Saturday, April 2, 2016

Primordial

Primordial from PeterClark on Vimeo.

Cancer Risk at Marinwood Village and Casa Marinwood




These two testimonies may have been the most important 4 minutes in the EIR meeting. Elizabeth speaks with a heavy accent making it difficult to understand her but she is profoundly outraged. I suspect our new neighbors will be immigrants too. 

Will we hear them when they speak out for their safety? 

Housing low income people on a location with known health risks is racist. It is not compassion.  

 A cleanup order was issued by the RWQCB (regional water quality control board) on February 12, 2014 to Marinwood Plaza LLC to complete the cleanup of the site on both sides of the highway.  Supervisor Susan Adams and Assemblymen Marc Levine called the RWQCB to ask for a DELAY of cleanup so that Bridge housing may find financing despite the increased risk of the public health and water supply.

Kate Sears and her Dirty Smears.



Kate Sears record of ignoring her constituents is legend. She is positively tone deaf. Now in a desperate effort to get re-elected, she has hired a slick political "hit team" from Los Angeles to smear her opponent with allegations that she is funded by the Koch brothers.  Pretty sad state of affairs. I am sure Kate is a nice person in private life but this is a sleazy tactic is beneath contempt.  It is time for Ms. Sears to retire to private life.

Secretary Clinton Remarks at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Plenary




I am no Trump fan but after listening to this from Hillary,  I realize how stark our choices for President have become.  She is nothing but big government and big business.  


Friday, April 1, 2016

My letter objecting to the "No Bid" Solar Contract. with the Marinwood CSD .

The most important election in Marinwood-Lucas Valley that you can't vote in



Here is the CSPP Supervisor Candidate Forum that was held at the Four Points Sheraton in San Rafael on Wednesday, March 30th.  

Up for election are THREE supervisor seats in Districts One, Two and Three.  What this means to you is that we will have a NEW MAJORITY on the Board of Supervisors who will determine the development pattern of our neighborhoods.  

The battle over the urbanization of Marin has been raging for years.  Our current supervisors (Rice, Sears and Kinsey) have been instrumental in giving Plan Bay Area and the MTC the reigns to our development, accepting the questionable premise that a massive upzoning of Marin is necessary.  Both Katie Rice and Steve Kinsey voted for Plan Bay Area while serving on ABAG and MTC.  Kate Sears has stonewalled residents of Strawberry when they objected to being a Priority Development Area.

The unincorporated areas of Marin, like Marinwood-Lucas Valley is particularly vulnerable because it only takes three supervisors to vote on development AND THEY DONT EVEN LIVE HERE AND WE CANNOT VOTE for them!  

That is how Steve Kinsey was able to force hundreds of the affordable housing in our neighborhood while only allowing a few in his voting district.

It is now our chance for a completely fresh start.  Damon Connolly is a good man and a fine representative for our district but we need more like him.  This is why I ask you to consider joining me in support of Al Dugan, Susan Kirsch and Kevin Haroff.

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The 2016 Marin County Supervisor Candidate Forum sponsored by CSPP were held on March 30, 2016 at the Four Points Sheraton in San Rafael, CA.
Three supervisor seats are up for grabs in Districts 2, 3 and 4.  Thirteen candidates in total are running in the June 7, 2016 election.

0:00:00 Welcome/Ground rules
Candidate opening statements
0:03:48 Frank Egger  District 2
 0:07:31 Kevin Haroff District 2
0:11:08 Katie Rice District 2
0:14:32 Susan Kirsch District 3
0:18:15 Kate Sears District 3
0:21:39 Alex Easton-Brown District 4
0:25:16 Al Dugan District 4
0:29:05 Tomas Kaselonis District 4
0:31:20 Dominic Grossi District 4
0:34:59 Wendy Kallins District 4
0:38:59 Dennis Rodoni District 4
0:42:52 Brian Staley District 4
0:46:00 Mari Tamburo District 4
0:50:00 Pension Question 1
1:00:00 Pension Question 2
1:00:08 Pension Question 3
1:32:20 Flooding in the Ross Valley  (District 2 candidates)
1:35:00 Traffic in Mill Valley and Strawberry (District 3 candidates)
1:41:00 Affordable Housing (District 4 candidates)
1:49:00 “What is the biggest waste of county resources?” (all candidates)
2:00:00 Closing Statements by all candidates
2:19:00 Closing statements by Dick Spotswood.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Shut up Marinwood!



Marinwood CSD president, Justin Kai,  frustrated by public criticism of the CSD, seeks to have an official response to critics. All of the other board members point out the problem with impairing legal rights of citizens to voice dissent. An early edition of the speech policy (not made public as required by the Brown Act) sought to suspend the right of citizens to appeal to the District Attorney if they feel the CSD broke the law. Not surprisingly, Kai disallowed public comment on the policy.



Is there a "Narrow Car" in your future?

Narrow cars are under development at all of the major auto manufacturers.  Personalized transport systems are unlikely to be replaced by mass transit.  Narrow cars will effectively DOUBLE our FREEWAY capacity at virtually no cost.

Fixing the Racist Highways of America

Editor's Note: Are highways racist?  If so, the racist "Plan Bay Area" needs to rethink its policy of infill housing on brownfield sites (toxic waste sites) for affordable housing along the freeway. (aka. "transit oriented development").  I believe that economics and politics are stronger reasons why low income housing is in the "toxic danger zone" than overt racism.   It is positively shocking to me and fellow environmentalists,  that CEQA is being dismantled to allow developers to build on urban infill sites despite the unsafe environmental hazards.  Pregnant women and children are especially susceptible to toxins in our environment.  


Anthony Foxx Wants to Repair the Damage Done By Urban Highways
During the first two decades of the Interstate Highway system, almost half a million households were displaced. Most were low income and people of color, Foxx said.
During the first two decades of constructing the Interstate Highway System, almost half a million households were forced to leave their homes.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is offering a surprisingly honest appraisal of America’s history of road construction this week, with a high-profile speaking tour that focuses on the damage that highways caused in black urban neighborhoods.
U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx spoke at the Center for American progress today about the legacy of discrimination in transportation. Image: CAP
U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx spoke at the Center for American progress today about the highway system’s legacy of discrimination. Image: CAP
Growing up in Charlotte, Foxx’s own street was walled in by highways, he recalled in a speech today at the Center for American Progress. Building big, grade-separated roads through thickly settled neighborhoods devastated communities, uprooted residents, and cut off the people who remained from the city around them.
“The people in my community at the time these decisions were made were actually not invisible,” he said. “It is just that at a certain stage in our history, they didn’t matter.”
From I-95 in the Overtown neighborhood in Miami, to the Staten Island Expressway, to I-5 in Seattle, freeways divided and weakened city neighborhoods all over the country. Foxx estimates that nearly 500,000 households were compelled to relocate by the construction of the interstate highway system between 1957 and 1977. Most were people of color living in low-income neighborhoods.
“Areas of this country where infrastructure is supposed to connect people, in some places it’s actually constraining them,” he said.
The speech marks the launch of a new initiative spearheaded by Foxx called “Ladders of Opportunity,” which aims to shape transportation policy based on how infrastructure can serve as a barrier, or bridge, to jobs, education, and better health.
Foxx’s power is limited. U.S. DOT doesn’t have the authority to simply turn off the federal funding spigot for projects like the Detroit region’s $4 billion plan to widen two highways, siphoning resources from struggling inner suburbs to more affluent, farther-flung communities. The transportation secretary can’t wave his hand and stop Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper from pumping more traffic and air pollution through north Denver with the widening of I-70.
Of the $60 billion in annual federal funding allocated to surface transportation, 90 percent is doled out to state and local agencies by formula, Foxx noted. The remaining 10 percent funds U.S. DOT operations, discretionary programs like TIGER, and transportation research.
Even when U.S. DOT is poised to back a project that aims to benefit a disadvantaged community, local politics often gets in the way.
Foxx used this image of the Atlanta area to launch a discussion about the disparities in sidewalk infrastructure in America.
Like many other urban roads, Atlanta’s Buford Highway doesn’t work well for a lot of people who live nearby.
Foxx singled out Baltimore’s Red Line light rail project to make his point. “We had planned to commit about $1 billion to this project, only to have it cancelled by the state of Maryland,” he said. The Baltimore NAACP and other groups have filed a civil rights complaint in response to Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to spike the project.
The disparities go beyond highway planning. “Look at our basic sidewalk infrastructure,” Foxx said, pointing to a photo of the notorious Buford Highway in suburban Atlanta. “You see these roads are really designed for cars, not people. There are no sidewalks, and where you see sidewalks there are no crosswalks.”
That leaves families like Raquel Nelson’s vulnerable. A driver killed Nelson’s 4-year-old son, A.J., while they were trying to cross a hostile road in suburban Atlanta, where crosswalks were few and far between. But it was Nelson who was charged with vehicular homicide.
“This is not an isolated case, not in Atlanta and not in this country,” Foxx said. “If we want a society in which everyone has a real shot no matter where they come from, then it’s imperative that we acknowledge that these divisions, past and present, still exist.”
So what can U.S. DOT do? Foxx said the agency is retooling some of its programs to better emphasize social equity. For example, U.S. DOT is making “access to opportunity” a priority when selecting which projects will receive TIGER funding. Foxx also said the agency will beef up its civil rights office, which has the power to shut down projects determined to have a “disparate impact” on disadvantaged groups. Historically, the office has rarely exercised that authority to police the social impact of highway projects.
Mostly, however, Foxx’s campaign will have to rely on the power of persuasion. He’s trying to change the hearts and minds of governors, transportation agency chiefs, and other decision makers by raising the profile of issues that transportation secretaries haven’t tackled head-on before.
“The question that we have to ask is, ‘What kind of country do we want to build?'” he said.

Anti-auto campaign falls flat

Dan Walters: Anti-auto campaign falls flat


State politicians want to reduce travel by auto


Yet the war on cars is failing

Driving is increasing as transit ridership fades



BY DAN WALTERS

dwalters@sacbee.com


California politicians want to lure – or force – the state’s 26 million licensed motorists to sharply reduce their driving.

Over the last decade, many legislative bills, numerous executive orders and a paper blizzard of plans and regulations from state agencies have declared war on petroleum-burning cars.

Adopted in the name of reducing climate-changing carbon emissions, strategies include spending billions on mass transit, goading local governments into fostering transit-oriented, high-density housing, raising driving costs, and allowing traffic congestion to worsen.

But, as with the Vietnam War, the War on Poverty and the war on drugs, so far it’s been a failure.

Californians are buying a near-record two-plus million new cars and trucks a year – and only a tiny fraction of them aren’t fueled by petroleum. Vehicular traffic is still climbing after a slight, one-year dip during the Great Recession, and transit use has been declining.

It’s not the first time that Gov. Jerry Brown has tried to curtail driving, nor the first time he’s hit stubborn resistance.

During his first governorship 40 years ago, Brown’s Department of Transportation suddenly restricted some lanes of the heavily traveled Santa Monica Freeway to carpools. The resulting traffic jams created an intense political backlash.

Initially, Brown defended the action, saying, “Obviously, the ethic of unlimited freeways that attempt to pour cement from one end of the state to the other is over, and it takes a while for people to adjust to that.”

As the furor escalated, however, Brown ended the experiment, claiming that “Diamond Lanes” were devised by predecessor Ronald Reagan’s administration, not his.

Since then, the state’s population has climbed by two-thirds, but vehicular traffic has more than doubled to 330 billion vehicle-miles a year. With very little expansion of roadway capacity, congestion has reached epic proportions.

A recent study of traffic congestion determined that Los Angeles County has 10 of the nation’s 20 worst corridors, including a No. 1 stretch of Highway 101.

The Brown administration’s newly published California Transportation Plan 2040 indicates that one strategy for moving Californians out of their cars is to let congestion worsen.

An earlier draft was quite explicit in that intent, saying the state should reject “road capacity enhancing strategies” and “avoid funding projects that add road capacity.”

Those words brought sharp criticism from highway advocates, including the California Transportation Commission, and were erased from last month’s final draft. But the plan’s intent is still implicit.

It offers multiple strategies it claims will reduce driving, but while acknowledging that “Californians continue to display their want to drive their cars …” it’s silent on adding capacity to meet demand.

Although state and local transportation officials continue to stifle roadway expansion as they spend billions on transit, the resistance among Californians is evident in the recent experiences of major transit systems.

The Bay Area’s regional transportation authority concedes, for example, that per capita use of transit in all forms has declined by 12 percent since 1991. Sacramento’s Regional Transit system of rail and bus service has seen a 9.3 percent decline in ridership in just the past year and is in serious financial straits.

Californians, it would appear, are voting with their feet – right feet, on accelerator pedals.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article68340617.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When city planners treat us like infants


When city planners treat us like infants

The public gets dismissive events and sandbox games -- instead of serious discussions that allow meaningful input from the communities impacted by land-use decisions

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Tomorrow evening (Wed/30) the Planning Department will hold a “Community Discussion” of the Railyard Alternatives and I-280 Feasibility Study (RAB) at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. This is a re-do of the February 23 at the Potrero Hill Recreation Center, where an overflow crowd of more than 200 could not be fully accommodated.
The infrastructural changes under consideration, including a proposal to take down I-280 and re-route the former freeway traffic on a boulevard through the neighborhoods, are massive and controversial. What’s also controversial, but has received far less attention, is the Planning Department’s approach to public engagement.

Playing with strings: Is this how planners should solicit community input?
Playing with strings: Is this how planners should solicit community input?

Though the $1.7 million study has been underway for two years, the February 23 event was the first time the community had a chance to weigh in on the project—and the chance it had was paltry. That’s because the planners set up the meeting in a way that would dissipate the public’s authority and aggrandize their own. They chose the format I call Enhanced Science Fair: A ranking public official briefly introduces a complex topic and then directs members of the community to view poster boards arranged on easels or on the wall. A staffer assigned to each poster board chats with the small group huddled around the display.
On February 23, the program was introduced by Citywide Planning Director Gil Kelley, not to be confused with his boss, Planning Director John Rahaim. Kelley showed a PowerPoint (posted here under “Presentation”) and took questions from attendees. Some queries were quite specific. Kelley’s repeated advice that people should ask “the experts” standing by the poster boards in the back of the room or write their questions on a survey that staffers had distributed indicated that he had but a passing familiarity with the RAB. The crowd grew restive. The last neighbor who spoke said, “For you to invite us here and then refuse to answer our questions is insulting.” See the full article in 48 Hills HERE

More Americans Are Again Moving to Suburbs Than Cities

More Americans Are Again Moving to Suburbs Than Cities


ENLARGE
Suburbs have been outpacing cities in population growth for decades. In 2001, suburbs grew about 1.2% while cities grew by about 0.7%. PHOTO: STEVE DIPAOLA/REUTERS

By
LAURA KUSISTOMar 24, 2016 10:09 am ET
32 COMMENTS

Economists to real-estate agents have debated whether the housing boom and bust of the last decade has dramatically remade the way Americans live or merely created a temporary disruption.

U.S. Census data released Thursday provides strong support for the latter thesis—thatshifts in where Americans move were merely temporary, according to analysis by Jed Kolko, a senior fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

For one thing, the rate at which Americans are moving to the suburbs is once again outpacing the rate at which they are moving to cities. That picks up on a decadeslong trend that only very temporarily reversed during the recession.

Urban counties grew by 0.8% in 2015 to roughly 77 million people, compared with suburban counties, which grew by nearly 1% to 159 million people. Mr. Kolko defines counties as urban based on how dense they were as of the 2010 census.





Overall, the U.S. population grew by 0.8% from 2014 to 2015, or a difference of about 2.5 million people.

Suburbs have been outpacing cities in population growth for decades. In 2001, suburbs grew about 1.2% while cities grew by about 0.7%.

The trend was exacerbated by the housing boom, when easy mortgages helped buyers afford homes being built at a rapid pace in far-out suburbs. In 2006, suburbs grew by 1.5% while cities instead actually lost nearly 0.4% of their population.

Cities grew faster than suburbs for one year during the last decade, in 2011. While much has been written about the revival of cities, the overall population trends underscore that people flocking to cities remain a select class, mostly of the young, educated and affluent who can afford rising prices. In the meantime, America overall continues to suburbanize.

“Rich, young people are outbidding others for urban housing and so the faster growth in the suburbs certainly reflects tight housing supply in dense neighborhoods,” Mr. Kolko said.

Another decadeslong trend that has re-emerged is the growth of the South and the West at the expense of the Northeast and the Midwest. The South and West both had population growth of 1.2% in 2015, far ahead of 0.2% growth in the Northeast and Midwest.

During the aftermath of the housing bust, the South and West saw sharp declines in the rate of population growth, while the Northeast and Midwest held relatively steady, although they continued to grow more slowly.

Some familiar metro areas also emerged as big population losers and winners. Austin was the biggest population gainer for four years running from 2011 to 2014. But this year it was surpassed by Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.—also the leader in population growth during the bubble from 2004 to 2006.

Youngstown, Ohio, has been the biggest population loser since 2010 and continued to hold that title. It also lost the most population for most of the boom from 2003 to 2005, but it was surpassed for a few years by New Orleans and Detroit.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A New Age Theory of Urban Development amounts to Economic Snake Oil

The Curse of the Creative Class 


“A New Age theory of urban development amounts to economic snake oil”:
Providence, R.I., is so worried that it doesn’t appeal to hip, young technology workers that local economic-development officials are urging a campaign to make the city the nation’s capital of independent rock music. In Pittsburgh, another place that fears it lacks appeal among talented young people, officials want to build bike paths and outdoor hiking trails to make the city a magnet for creative workers. Meanwhile, a Memphis economic-development group is pressing that city to hold “celebrations of diversity” to attract more gays and minorities, in order–in their view–to bolster the local economy.
If you think these efforts represent some fringe of economic development, think again. All of these cities have been inspired by the theories of Richard Florida, a Carnegie Mellon professor whose notion that cities must become trendy, happening places in order to compete in the 21st-century economy is sweeping urban America. In his popular book “The Rise of the Creative Class,” …Mr. Florida argues that cities that attract gays, bohemians and ethnic minorities are the new economic powerhouses because they are also the places where creative workers–the kind who start and staff innovative, fast-growing companies–want to live. To lure this work force…cities must dispense with stuffy old theories of economic development–like the notion that low taxes are what draw in companies and workers–and instead must spend heavily on cultural amenities and pursue progressive social legislation.
A generation of leftish policy makers and urban planners are rushing to implement Mr. Florida’s vision, while an admiring host of uncritical journalists tout it. But there is just one problem: The basic economics behind his ideas don’t work. Far from being economic powerhouses, several of the cities the professor identifies as creative-age winners have chronically underperformed the American economy. MORE

No, Canada Will Not Be the Next Silicon Valley

No, Canada Will Not Be the Next Silicon Valley

It takes more than government money to spark a creative revolution.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pledging $800 million over the next four years to create "technology incubators" aimed at transforming cities like Waterloo, Ontario, into the next Silicon Valley. Finance Minister Bill Morneau laid out the vision during a speech in the House of Commons on Tuesday:
Science, insight and innovation tend to develop in clusters. The most famous of these clusters is Silicon Valley.
Everyone knows Silicon Valley is the world’s capital of digital technology. But, I’ll tell you, everyone in Silicon Valley knows that Canada’s own Waterloo region is home to some of the most brilliant, innovative minds and companies in the world.
This is a model that Canada can and must build on. We believe that businesses, post-secondary institutions, governments and other stakeholders can work together to accelerate economic growth. We will invest $800 million over four years to support innovation networks and clusters designed to increase collaboration and create value through innovation.



Canada is not alone in their push to create the next great hub of genius. DubaiLondonRwanda, and Shenzhen are just a few cities investing in the idea. But according to Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places, From Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley, these attempts will inevitably fail. "I wish I could sit here and tell you that there was a formula and if you applied that formula you could create the next Silicon Valley," he explained during an interview with Reason TV earlier this year. "There is no formula."
Watch the full interview below.



Monday, March 28, 2016

Zen and the Art of the Solar Deal




Sharks swim in the green waters of Marin.



Deana Dearborn expresses Strong Doubts about the SolEd Solar Proposal in April 2014



Marinwood CSD Director, Deana Dearborn expresses strong doubt about the SolED Solar project based upon the lack of data and engineering considerations.   She was overpowered by the Tarey Reed, Bill Hansell and Bill Shea who seemed ready to approve despite red flag warnings.  

Later, Justin Kai joined the Board members and even expanded the expensive solar carport in the pool area because SolEd solar power is "FREE" (or so they believe).

The final SolED solar deal has been found to be at least TWICE as expensive as similar solar projects.  The City of St. Helena fires SolEd Benefit Corporation in November 2015 for non performance.  Inexplicably the newly elected Marinwood CSD board voted 4-1 to approve the SolEd contract in January 2016 .  

In February 2016, Marinwood CSD director Jeff Naylor joined them for a unanimous vote to approve construction on the solar carport despite MULTIPLE RED FLAGS concerning the cost,  the fitness of SolEd Benefit Corporation, financial concerns and changing contract terms.  
Marinwood Taxpayers got burnt with high prices and questionable terms in February 2016 with their contract with SolEd Benefit Corporation.

Taxes are the price we pay for a Civilized Capitol. (The Hunger Games)


"The Rise of the Beautiful Ones" in High Density Utopia



High Density Utopia

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders, the TPP "Corporate Coup d’Etat" & Writing to the White House



 As independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announces his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, we speak to former presidential candidate Ralph Nader. "We don’t want a coronation of Hillary Clinton," Nader says of Sanders’ run. We also talk about his new book, "Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015." The book is dedicated in part to the workers of the U.S. Postal Service.

Michael Shaw Speaks at the Federalist Society, Stanford University on Plan Bay Area and Agenda 21


Michael Shaw Speaks at the Federalist Society, Stanford University from Freedom Advocates on Vimeo.

Michael Shaw presents “Nat­ural Law vs. Agenda 21 and One Bay Area” to the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, April 16, 2013.