to improve the panhandle with better signage to advise visitors they may encounter wildlife and off leash dogs.  Let's look for a way to make this compromise work.

I am sure most of us want to put this behind us.  

Will you put the reinstatement of the the leash optional area in Marinwood Park up for vote on the agenda for the March 8, 2016 meeting?

Here are some helpful links:

Trump is growing stronger

Remember the 60s California Dream? We Saved Marin!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Marinwood CSD Board President calls in the Police to "keep the peace"

It didn't take long for the power to go to his head

In what has to be the most grandiose fantasies of power,  we now have confirmation from the Marin Sheriff Department that Justin Kai, Marinwood CSD Board president was responsible for the armed police presence at last month's Marinwood CSD board meeting on the leash law.  

Why was this over the top request made?  The Marinwood CSD received an avalanche of complaints about the ban of the "leash optional" area of Marinwood Park.  Clearly, they knew there might be conflict at the meeting and were intent on voting it in.  

But an armed sheriff?  What for?  Was it to intimidate the crowd or was it for the officer  to provide salacious testimony that "strangers with 6-7 dogs will be coming to the park and create havoc" if we don't pass the leash ordinance?

Ironically, it is the behavior of the board president that is most often "out of bounds" from established Rosenberg Rules procedure at public meetings. Frequently the public is interrupted, lectured and ridiculed in total disregard for common courtesy and the democratic process.  We have it on videotape.  

Justin Kai has served as Marinwood CSD president since January 2016.
At his second meeting, he called in the police to "keep the peace".

The psychology of Narcissism ( and some politicians )

Fines for your off leash dog in Marinwood Park will cost you upto $615!

The Marinwood CSD wrongly reported the fines for off leash dogs in Marinwood Park in this article in the Marin IJ.  The 2016 Bail schedule shows a maximum fine of $615 found HERE  There are EIGHT ORDINANCES you could be cited for.

The Marinwood CSD ignored the pleas of the vast majority of residents who want to maintain a
separate are for off leash dogs in the Marinwood Park Panhandle.  Virtually every jurisdiction in Marin has "leash optional" area for responsible dog owners.

Eric Driekosen, Marinwood CSD Manager has confirmed there have been ZERO claims for dogs since 2016 . Marin Humane Society, Animal Control Officer, Cindy Marchado can only identify about 20 incidents in Marinwood/Lucas Valley over her 30 year career.   "It just isn't a problem area.  We don't have time to investigate leash law complaints. We are too busy investigating problem dogs, neglected animals and hoarders".

It seems that Leah Kleinman-Green, Izabela Perry and Justin Kai  "fixed" a problem that doesn't exist in Marinwood Park.

Residents have vowed to overturn the ordinance to allow the sixty year tradition of responsible off leash dog walking in Marinwood Park and it could cost you up to $615!!!

 Leah Green is terrified of off leash dogs in Marinwood Parkand doesn't think responsible dog owners are the majority in Marinwood   HERE. The fine may cost you up to $615.

We have asked the board to overturn the February 9, 2016 ordinance change.  If not, we the citizens will be forced to overturn the unpopular action with a referendum.  Send your letter to the board care of by this Friday.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Equality and Slavery

Send in your Response to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Protect Off leash areas on the Beaches.

Send in your Response to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Protect Off leash areas on the Beaches.

Send your response HERE
Here is my response:
There are few pleasures more satisfying than a walk in nature with your dog off leash. In the Golden Gate National RECREATION area this pleasure should not be denied from responsible dog walker. The evidence is thin that there is a permanent danger to wildlife. It shouldn't be any more than walking with a pack of rambunctious boys.

While there are some that think dogs and boys should be on leash, such unnecessary restrictions on our freedoms diminish us all.

Please allow beach access for responsible dog owners in special "leash optional areas" so that the intolerant people may avoid us.

We will be laughing, enjoying our pets and nature as God intended.

Marinwood Park Panhandle "Leash Optional" Referendum

The Marinwood Park Panhandle has been "leash optional" for sixty years!

Followers of this blog are aware the Marinwood CSD directors  (Justin Kai, Leah Kleinman-Green and Izabela Perry) changed  the park ordinance to ban off leash dogs in the pan handle section of Marinwood Park.  This area has been "leash optional" for at least sixty years.   We hope they will reconsider their position and affirm the rights of everyone to enjoy the park.

The directors in a stunning decision ignored the overwhelming public support to maintain the current park ordinance at a February 9, 2016 CSD meeting.   Over 30 letters were received from the public after a last minutes notice that it would be put up to a vote.   The room was packed and there were over 20 speakers who favored maintaining the ordinance and only 2 favored restricting the park.

After the meeting was made public on NextDoor,  two polls revealed 70% of the public favored keeping the "leash optional" area and overturning the ordinance.  Marinwood residents  like many communities throughout Marin want areas for off leash dogs.
The easiest solution, was a compromise like we had in the park since 2012 with some areas mandatory on leash and other area "leash optional".  Outright prohibition create unnecessary conflict.

We need to gather 350 signatures for a referendum to place on the ballot overturn the ordinance.  

We feel that this should be pretty easy given the amount of responsible dog owners in the neighborhoods.  

If you would like to know more how you can help,  email me at .