Saturday, September 1, 2018

Marinwood Maintenance Compound walking tour

We outlined the proposed Marinwood Maintenance compound (aka "White Elephant") today in chalk to give people a better idea of the size of the project. As we set out the markers, people stopped and were amazed at the size. Not a single person supports the project and every one signed the petition and promised to tell their neighbors. For many of us, Marinwood Park is part of our daily walk in nature and this facility would be a huge obstacle to enjoy it. Everyone wondered why they need so much space for 3 people who work outdoors everyday. We are petitioning the Marinwood CSD to have a real public forum. We need to see alternate designs that have a smaller footprint and we need to know how much they will cost prior to a public vote.

Marinwood CSD Brown Act Violations and Tepid Defense

Residents complain about the secret presentation of the Maintenance Facility at the Park and Recreation meeting in April 2018.  There was no announcement to the general public and only a handful of neighbors were encouraged to attend.  The Maintenance Shed proposal was approved out of view of the publi. Oddly, all of the CSD board members seem very bored and ask few questions.   Eric Dreikosen defends hiding the agenda with the vague language of "update" vs an hour long presentation of the architects plans with details.  It is a clear violation of the Brown Act but no one on the board or staff seems to care. 

Why the Maintenance Compound doesn't have Garage Doors and can't park vehicles

The Marinwood Maintenance compound is a "drive through" facility which wastes 1/3 of the volume for access road.  Support columns inside limit movement making it impractical to store vehicles inside.   The architect ignores the practical need of the facility to create a slick facade in violation of the age old design wisdom " form follows function".  Workman need access, light and ventilation and the Marinwood facility ignores these basic needs. It also means we have a significant larger and more costly facility which will require a large area outside the facility for parking and material storage.  What is the point?

Here is Bill Hansell explaining why he chose to ignore garage doors for our Maintenance garage at the May 2018 Marinwood CSD meeting.

Mid Century style building is cramped for vehicles has poor ventilation and is terrible for the practical needs of a garage, storage and work area. The architect ignores basic design principle that "form follows function" 

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Beat goes On

Next-Level Surveillance: China Embraces Facial Recognition

Once the stuff of science fiction, facial-scanning cameras are becoming a part of daily life in China, where they're used for marketing, surveillance and social control. Video: Paolo Bosonin. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China uses facial recognition software to crack down on toilet paper theft

China uses facial recognition software to crack down on toilet paper theft

By Travis M. AndrewsMarch 21, 2017

7:11 AM - Mar 20, 2017

Many public restrooms in China are not equipped with toilet paper and instead rely on patrons to supply their own. But until recently, the bathrooms of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, a complex of religious buildings constructed in 1420, carried rolls upon rolls of the white stuff.

Unfortunately, toilet paper thieves, who had long frustrated Beijing authorities, ruined the complex’s bounty for everyone else. The unassuming thieves stole the tissue paper using backpacks and shopping bags, an investigative report by the Beijing Evening News showed.

Beijing authorities are now turning to a new technology designed to slow the shoplifters. Temple of Heaven’s bathrooms were outfitted with toilet paper dispensers that utilize facial recognition software, the BBC reported.

Six dispensers, designed by the Shoulian Zhineng company, were recently placed at the entrance to the restrooms. Those seeking relief must first stare into a computer attached to the machine for three seconds. It records their image before spitting out a two-foot long sheet of tissue paper.

“The sheets are too short,” Wang Jianquan, a 63-year-old retiree, told the New York Times.

And the machines are slow, too. They take 30 seconds to dispense the paper, according to a China Radio International report (though a GIF created by the New York Times makes it seem much faster). If you need more paper, let’s hope you’re not in a rush. The computer won’t dispense a second round of paper to the same person for nine — potentially excruciating — minutes.

“If we encounter guests who have diarrhea or any other situation in which they urgently require toilet paper, then our staff on the ground will directly provide the toilet paper,” a park spokesman told the Beijing Wanbao newspaper.

“We brainstormed many options: fingerprints, infrared and facial recognition,” Lei Zhenshan, marketing director for Shoulian Zhineng, told the New York Times. “We went with facial recognition, because it’s the most hygienic way.’’

Many people seem pleased that the Temple of Heaven has cracked down on toilet paper theft.

“They should have done this decades ago,” Zhang Shaomin, a local retiree who often visits the site, told CNN.

Others thought such technology denigrated the complex, which has religious significance in China and is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site.

“Is there not a solution somewhere between ‘put up a sign’ and ‘install the sort of thing Bond villains use to secure their secret vaults’?’’ Jeremiah Jenne, an American historian, told the New York Times.

Purchasing six machines at the price of $720 apiece to protect toilet paper might strike many Americans as odd, but the Chinese share a much different relationship with their country’s public facilities. As Wu Qingqi, a park visitor, told CNN, locals often leave their own homes to use a public bathroom, further increasing the usefulness of these electronic guardians of toilet paper.

“I think it’s necessary,” Wu said. “There are many people wasting public resources.”

As Peter S. Goodman wrote for The Post in 2005 of China’s public bathrooms:

In a public toilet — be it at the park, on a main thoroughfare, at the airport or in a train station — the air is often so foul that you limit your breathing. The smell wafts out into the surrounding neighborhood. You keep your eyes turned upward, to avoid fixing on the squalid floor. Most toilets have no toilet paper. Many lack running water. Everywhere, flushing seems optional. People with major business to attend to must typically execute it in full view of everyone else over a big gulley without privacy walls. Sit-down toilets? Rare.

That’s why the country announced a “toilet revolution” in 2015, a plan to bring both its facilities and the general etiquette of their patrons up to “the standards of the international traveler.”

More than 12.5 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) was expected to be spent constructing tens of thousands of new public toilets and renovating older ones to include not just “Western-style toilets and deodorization technology” but also potentially big screen televisions, ATMs, WiFi and sofas.

[China’s ‘toilet revolution’ could see unruly users blacklisted from public bathrooms]

Meanwhile, authorities planned to dole out punishments — such as blacklisting locals from certain facilities — for poor lavatory decorum.

“Many people spend a lot of time dressing themselves, but they do not spare a second to flush the toilet,” Li Shihong, deputy chief of the China National Tourism Administration, told China Daily. “Toilet civilization has a long way to go in China.”

The toilets have long caused some in the Chinese government anxiety.

In 2005, Gu Chenghua, then-secretary general of the Toilet Association — which Goodman described as “a super-grouping of 41 government bodies, plus companies that make toilet paper, bathroom deodorizer, soap and the toilets themselves” — told The Post: “When people are not at home, a public toilet is an indispensable public facility. Through the public toilet, you can see the degree to which the city is developed and civilized. We need to ensure that people have a comfortable experience as they relieve themselves.”

Perhaps facial recognition software is another step toward achieving that goal.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Yes, there will be Muddy tracks in the Meadow

Deep rutted tire tracks in the mud behind the modular building.

The site plan submitted to Marin County Community Development is deeply flawed and understates the actual impact on Marinwood Park.  The unusual "drive through" design will require vehicles to drive 450' into the park to make a 180 degree turn.  It won't matter if it is raining or muddy, our Ford F250 is 22' long and there isn't any other place to turn around.  Backing out of the facility will be very difficult. Imagine backing up 300' around blind curves, support columns, fellow workers and pedestrians to Miller Creek Rd. The current "White Elephant" design is expensive and impractical.

The current Marinwood CSD "drive through" design wastes 1/3 of its interior space for an access road.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Approximate size of the proposed Maintenance Compound Facility

Looking West: Proposed Maintenance Building Compound (40' x 150') will block the current walking path and have an adjacent outdoor parking area for vehicles and material storage that is not identified in the site plan.

Approximate size of the maintenance shed facing West as you walk into the maintenance area.  The Maintenance Compound stretches from the edge of the current facility to the picnic tables next to the horse shoe pit. 
Looking North:The main building is 15' tall by 80' long. A 40' fence is not seen in the outline.
A central 3200 square foot building is flanked with two large outdoor storage areas with an eight foot fence. The Maintenance Building compound is 40' x 150' is the approximate size of a old fashioned car wash.  The Central building has a wall 15' tall by 80' long.   
Looking East from edge of building: Parking, materials and debris storage will be outside the Compound

The "drive through" design cannot fit our vehicles inside and there will be a parking lot outside with material and landscaping debris storage.  

This design is about DOUBLE the existing footprint and will require vehicles to turn around in the meadow 450' to the East.

We believe only a narrow walk path along the stream bank and drainage canal and the horse shoe pit will remain open to public access.  The CSD has not articulated boundaries.

Why not?

No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth

Take 12 minutes to stop the SB828 bill in Sacramento

Hi Marin Activists -  Thanks again to those of you who took action a few weeks ago to oppose SB 828 in Assembly Appropriations.  Now there's another need to act to urge a dozen key Senators to vote No.DB828

NOW-today - please make calls to a select number of Senators (list and phone numbers below). Leave a message urging them to vote No on SB 828, which changes the process to determine regional housing needs allocation (RHNA). The full Senate vote will be in the next day or two. Even if you called or emailed before, this is a new vote and your call is important before the bill gets to the Governor's desk.

Q: How much time will it take?   A: 15 minutes or less.
Q: Why bother?  A:  Your call shores up local control and collaborative problem solving against the top-down, power grab of corporations, regional agencies, profit-driven developers, and career politicians.
Q: What else can I do?  Forward this email to your other lists and family and friends throughout California. Urge them to follow your example.

Please call the following Senators: 
Ben Allen, D; Redondo Beach - (916) 651-4026
Jim Beall - D; San Jose - (916) 651-4015
Steve Bradford, D; Ingelwood - (916) 651-4035
Kevin de Leon, D; Los Angeles - (916) 651-4024
Steve Glazer - D; Orinda - (916) 651-4007
Hannah-Beth Jackson, D; Santa Barbara - (916) 651-4019
Ricardo Lara - D; LA - (916) 651-4033
Mike McGuire - D; Marin/Sonoma counties - (916) 651-4002 
John Moorlach - R; Costa Mesa - (916) 651-4037
Henry Stern, D; Calabasas. -  (916) 651-4027
Jeff Stone - R; Riverside County - (916) 651-4028
Andy Vidak - R; Fresno and Kings counties - (916) 651-4014
Your Senator if not on this list.

When you call, the staff person will ask for your name, zip, and the bill #; sometimes more. If staff resist your input because you don't live in their district, remind them you're impacted by every Senator's vote on this statewide bill.  Keep it as simple as saying, "Please register my request the Senator vote "NO" on SB 828.  

Summary of Opposition, if you want to elaborate: (See attached notes for more details)
  • Deepens antagonism between local governments and Sacramento around housing. 
  • Mandates a one-size-fits-all methodology that doesn't respect or account for geographic differences.
  • Disregards years of community planning on General Plans, Housing Elements, and Design Review.
  • Increases financial burdens on local governments, already reeling from unfunded pension liability.
  • Building a preponderance of market rate housing will not solve the housing problem.

Act as if our communities' futures depends on your call.  It does!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Marin County District Attorney on Public Integrity Matters

Public Integrity Matters and The Ralph M. Brown Act

The Marin District Attorney is committed to assuring honest and open government. All written reports of governmental corruption are carefully reviewed for evidence of wrongdoing which would warrant action. Depending upon the nature and extent of the claimed misconduct the District Attorney may refer the matter to the Fair Political Practices Commission, an appropriate police agency or conduct its own investigation.
The District Attorney is not empowered to question the decisions of other governmental entities. Issues of taxes, spending, personnel, and planning and zoning are not matters that can be addressed by this office. Governmental officials are elected and/or appointed to make such decisions and may do so provided their proceedings are conducted in an honest, open and public manner as required by law.

The Ralph M. Brown Act

Generally, California's "Open Meeting Law" (commonly called the Brown Act) requires that public business be conducted in public. The act contains a number of provisions designed to further this important goal. The act requires local governmental bodies to give notice of their meetings, describe the business they intend to transact in advance of taking action, receive citizen input and, with limited exceptions, publicly reach a decision.
Some violations of the Brown Act may constitute misdemeanor crimes but the act provides less serious remedies for most errors and infractions.

Other Public Integrity Issues

The District Attorney also has responsibility for the enforcement of various laws regulating and safeguarding the political and governmental process. These include: Campaign financing disclosure; conflict of interest; corruption; voter registration fraud; and, election fraud.


Complaints should be in writing and signed by the reporting party. The District Attorney will maintain the anonymity of the reporting person(s) unless disclosure is required by a court of law.
Complaints should be sent to:
Marin County District Attorney
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 145
San Rafael, California 94903
Attention: Inspector Michael McBride

Monday, August 27, 2018

Marinwood CSD hires a "Secret Architect" in Feb 2018

Marinwood CSD general manager Eric Dreikosen reports hiring an architect for $12,000 for all inclusive price for a maintenance shed proposal but fails to reveal that it is former Marinwood CSD director, Bill Hansell .  Dreikosen was hired by the CSD board that included Bill Hansell in 2015 .  The total budget cost of the project has not been revealed and the architects fees have exceeded the $12,000 before reaching site plan approval stage. Another architect with decades of experience with public works projects, bid $13,800 for the ENTIRE PROJECT including site plan review (fixed price $2800), construction oversight and architects fee of 8% based on $100,000 construction cost.  He lost the bid. The CSD  has attacked critics as spreading "misinformation" yet hides its plans and budgets.  You be the judge how well they handle the public's business.  This clip is from the February 13, 2018 Marinwood CSD board meeting.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Little Bo Peep lost her Sheep

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And doesn't know where to find them;
Leave them alone, And they'll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them
Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating;
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were still a-fleeting.

Then up she took her little crook,
Determined for to find them;
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they'd left their tails behind them.
It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.
She heaved a sigh and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks went rambling,
And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
To tack each again to its lambkin.
Katie "Little Bo Peep" Rice, Marin Supervisor watches passively while the county of her birth
 gets turned in a dense, urban landscape by a juggernaut of special interest groups, developers, and her fellow supervisors.
After our human scale, livable Marin is replaced by high density development,
will she be able to "tack the tail on her lambkins"?

Why no Protests in trade schools