Friday, January 18, 2019

No, Capitalism Will Not “Starve Humanity” by 2050

No, Capitalism Will Not “Starve Humanity” by 2050

By Chelsea German and Marian L. Tupy

Forbes magazine recently published an article titled, “Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity by 2050.” The author, Drew Hansen, a businessman and regular contributor to Forbes, starts out by claiming that capitalism has “failed to improve human well-being at scale.” This assertion is easily refuted by evidence. Over the last few decades, hundreds of millions of people were lifted out of extreme poverty. In fact, the share of the world’s population as well as the total number of people living in poverty is at an all-time low, despite a population increase of 143 percent since 1960. The left-leaning Brookings Institution predicts that absolute poverty will have been practically eliminated throughout the world by 2030. If this is not good news for global capitalism, what is? Capitalism, Hansen continues, is also responsible for widespread destruction of animal species, decimation of forests, and a growing risk of starvation. Let’s examine each of Hansen’s claims in turn.

Is capitalism killing off species?

Hansen claims that “species are going extinct at a rate 1,000 times faster than that of the natural rate.” Journalist and Human Progress advisory board member Matt Ridley, who holds a doctorate degree in zoology from Oxford University, rebutted this often-used claim in his book The Rational Optimist:

[There is a] now routine claim that extinction rates are running at 100 or 1,000 times their normal rates, because of human interference …There is no doubt that humans have caused a pulse of extinction, especially by introducing rats, bugs and weeds to oceanic islands at the expense of endemic species … But now that most of these accidental introductions to islands have happened, the rate of extinctions is dropping, not rising, at least among birds and mammals. Bird and mammal extinctions peaked at 1.6 a year around 1900 and have since dropped to about 0.2 a year. Ridley also notes that the extinction rate has fallen even farther in the most industrialized countries, where people tend to care more about environmental stewardship. He himself has worked on various projects to help protect endangered birds. Capitalism, by creating wealth and enabling humanity to move past worries of basic survival, has helped us to preserve other species.

Is capitalism destroying the forests?

Hansen says that 6 million hectares of forest are being lost every year. While forest area is slowly declining, there are plenty of reasons for optimism. In a recent paper for the Breakthrough Institute, environmental scientist Jesse H. Ausubel describes how as countries grow wealthier and their populations come to care more about the environment, forests rebound:

Foresters refer to a “forest transition” when a nation goes from losing to gaining forested area. In 1830, France recorded the first forest transition. Since then, while the population of France has doubled, French forests have also doubled. In other words, forest loss decoupled from population. Measured by growing stock, the United States enjoyed its forest transition around 1950, and, measured by area, about 1990. The forest transition began around 1900, when states such as Connecticut had almost no forest, and now encompasses dozens of states. To see the effect of rising wealth on forest protection, simply consider the contrasting trends in Europe and Africa:Agricultural advances that let farmers harvest more food from less land are also helping to spare forests. Ausubel notes that smarter agricultural practices in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe freed at least 30 million hectares (an area the size of Poland or Italy) and possibly as many as 60 million hectares from agricultural use and returned it to nature.

Does capitalism make people poorer?

Citing the 2014 U.S. Census, Hansen notes that 15 percent of Americans live in poverty. (The Censusdefines poverty as an income of less than $12,071 a year for a single-person household, or $33 a day). But, what does it mean to be poor in America? As the Mercatus Center economist Steve Horwitz writes, “poor U.S. households are more likely to have basic appliances than the average household of the 1970s, and those appliances are of much higher quality.”

In 1984, for example, 83 percent of all households in the United States owned a refrigerator. By 2005, 99 percent of poor American households owned a refrigerator. The evidence of an improving standard of living for poor Americans is abundant and available – to those who are willing to see. Hansen fails to mention that living on $33 a day is not poverty by historical standards. Throughout most of human history, almost everyone lived in extreme poverty. Only in the last two centuries has wealth dramatically increased. Early adopters of capitalism, such as the United States, have seen their average incomes skyrocket.

Moreover, Hansen does not put American poverty in a global perspective. Thirty-three dollars per person per day would be considered luxurious in the developing world today. (Globally, absolute poverty is measured at $1.90 per person per day.) Our understanding of poverty is undoubtedly skewed by America’s riches. But remember that if you make $32,400 or more per year, then you are in the global top 1 percent of income-earners (adjusted for differences in the cost of living).Does capitalism lead to starvation?

Hansen then repeats the old and discredited idea that humanity won’t be able to feed itself as the population grows. Thomas Malthus first made that argument in 1798. Since Malthus’ time, humanity has found ways to produce more food per unit of land through innovations like synthetic fertilizers and increasingly advanced genetic modification techniques. As production increased,the prices of food fell. Today, food is 22 percent cheaper than it was in 1960, in spite of global population growth of 143 percent. As a result, calorie consumption increased, and the total number of undernourished people fell.

Malthus’ mistake was to ignore human beings’ ability to innovate their way out of problems. But, as Julian Simon found in The Ultimate Resource, people are excellent problem-solvers, and the free market helps to coordinate solutions to most of our everyday challenges. A challenge (feeding a growing population), led to technological innovation (the Green Revolution and GMOs) and that led to a solution (higher agricultural productivity and falling food prices). Far from leading to starvation, capitalism has ensured that the supply of food rose to meet growing demand.

If humanity does face starvation in 2050, it will not be because of capitalism – it will be because anti-capitalist views like Hansen’s have prevailed.

Marin County "Income Discrimination" ordinance hurts Homeowners, too

On March 5, 2017, Marin County Board of Supervisors heard the the first reading of a new ordinance that makes it illegal to discriminate against "income source" such as Section 8 and other types of government assistance.  This affects even homeowners who rent out a room in their house.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Rohnert Park cannot afford the CASA compact

Dixie school board receives petitions, testimony for name change

Dixie school board receives petitions, testimony for name change

Marin Community Foundation to pick up cost of process, if approved


Dixie school board members listen to public comment Tuesday. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

By KERI BRENNER | | Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: January 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm | UPDATED: January 17, 2019 at 6:39 am

Momentum in favor of changing the name of the Dixie School District edged forward this week as proponents delivered petitions for new names, offered two hours of emotional testimony to the board of trustees and announced that the Marin Community Foundation would pick up the tab.

Supporters, organized as “Change The Name,” say the time is right to offer children a “teachable moment” about how to have kindness and compassion for people of color or others who may be hurt or offended by the violence, slavery and racism evoked by the name Dixie’s ties to the Civil-War-era South.

“Taking a vote in a predominantly white community, resulting in keeping a name that, by definition, is racist doesn’t make any sense,” said Dixie school parent Lala Luciano, one of at least 20 speakers at Tuesday’s overflow board meeting at the Dixie district office in north San Rafael.

“White people, living in predominantly white communities, should not get to be the final arbiters of what affects people of color, what is or isn’t racism or how racism affects people of color,” Luciano said.

Dixie parent Lisa Pavlovsky urged the board to reflect that even though some residents may not have been bothered by the name Dixie for many years, that does not mean everyone feels that way.

“Just like we teach our kids to be upstanders for those who are being bullied or treated poorly, so should we do the same for our neighbors,” she said. “Just because we are not personally affected by something, does not mean we are outside agitators and have no right to fight for change.”

Parent Nathan Hunt echoed that thought.

“No one in this room chose the name Dixie,” he said. “But by not changing the name, we’re choosing it all over again.”

Supporters also announced Tuesday that the Marin Community Foundation has agreed to cover administrative costs for the name change. According to the board agenda from Tuesday night, the initial estimate for the change is $18,283. That includes redoing signs on buses and buildings, and replacing wording on letterhead, the district website, logo, email and business cards.

“My offer is this: using private philanthropic funds, MCF is prepared to offset these costs for the district,” Tiburon resident Noah Griffin read to the board from a letter by Thomas Peters, CEO of the Marin Community Foundation. “It is our hope that by doing so, the discussion can be focused on the more substantive and poignant merits of the proposal before this board.”

Opponents, organized as the “We Are Dixie” group, deliberately did not attend Tuesday’s board meeting, saying in a written statement they didn’t want to be part of the “media circus, or to add to the divisiveness and bickering in the community.” They say their position against the name change is not due to racism, pointing out the name Dixie is not considered offensive elsewhere “within the country, especially since 56,000 people — 7,400 of whom are African American — have the first name Dixie and there are currently 21 cities in the U.S. with the name Dixie.

“We also request that the legacy of the Dixie School District not be wiped away without listening to the generations that built it,” they said in a statement. The group opposes the petition process and insists the district continue instead with plans for a 2020 advisory ballot measure on the issue, a measure approved by the district board last month.

“We Are Dixie believes that only a democratic vote by Dixie district residents and taxpayers will settle this issue, and there are members of the community who have already offered to fund (the ballot measure election in 2020),” the group said in a written statement Wednesday. “We acknowledge that there are differences of opinion within the community, but We Are Dixie believes that not a single child will receive any tangible benefit from a name change. However, our children are quickly learning that if you stir up enough emotion, facts and logic will not matter.”

Although numerous residents, including Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly, have called for a “healthy discussion” as the best way to heal the bitterly divided and polarized community, We Are Dixie said “a vote is necessary because … Change The Name advocates have needlessly divided our community and poisoned the well for civil discourse.”

The district, with about 14,000 residents, is roughly 97 percent white. The district has three elementary schools and one middle school. At least three previous efforts to change the name have been made since 1989 — all of which were turned down. The current fourth attempt, however, comes at a historic time when cities, schools and groups across the nation are taking down Confederate statues, monuments and flags and striking the song “Dixie” from the event program playbooks.

“The name change is something that’s going to stick with these kids forever, a lesson they will carry with them when daughters become congresswomen, when sons become doctors, when these kids become teachers,” said Patrick Nissim, who graduated from Dixie schools and who still lives in the district. “They can carry that lesson forward and tell their kids how proud they were to be part of the new school district that was named.”

Earlier Tuesday, supporters delivered petitions with 13 proposed names to Superintendent Jason Yamashiro. The board is expected to review the petitions, confirm they have the required 15 valid signatures each, and then schedule a public hearing and a vote within 40 days. The names, all to be followed by “Elementary School District,” were: Terra Linda, Big Rock, Miwok, Live Oak, Terrawood Valley, Live Oak Valley, Mary Dixie, Oak Valley, Miwok Hills, Skywalker, Miller Creek, John Muir and Lucas Valley.

“We are in the process of validating the signatures and names on the petitions,” Board President Brad Honsberger said in an email Wednesday. “There will be a public hearing at our next board meeting on Feb. 12. This will be followed by a board discussion and a vote on each of the petitions filed.”

Peters, CEO of Marin Community Foundation and a 25-year Dixie district resident, said in a Dec. 10 letter to Honsberger that the board should “seize the moment of opportunity” to change the name.

“The plain fact is that in today’s American cultural and linguistic context, the predominant connotations of the word Dixie evoke not only rebellion and treason, but pain and terror,” he says in the letter. “No amount of local interpretation of diary entries, historical footnotes, genealogical searches or nuances of irony or humor can override this reality.”

The “titles and symbols of the Confederacy stand, first and foremost, for humiliation, degradation and threat,” he added.

Peters also told the board that “by selecting a more appropriate and inclusive name, (they) would send a powerful and poignant message both to the whole community and to (the district’s) young students, now and into the future.”

San Rafael Councilman John Gamblin, a Dixie district resident, urged the board, even while moving forward, to “take a slight step back” to try to bring the community together in some fashion before rushing ahead to approve a new name.

“This is a train that’s rolling,” he told the board. “I don’t envy any of you with this decision, because it’s huge. You will make some people happy and make other people not happy. … I encourage you to focus on the process and take a slight step back to heal what is happening in our community.”

Paint it Black

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Marin Clean Energy's liability numbers

Marin Clean Energy's liability numbers

Marin Clean Energy's greenhouse gas (GHG) emission numbers are out and, once again, they do not track with reality.
For the latest year of available data, MCE increased GHG emissions to the atmosphere 162,569 tons compared to the same energy volume being produced by PG&E for calendar year 2016.
Click on image to enlarge
MCE claimed it would reduce GHGs by 175,000 tons in 2011. It claimed this reduction would continue to 534,000 tons per year by 2020.
Click on image to enlarge
Since MCE’s 2010 business launch through 2016, MCE has increased overall emissions 1.07 billion pounds of GHG.
All this begs the question: If MCE is increasing global warming, what is its financial liability in the wildfires that strike California?

PG&E Currents (2016 emission rate by independent analysis)
MCE Technical Committee, August 30, 2018, agenda item #06, “MCE (2016) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis” (by MCE staff consultant).
California Energy Commission Power Source Disclosure reports, Schedule 1, for the calendar year ending December 31, 2016.

We don't have $15 million to spend for housing in the South Bay

Monday, January 14, 2019

This Is Novato 1955

Should Marinwood CSD have its own Goat Herd?

California town launches ‘Goat Fund Me’ to prevent wildfires

NEVADA CITY — The threat of catastrophic wildfires has driven a California town to launch a “Goat Fund Me” campaign to bring herds of goats to city-owned land to help clear brush.
Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada began the online crowdsourcing campaign last month with the goal of raising $30,000 for the project.

The campaign’s website explains that because it takes time to secure grant funding, the town needs money now to hire goat ranchers because they’re only available this winter.
The ranchers have rented out their herds to other municipalities in California the rest of the year and were expanding their herds to meet demand, city officials said.
“Why not do something — and as soon as we can?” Vice Mayor Reinette Senum told the Los Angeles Times . “If we’re not proactive, if we don’t help ourselves, no one else is going to step up.”

The foothill community is about 47 miles southeast of Paradise, which was decimated by a wildfire in November that killed 86 people and destroyed about 14,000 homes.
City officials said booking a herd costs between $500 to $1,500 an acre. Some 200 goats can munch on an acre of overgrown brush daily.

City Manager Catrina Olson said she, along with residents attending council meetings to talk about the project, are excited about the impending work, an idea “that’s catching on because there’s such high fire danger in our state.”
“It’s an interesting way to run a city campaign,” said Brad Fowler, a local rancher working with the city to rent out goats. “I like how people can choose to spend their money.”

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Marin Voice: Dixie name-change issue ‘a wake-up call for Marin’

Marin Voice: Dixie name-change issue ‘a wake-up call for Marin’

PUBLISHED: January 11, 2019 at 10:00 am | UPDATED: January 12, 2019 at 7:49 am

Each year a service organization to which I belong pays for and passes out hundreds of dictionaries to Marin third-graders. On the walls of many classrooms are pictures of American heroes. Inevitably one sees an image of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

As Marin County grapples with the quandary of a Dixie School District in our midst, I wonder what Marin is willing to do of a concrete nature to honor the memory of the martyred civil rights leader.

One way is to rid ourselves of the name Dixie. School board Trustee Marnie Glickman, the only Dixie board member to publicly support the name change, has gone on record, stating: “We have a moral obligation to teach our children about history. Dixie is a synonym of the Confederacy. It is a reminder of slavery, segregation and lynching.”

In the past few weeks a phalanx of public officials, respected community leaders and organizations have stepped forward to join the movement to change the district’s name. In addition to Congressman Jared Huffman, they include state Sen. Mike McGuire, county schools Superintendent Mary Jane Burke, county Supervisors Kate Sears and Dennis Rodoni, San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips, Marin Community Foundation President and CEO Thomas Peters, the Marin Human Rights Commission, the Marin Democratic Central Committee, the Marin Green Party and the Marin Interfaith Council. For a complete list of supporters, now over 1,500, visit

Despite the snowballing avalanche of public support, there are still elected officials sitting on the sidelines, some trying to have it both ways. When you walk into Assemblyman Marc Levine’s office, you’ll see prominently displayed a Black Lives Matter placard. Unwilling to take a public stand on this issue, he told me and others who met with him that we should end our discussion by thanking him for meeting with us and that he would let us know he would think about the name-change issue. It’s now been several weeks.

Marin Supervisor Damon Connolly, himself a former Dixie School Board member, wrote a letter to the district board, stating, “We can do better.” Yet when asked directly, his staff wouldn’t say whether he’s for or against the name change. He reminds me of a politician who once said: “Some of my friends are for the issue, some are against. And I’m four-square for my friends.”

Not taking a stand is taking a stand. Quoting Dante: “The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in times of moral crisis, preserve their neutrality.” I’m certain the newly elected Dixie trustees are weighing that thought. It was pointed out in a recent IJ editorial they sidestepped the issue in their endorsement interviews, which did not go unnoticed.

This issue is a wake-up call for Marin. It holds up a mirror to ourselves. It allows us to see who we really are rather than how we would like to see ourselves. Evidence of the skittishness of the “We Are Dixie” contingent is their unwillingness to attach their names to their website. How proud of their stance can they be?

Marin has deep-seated issues it must address, well beyond a mere symbolic step such as a name change.

Just in the past two weeks the principal of Miller Creek Middle School within the Dixie School District issued a letter to parents concerning “an increase of hate filled speech including racial slurs, imitations of accents, perpetuation of stereotypes, name calling based on physical characteristics and sexual orientation and use of the n-word.” This taking place in a county judged the most inequitable in the state.

Clearly there is much work to be done. On Jan. 15, the day of King’s birthday, 10 names will be submitted to the Dixie Board of Trustees, which is legally bound to act upon them by Feb. 24. Please show your support that evening by attending the meeting at 6 p.m. in the district office, 380 Nova Albion Way in Terra Linda, and honor the memory of Dr. King in the process.  See article HERE

EDITOR's NOTE:  The conversation will be helped for both sides if we stop talking about groups of people as if they are one entity. We all speak for ourselves and no one has right to speak ":on behalf of my community" or "against another community". We are neither collectively good or bad. Although I want the name change for Dixie too, it is time for the "Change the Name" folks to point out specific acts of racism. Are there white supremacist organizations operating in the district? If so, name them and apologize to the rest of us who want a welcoming community for all of us.
It seems that some are more interested in agitating the community than actually having heart to heart discussions and coming up with a better name for the future.

Fable: The Evil Wizard and the Secret Chamber

Había una vez un hechicero que, disfrazado de mendigo iba de casa en casa, llevándose a las muchachas más bonitas que encontraba, y ninguna volvía a ver a sus padres.     
Un día fué a pedir limosna a la casa de un hombre que tenía tres hijas muy hermosas, la mayor de las cuales le dió una gran rebanada de pan.
Al volverse ella, el hechicero la tocó en el brazo y, aun contra su voluntad, la pobre muchacha se sintió obligado a entrar en la cesta que el mendigo llevaba a cuestas; una vez dentro de ésta, el hechicero se la llevó con el a su casa, situada en medio de un espeso bosque. Todo era allí magnífico, y había todo cuanto la muchacha pudiera apetecer.
Pasado algunos días le dijo el hechicero que se veía precisado a emprender un viaje, por lo cual le entregaba las llaves de la casa, añadiendo que la dejaba en libertad para recorrer todas las habitaciones, excepto una, y previniéndola que, si entraba en aquella habitación prohibida, moriría. Al mismo tiempo le dió un huevo y le encargó mucho que no se lo extraviara.
Cuando el hechicero se hubo perdido de vista, empezó la joven a revisar oda la casa, encontrando todas las abitaciones llenas de bellos objetos. Por fín, llegó a la puerta de la cámara prohibida y, después de vacilar por un momento, la curiosidad la venció y entró.
El espectáculo que se le ofreció a l vista la dejó aterrada: vió un sinnúmero de muchachas que habían sido hechas prisioneras, y todas ellas estaban como dormidas. La joven, impresionada por la inmovilidad de aquellos cuerpos, salió corriendo del cuarto, huyendo todo lo más lejos que le fue posible.
En su espanto, dejó caer el huevo que llevaba en la mano, el cual no se rompió, pero cuando lo levantó del suelo, notó que se le había manchado de rojo, y a pesar de lo mucho que lo intentó, no pudo limpiarlo.
Pocas horas después volvió el hechicero, y al momento pidió a la joven las llaves y el huevo que le había dejado. Tan pronto como vió las manchas rojas en el huevo, comprendió que había entrado en el cuarto prohibido y la derribó al suelo, y arrastrándola hasta la cámara secreta, la dejó allí encerrada con las otras.
El hechicero se dirigió de nuevo a la casa en que había pedido el pan, y esta vez se llevó a la hija segunda. También ella se dejó vencer por la curiosidad, y corrió la misma suerta que su hermana.
El brujo entonces, capturó y se llevó a la única hermana que quedaba, pero ésta era muy astuta, de tal manera que, cuando recibió el huevo y las llaves, sin la menor tardanza depositó el huevo con mucho cuidado en una alacena. Cogió luego la llave y se dirigió a la cámara prohibida para averiguar qué había en ella.
Con gran estupor vió ue el suelo se hallaba cubierto de muchachas sumidas en profundo sueño, y que entre ellas estaban sus dos hermanas. Como era más juiciosa que las otras, tuvo mucho cuidado en conservar el huevo bien limpio. Cuando el brujo regresó a casa, corrió la joven a su encuentro, llevando las llaves y el huevo; entonces, viendo él que estaba limpio, exclamó: - Tú serás mi esposa, ya que has sabido resistir la prueba.
Pero el hechicero ya no podía obrar a su antojo, porque su prometida había roto el encanto y hacía lo que quería de él; valiéndose de esto se fué al cuarto prohibido y despertó a las durmientes prisioneras que estaban allí encantadas. Luego dijo al brujo: - Antes de que me case contigo, debes llevar, una cesta llena de oro a mis padres.
Tomó una cesta muy grande y mandó entrar en ella a sus dos hermanas, a las que cubrió con una capa de monedas de oro, para que no se vieran. Hecho esto, dijo al hechicero que cargara con la cesta y que tuviera buen cuidado de no entretenerse por el camino, pues ella le estaría vigilando desde una ventana. El hombre se cargó la cesta a las espaldas y echó a andar, pero era la carga tan pesada, que se caía de fatiga. Sentose, pues, para descansar, pero en el mismo momento oyó una voz que salía de la cesta y le decía: "Te estoy mirando desde mi ventana." Creyendo que era la voz de su futura esposa, se puso en marcha otra vez, haciendo mucho esfuerzo. Cada vez que trataba de descansar ocurría lo mismo, hasta que, por fín llegó a casa de los padres, donde dejó la cesta. Mientras él hacía este camino su prometida cogió una cabeza de cartón y la colocó en una ventana del piso superior, como si fuera alguien que vigilara. Luego dió libertad a todas las víctimas del hechicero y repartió invitaciones para la boda. Finalmente se cubrió el cuerpo con plumas, de modo que pareciese un pájaro raro y nadie pudiese reconocerla. Así salió de la casa. A poco encontró a algunos de los invitados, que le dijeron:
- ¿De dónde vienes, ave, tan hermosa?
- De las Casa en que el brujo se desposa.
- Y ¿qué hace, dí, la linda prometida?
- Después de haberse puesto muy pulida, con el traje nupcial engalanada, a la ventana la dejé asomada.
Cuando volvió el brujo a la casa, miró hacia la ventana, y viendo la cabeza, creyó que era su futura esposa. Entró precipitadamente; más, apenas lo hubo hecho, los parientes y amigos de las tres hermanas, que le aguardaban allí para vengarse del mal que a ellas les había causado, cerraron las puertas y pegaron fuego a la casa.
Este fué el fín que tuvieron el hechicero y su cámara prohibida.
Once there was an evil wizard who, dressed as a beggar, would go from house to house asking for alms and would steal the prettiest girls he could find. None of them could ever return home. One day he knocked on the door of a house where lived a man with three beautiful daughters. The eldest opened the door and gave him a piece of bread.
When she gave it to him he touched her arm and hypnotized her. Then he made her enter the basket that he always carried on his back and took her to his house which was situated in the midst of the woods. Everything there was magnificent, and she had everything she could wish for.
After a few days the wizard told her that he had to go on a journey, that he would leave her the keys to all the house, and that she could enter every room except one. If she should enter that room she would surely die. Also, he gave her an egg and asked her to take good care of it.
As soon as the wizard was out of sight, the girl looked into every room and found beautiful things that delighted her. At last she approached the prohibited chamber and after a moment's indecision, her curiosity won and she entered the room.
What she saw made her tremble. There were hundreds of girls that had been kidnapped and all looked as if they had fallen asleep. The girl, frightened at the sight, went running out of the room as fast as she could.

In her haste she dropped the egg that she carried in her hand, but it did not break. When she picked it up she noticed that the egg had turned red, and although she tried to clean it, the egg stayed red.
After some time the wizard came back. He noticed what had happened to the egg, struck the girl, and dragged her into the prohibited chamber, where he left her with the others.
The wizard then went back to the same house and stole the second sister and the same thing happened to her.
He went back a third time and kidnapped the younger sister, but this sister was very wise. When the wizard gave her the keys and the egg, she took the egg and deposited it in the cupboard. Then she took the keys and went into the prohibited chamber. She was amazed at seeing so many girls lying as if in a profound sleep. Amongst them she recognized her two sisters.
She left the room and closed the door. When she heard the wizard returning, she took the egg and the keys and went to meet him.
"You shall be my wife because you have resisted curiosity," he exclaimed.
As the girl had broken the spell, the wizard had lost his power and she could do with him as she pleased, so she went to the prohibited chamber and awoke all the girls. Then she went to the wizard and told him.
"Before I marry you, you must go and take a basket full of gold to my parents."
She took a great big basket and in it she hid her two sisters covering them with pieces of gold. Then she told the wizard to take the basket but not to stop on the road because she would be watching him from the window. The man took the basket and started walking but soon was worn out by fatigue. He sat down to rest, but immediately heard a voice which said "I am watching you from my window." Thinking it was the voice of his future wife, he got up and walked a while longer. Every time he tried to rest, the same thing happened, until finally he reached the house where his fiancée's parents lived. There he left the basket.
In the meantime, his future wife took a piece of cardboard and made a head which she placed on the window sill of the second floor, making it look as if someone was watching from the window. Then she went and let out the other victims and invited them all to her wedding. Finally, she covered her whole body with feathers, disguising herself as a rare bird so that no one could recognize her, and left the house. Soon she met some of the guests that she had invited to the wedding and they asked her:
"From where do you come beautiful bird?"
"From the house where the wizard is being wedded."
"And please tell, what does the beautiful bride do?"
"After being all dressed up in her beautiful wedding gown she leans out of the window looking down."
When the wizard returned home, the window of the second floor was open, he looked towards it and saw the head there. He thought it was his future wife and he ran excitedly into the house, but upon entering he encountered all the family and sisters of the girl, who dragged him into the chamber, locked the door and set fire to the house.
And this was the end of the wizard and his prohibited chamber.

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Suburbs: Planners, Smart Growth and the Manhattan Illusion

Excellent 6 minute video critique of Smart Growth in Southern California
 "If you really believe that suburbs are going to die, then let them die, and let the market address the situation" says Joel Kotkin, Chapman University professor and urban planning specialist.

But letting the market work is far from ideal for California's regional planners and local politicians, who want almost 70 percent of new housing over the next 25 years to be multi-unit apartment-style dwelliings, despite the facts that more than half of Southern California households reside in a single-family home and that more people are leaving California than are coming in.

"In a great nation like ours, you can't let people do what they want. It has to be coordinated," says Hasan Ikhrata, the executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). Ikhrata's group, which directs planning for the Southern California region via subsidies and contracting with big developers, foresees a future in which Southern California is dense, full of high-rise buildings, and connected by rail, much like New York City.

The problem is, LA isn't New York. No city but New York is New York, and attempts to force high-density, New York-style development onto areas that don't need it can result in terrible unintended consequences.

"Many people see a light rail and think the San Francisco trolley line," says Damien Goodmon, spokesman for the Crenshaw Subway Coalition. He lives in LA's historical black neighborhood Leimert Park and has seen the effects bad planning can have on established communities.

"You can have transit riders and still destroy a community," says Goodmon.

And the ultimate irony of the unending push for high-density planning in sprawling Southern California is that while, yes, Manhattan is denser than LA, if you zoom out a bit, LA-Long Beach-Anaheim is already the densest urban region in the United States. That happened without any sustained, conscious high-density housing development or state-of-the-art rail transit.

"One of the things that happens when you force this kind of high-density development is you destroy the very urban neighborhoods that retain the middle class," says Kotkin. "The neighborhoods have to fight this kind of guerilla-style."
Marin is greenwashing urban growth.

Legal Plunder defined.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

CASA compact explained to League of California Cities

Sea Level Rise Presentation at the Marin Coalition on 1/9/2019

Leslie Lacko – Sea Level Rise Planner, Marin County Community Development Agency · James Raives – Senior Open Space Planner, Marin County Parks and Open Space Marin County already floods during heavy rains and King Tides. How will rising sea level further impact our shoreline? How can we adapt and what is the County doing to prepare? Local governments must chart new ground in planning for climate change and Marin County is leading the way. Hear answers to these questions and more from staff members who do the hands-on work of preparing Marin County for sea level rise.

Marin County Planner explains McInnis Levee Project 1/9/2019

Marin County Open Space planner explains the proposed McInnis Wetlands restoration and levee and its affect on Silveira Ranch and Santa Venetia.  13 minutes of a longer presentation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Dick Spotswood: Planners keep pushing the bogus concept of transit-centered housing

Dick Spotswood: Planners keep pushing the bogus concept of transit-centered housing

January 8, 2019 at 10:00 am

Regional governments tout the benefits of so-called transit-centered housing. The concept is at the heart of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s CASA (Committee to House the Bay Area) compact and San Francisco Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener’s new Senate Bill 50.

Superficially, it appears logical that people living in high-density apartments adjacent to rail, bus or ferry transit stops won’t need an auto to commute to work. Instead, they’ll take transit because it’s more convenient.

The reality isn’t so simple.

With transit-centered housing, the image that pops to mind includes a Manhattan or at least a central San Francisco, Philadelphia or Chicago level of public transit. There, with a century’s worth of transit infrastructure, they’ve crafted their bus/rail network to a stage of development where virtually every origin and destination is connected.

That’s crucial, because the 2019 commute doesn’t resemble the days of old when Bay Area suburban commuters were mostly headed to one destination: downtown San Francisco. Today’s commute, often involving two-employed resident households, resembles the crisscrossed lines of an old telephone switchboard running all over the Bay Area.

No doubt our region would be better served by a comprehensive transit network similar to that in greater London. To get there is enormously expensive and will, with America’s endless environmental reviews and litigious culture, literally take a century.

Let’s see if transit-centered housing works as promised in Marin. Presume our typical commuter lives at Corte Madera’s Tam Ridge Apartments, aka WinCup. The four-story 180-unit high-density complex is exactly the housing envisioned in SB 50. When approved, WinCup was touted as transit-centered housing next to a Highway 101 trunk line bus stop.

The time selected for this exercise is the 8 a.m. morning weekday commute. The destinations are six Bay Area employment centers. It’s a fair time for a test, because traffic is heavy and transit frequencies (public transportation such as bus, train or ferry) at their maximum. Travel time from WinCup to each destination by auto and transit is estimated using the smartphone Google map app.

From WinCup to:

• Montgomery and Market streets: auto, 33 minutes; transit, 55 minutes.

• UC Mission Bay Medical Center: auto, 42 minutes; transit, 1 hour, 18 minutes.

• UC Berkeley: auto, 28 minutes; transit, 1 hour, 40 minutes, via San Francisco.

• Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square: auto, 41 minutes; transit, 1 hour, 43 minutes.

• San Francisco State University: auto, 28 minutes; transit, 1 hour, 13 minutes.

• Oakland’s Alameda County Courthouse: auto, 27 minutes; transit, 1 hour, 17 minutes.

The transit commute from WinCup to downtown San Francisco and UC Mission Bay is competitive with driving. The ease of bus travel versus driving and parking makes it viable. Not so, trips from WinCup to San Francisco State, downtown Oakland, Santa Rosa or UC Berkeley. Ditto for jobs in San Mateo County. New Tam Ridge residents – much less those living farther afield – are necessarily going to drive to those jobs. SEE the Full Article HERE

Miller Creek after a Rainstorm

Miller Creek, one of Marin County's pristine watersheds is under threat of a 4400 square foot development in Marinwood Park. The proposed Maintenance Facility is excessive for the tiny park.  It is three times the size of the maintenance facility McInnis Park despite the fact that McInnis is employs double the staff and is 450 acres.  Marinwood Park is a mere 14 acres of which only about 7 acres is improved property and the excess. The rest is open space.  The Maintenance facility is gobbling up the open space and prime recreation area to fullfill the ambitions of the architect and former CSD board member Bill Hansell.  Despite the violation of the 2007 Marin County general plan that prohibits development within 100' of the stream bank, the Marinwood CSD is seeking approval of its design.  Neighbors are upset and the Marinwood CSD has kept its plans and budget secret.  They have violated numerous government contracting rules, political practices, transparency laws, in addition to numerous environmental laws.  This is quite unfortunate because there is unanimous agreement to approve a smaller structure outside the prohibited zone.  A 1200 sf structure identical to McInnis Park Maintenance Facility will be easily approved by a grateful public.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Gavin Newsom’s keeping it all in the family

Gavin Newsom’s keeping it all in the family

By Dan Walters | Jan. 6, 2019 | COMMENTARY, DAN WALTERS

Ties among the Brown, Newsom, Pelosi and Getty families date back three generations.

Gavin Newsom will be the first Democrat in more than a century to succeed another Democrat as governor and the succession also marks a big generational transition in California politics.

A long-dominant geriatric quartet from the San Francisco Bay Area – Gov. Jerry Brown, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – has been slowly ceding power to younger political strivers.

Moreover, Newsom is succeeding someone who could be considered his quasi-uncle, since his inauguration continues the decades-long saga of four San Francisco families intertwined by blood, by marriage, by money, by culture and, of course, by politics – the Browns, the Newsoms, the Pelosis and the Gettys.

The connections date back at least 80 years, to when Jerry Brown’s father, Pat Brown, ran for San Francisco district attorney, losing in 1939 but winning in 1943, with the help of his close friend and Gavin Newsom’s grandfather, businessman William Newsom.

Fast forward two decades. Gov. Pat Brown’s administration developed Squaw Valley for the 1960s winter Olympics and afterward awarded a concession to operate it to William Newsom and his partner, John Pelosi.

One of the Pelosis’ sons, Paul, married Nancy D’Alesandro, who went into politics and has now reclaimed speakership of the House of Representatives. Another Pelosi son married William Newsom’s daughter, Barbara. Until they divorced, that made Nancy Pelosi something like an aunt by marriage to Gavin Newson (Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law was Gavin Newsom’s uncle).

The Squaw Valley concession was controversial at the time and created something of a rupture between the two old friends.

William Newsom wanted to make significant improvements to the ski complex, including a convention center, but Brown’s Department of Parks and Recreation balked. Newsom and his son, an attorney also named William, held a series of contentious meetings with officials over the issue.

An eight-page memo about those 1966 meetings from the department’s director, Fred Jones, buried in the Pat Brown archives, describes the Newsoms as being embittered and the senior Newsom threatening to “hurt the governor politically” as Brown ran for a third term that year against Ronald Reagan.

Pat Brown’s bid for a third term failed, and the Reagan administration later bought out the Newsom concession. But the Brown-Newsom connection continued as Brown’s son, Jerry, reclaimed the governorship in 1974. He appointed the younger William Newsom, a personal friend and Gavin’s father, to a Placer County judgeship in 1975 and three years later to the state Court of Appeal.

Justice Newsom, who died a few weeks ago, had been an attorney for oil magnate J. Paul Getty, most famously delivering $3 million to Italian kidnapers of Getty’s grandson in 1973. While serving on the appellate bench in the 1980s, he helped Getty’s son, Gordon, secure a change in state trust law that allowed him to claim his share of a multi-heir trust.

After Newsom retired from the bench in 1995, he became administrator of Gordon Getty’s own trust, telling one interviewer, “I make my living working for Gordon Getty.” The trust provided seed money for the PlumpJack chain of restaurants and wine shops that Newson’s son, Gavin, and Gordon Getty’s son, Billy, developed, the first being in a Squaw Valley hotel.

Gavin Newsom had been informally adopted by the Gettys after his parents divorced, returning a similar favor that the Newsom family had done for a young Gordon Getty many years earlier. Newsom’s PlumpJack business (named for an opera that Gordon Getty wrote) led to a career in San Francisco politics, a stint as mayor, the lieutenant governorship and now to the governorship, succeeding his father’s old friend.

He’s keeping it all in the extended family.

Miller Creek Watershed

Miller Creek Watershed

History and Habitat

Human Settlement

The Miller Creek Watershed is the northernmost part of the north San Rafael land grant (San Pedro, Santa Margarita y Las Gallinas). The land was originally granted to Timothy Murphy who incurred the gratitude of Governor Alvarado in 1837 by helping him defend against a coup attempt.

James Miller later bought 680 acres of the Las Gallinas portion of the rancho and operated it as a beef ranch and then as a dairy farm. Miller assisted the Sisters of Charity running the St. Vincent School, established 1855 as a girls’ seminary. The school eventually closed due to a lack of students and later became a school for orphaned boys.

The valley portions of the watershed were developed for urban housing beginning in 1955. The most recent development, Miller Creek Estates, was constructed in the 1980s and early 90s.

Changes to Watershed Processes

Miller Creek is an atypical east Marin creek in that it has a relatively intact riparian area with very high widths and depths relative to its drainage area. In many locations throughout Miller Creek the banks are 20 to 25 feet high and its width is often over 100 feet (Philip Williams and Associates, Ltd. 19811).

The creek has gone through two recent cycles of incision, or arroyo formation since the arrival of Europeans. Mid 19th century riparian vegetation clearing and grazing practices initiated the first cycle of channel downcutting. A second cycle started after the 1940s as evidenced by the disparate channel bed elevations upstream and downstream of the Grady Bridge and concrete apron installed in 1941; the channel downstream is 10 feet lower than the bed immediately upstream. Increased runoff and changes to drainage patterns from valley housing developments may have contributed to this rapid lowering of the channel bed. This incision occurred at a rate of approximately 1 foot per 10 years (PWA 1981). Recent channel assessments indicate that the rate of mainstem incision has slowed or stopped due to either the channel reaching a stable bed condition, increased sediment supply from tributary incision, or the installation of grade stabilization structures (Yin and Pope-Daum 2004 2).

With channel incision comes bank instability and widening. Vertical banks are undercut by moderate flows, with bank slumping and retreat occurring until there is sufficient width to accommodate flood flows and develop inset floodplains and terraces.

In the lower reaches of the valley the channel is wide with well developed and vegetated inset floodplains and an inner terrace. Bank instability at the outside bends of the channel meanders occurs throughout the valley as the channel continues to widen.

The Miller Creek Estates and Upper Miller Creek channel reaches were graded into a trapezoidal channel during housing development construction in the 1970s and 1980s. These reaches have a 100 foot setback along the channels. A post- project evaluation of this stretch of Miller Creek by Yin and Pope-Daum (2004) indicates that riparian vegetation has established in these reaches and the creek has developed a low-flow channel and discontinuous floodplains. Bank erosion is concentrated at the outside of meander bends. The channel complexity and habitat features are not as well developed as in the non-graded reaches downstream; however, the Miller Creek Estate reach has better habitat conditions than have been observed in the upstream reaches that are characterized by vertical banks, a wide homogenous channel bottom, and little mature riparian vegetation.

Tributary channels have undergone extensive downcutting and gully formation in response to the main channel incision. Headcut retreat is occurring in many steep, first order channels. Large volumes of sediment are delivered to the mainstem from tributary erosion and fine sediment aggradation reduces pool depths and degrades spawning gravels. The sediment produced by the upper watershed is deposited in the lower reaches of the system.

Downstream of the NWPRR Bridge the channel was rerouted and channelized in the 1920s. The creek was routed to the south, extended, and placed into a narrow, leveed channel with two 90 degree bends before reaching San Pablo Bay. A stretch of tidal wetlands are present along the bay front. There is local interest in realigning the creek east of the NWPRR Bridge to provide a more natural, direct connection to San Pablo Bay (Marin Conservation League 1997 3; St. Vincent’s/Silveira Advisory Task Force 2000 4).

Bank erosion in mainstem Miller Creek is widespread, as the channel is deeply incised in many places and in a widening phase. This erosion typically occurs on the outside of meander bends and is characterized by vertical banks with little to no riparian vegetation (H.T. Harvey and Associates 1992 5, PCI 2004 6). Often this bank erosion jeopardizes private property and structures.

Historic grazing practices and recent mainstem channel incision has caused destabilization of tributary channels. In the uplands, first and second order channels are undergoing headcutting and gully development, delivering fine sediment to Miller Creek during storm events. Visual assessments of instream sediment deposits indicate that there may be a higher than normal amount of fine sediment in the system, which leads to degraded instream habitat for fish and other species.
Habitat Types

The Miller Creek watershed is a mosaic of open ridge lands and grazing lands in the upper watershed, residential and limited commercial development along the narrow valley floor, and lower baylands. It is a relatively urbanized watershed but still supports a small population of steelhead, an important resource for the regional fishery. Some stretches of the creek still support somewhat healthy riparian plant communities. The lower marsh habitats represent some of the largest remaining tidally-influenced habitats in the bay region and support abundant waterfowl populations (Goals Project 1999 7)The Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District reclamation ponds adjacent to the marshes are one of the premier birding spots in Marin County. The Marin Countywide Plan (OS2.4) identifies Miller Creek as an important area for habitat connectivity providing continuous natural area through Miller Creek and Marinwood to the Bay.

The watershed is composed primarily of annual grasslands interspersed with oak-bay woodland and oak savanna in the upper watershed with patches of chaparral. The upper watershed is largely Marin County Open Space ridge lands and grazing lands. Historically, the upper watershed was heavily grazed and the riparian habitat is somewhat degraded. The most well-developed riparian plant communities occur west of Highway 101 near Miller Creek Middle School upstream towards Mt. Shasta Drive. Urban areas dominate the middle reaches of the watershed and the bulk of the population is concentrated along the narrow valley floor.

The lower reaches of the watershed east of Highway 101 support saltwater marsh and brackish-water marsh, both subject to tidal action. Freshwater seasonal wetlands occur in areas that were once historical baylands. These areas were diked off to provide agricultural land and now support oat hay production. The reclamation ponds created by Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District adjacent to tidal marshes in the lower watershed provide critical habitat for a number of bird species. This area boasts over 200 bird species and includes such sightings as golden eagle, ferruginous hawk, and rails. River otters are also known to frequent the area.

The St. Vincent’s School for Boys and Silveira Ranch are treasured parts of the Marin County landscape and provide critical habitat within the lower Miller Creek watershed. The site supports “oak woodlands, valley oak savanna, tidal and seasonal wetlands, historic diked tidelands, seeps and swales, the Miller Creek riparian corridor, and grassland” habitats (St. Vincent’s/Silveira Advisory Task Force 2000). Pacheco Ridge at the upper elevations of site supports intact native oak woodlands, an important habitat resource and community separator. The central location of the site provides habitat connectivity between “the Gallinas Creek watershed to the south, San Pablo Bay to the east, and Hamilton tidal marshes to the north” (St. Vincent’s/Silveira Advisory Task Force 2000).

Fish and Wildlife

The watershed supports a number of special-status plants and animals. Of particular interest are the occurrences of wetland-adapted species along the lower baylands. Noteworthy species include San Pablo song sparrow, California black rail, saltmarsh harvest mouse, and California clapper rail.

The Miller Creek watershed is also known to support 7 extant fish species (6 native and 1 introduced) and one extinct native species (Leidy 2007 8). Native species include California roach, steelhead, threepine stickleback, staghorn sculpin, prickly sculpin, and riffle sculpin. Common carp have also been introduced. Historically, the watershed supported native Sacramento sucker.

Steelhead have been observed within the Miller Creek watershed as recently as 2006.

There are no reported occurrences of federally-listed as threatened and California Species of Special Concern California red-legged frog within the watershed (CDFG 2008 9).

Heron and egret nesting colonies have been monitored by Audubon Canyon Ranch since the early 1990s (Kelly, et al., 2006). There are active nest colonies on shrub-covered islands at Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District plant at the east end of Smith Ranch Road. Black-crowned night-heron, snowy egret, and great egret have been observed nesting on the islands. Nests are in low-growing (1 meter) shrubs (Condenso, personal communication, May 15, 2008; Kelly, et al., 2006 10).

In addition, the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District reclamation ponds support over 200 bird species.

Human Habitation and Land Use

Current land use

In 1960, Marinwood, Miller Creek, and associated communities organized a community services district responsible for fire protection, parks and recreation, street lighting and open space. The Marinwood Community Services District now owns 812 acres of open space in the watershed including part of the ridge between the Miller Creek watershed and Novato. The developed area of the watershed fills the valley, with large portions of the ridges in Marin County Open Space District ownership and the balance held in private ranches. 13% of the watershed is incorporated areas.

The Marin County Open Space District, City of San Rafael, and Marinwood Community Services District also own substantive portions of the Miller Creek riparian area.

Marin County has identified the Marinwood Shopping Center as a potential site for community-based planning creating workforce housing within the City-Center corridor in mixed-use development. The Countywide Plan calls for 50-100 units in this area, as per the Marinwood Plaza Conceptual Master Plan.

1 Land & Water Management for Upper Miller Creek and Environs

2 Post project evaluation, Miller Creek, California: assessment of stream bed morphology, and recommendations for future study

3 Miller Creek Restoration Feasability Study Calfed Proposal 1997 category III

4 St. Vincent's/Silveira Advisory Task Force Recommendations

5 Channel Stabilization and Restoration Design for Two Sites on Miller Creek Marinwood CSD Reach, San Rafael, CA

6 Summary of channel assessment and design for Miller Creek Lassen-Shasta Reach (aka Darwin Reach)

7 Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals: A Report of Habitat Recommendations

8 Robert A. Leidy, Ecology, Assemblage Structure, Distribution & Status of Fishes in Streams Tributary to the San Francisco Estuary

9 California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). 2008. California Natural Diversity Database. California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA.

10 Annotated Atlas and Implications for the Conservation of Heron and Egret Nesting Colonies in the San Francisco Bay Area



Land Use


Large detailed versions of
these maps are available
in the Resources section.

A Generation plans an exodus from California

A Generation plans an exodus from California

Is it time to pack up and head East? Some small companies in Southern California are moving logistics operations to Texas and other neighboring states to reduce overhead. (iStockphoto)

By JOEL KOTKIN and WENDELL COX | Orange County Register
PUBLISHED: September 8, 2018 at 5:30 pm | UPDATED: September 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

California is the great role model for America, particularly if you read the Eastern press. Yet few boosters have yet to confront the fact that the state is continuing to hemorrhage people at a higher rate, with particular losses among the family-formation age demographic critical to California’s future.

Since the recovery began in 2010, California’s net domestic out-migration, according to the American community survey, has almost tripled to 140,000 annually. Over that time, the state has lost half a million net migrants with the bulk of that coming from the Los Angeles-Orange County area.

In contrast, during the first years of the decade the Bay Area, particularly San Francisco, enjoyed a renaissance of in-migration, something not seen since before 2000. But that is changing. A recent Redfin report suggests that the Bay Area, the focal point of California’s boom, now leads the country in outbound home searches, which could suggest a further worsening of the trend.

Who’s leaving?

One of the perennial debates about migration, particularly in California, is the nature of the outmigration. The state’s boosters, and the administration itself, like to talk as if California is simply giving itself an enema — expelling its waste — while making itself an irresistible beacon to the “best and brightest.”

The reality, however, is more complicated than that. An analysis of IRS data from 2015-16, the latest available, shows that while roughly half those leaving the state made under $50,000 annually, half made above that. Roughly one in four made over $100,000 and another quarter earned a middle-class paycheck between $50,000 and $100,000. We also lose among the wealthiest segment, the people best able to withstand California’s costs, but by much smaller percentages.

The key issue for California, however, lies with the exodus of people around child-bearing years. The largest group leaving the state — some 28 percent — is 35 to 44, the prime ages for families. Another third come from those 26 to 34 and 45 to 54, also often the age of parents.

The key: Too expensive housing, not enough high-wage jobs

Our analysis? California is in danger of pricing itself out for moderate wage earners, and particularly families. Taxes, poor educational performance, congestion and signs of slowing growth are no doubt contributing factors. But the big enchilada in California — by far the largest source of distortion in living costs — is housing. Over 90 percent of the difference in costs between California’s coastal metropolises and the country derives from housing. Coastal California is affordable for roughly 15 percent of residents, down from 30 percent in 2000 and 30 percent in the interior, from nearly 60 percent in 2000. In the country as a whole, affordability hovers at roughly 60 percent.

High housing prices hurt most young, middle-class and aspiring, often minority, working-class families. California’s prices are particularly bloated, over 161 percent higher, in comparison with national averages, in the lower-end “starter home” category. In Los Angeles and the Bay Area, a monthly mortgage takes, on average, close to 40 percent of income, compared to 15 percent nationally

Over time these factors — along with prospects of reduced immigration — will impact severely the state’s future. California is already seeing its population aged 6 to 17 decline. This reflects a continued drop in fertility in comparison to less regulated, and less costly, states such as Utah, Texas and Tennessee. These areas are generally those experiencing the biggest surge in millennial populations.

Progressive or regressive?

Today even some of the state’s determined progressives understand that taking the “California model” national seems implausible when significant numbers of Californians are headed in large numbers to red Texas or purple Las Vegas. Californians are not fooled; a recent USC Downside/Los Angeles Times poll found that 17 percent believe the state’s current generation is doing better than previous ones. More than 50 percent thought younger Californians were doing worse.

The old folks are not the ones most alienated. A survey by the UCLA Luskin School suggests that 18-to-29-year-olds are the least satisfied with life in Los Angeles while seniors were most positive. In the Bay Area, according to ULI, 74 percent of millennials are considering an exodus. It appears paying high prices to live permanently as renters in dense, small apartments — the lifestyle most promoted by planners, the media and the state — may not be as attractive as advertised.

California’s media and political elites like to bask in the mirror and praise their political correctness. They focus on passing laws about banning straws, the makeup of corporate boards, prohibiting advertising for unenlightened fundamentalist preaching or staging a non-stop, largely ineffective climate change passion play. Yet what our state really needs are leaders interested in addressing more basic issues such as middle-class jobs and affordable single-family housing.

The question is not how to handle a surge of new Californians, but how to prevent a greater exodus and perhaps even de-population. If that means replacing our current densification mantra with something that meets our demographic needs, so be it.

Joel Kotkin is the R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism ( Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, a St. Louis-based public policy firm, and was appointed to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Marinwood CSD meeting Dec 20, 2018

FABLE: The Country Bumpkin and the Hobgoblin

Folk Tale From Britanny - Title For The Country Bumpkin And The Hobgoblin

Behind the town of Morlaix there is a beautiful glen which shelters many fine farms where cattle are bred and corn is grown. Here, long ago, one of the largest of these farms was tenanted by a good man whose name was Jalm. His only child, Barbaik, was a girl whose beauty was the boast of the countryside. Her face was lovely as a June rose, and her figure had all the charm of glowing youth and grace. And she was considered the best dancer and the daintiest heiress in all that broad country.
On Sundays, when she went to St. Mathew's church, she wore an embroidered cap, and a kerchief with large flowers on it. And she had five skirts, worn one above the other. Some of the old wives shook their heads as she went by and asked if she had sold the black hen to Old Nick and had thus gotten by uncanny means both beauty and fine clothes.

But Barbaik, who really was rather vain, cared nothing for what they said so long as she knew that she was the best dressed girl in the parish and the one after whom the lads ran. For that is what always happens. The hearts of young men are like wisps of straw hanging on a bush, and the beauty of maids is like the wind that carries them along in its train.

Among Barbaik's suitors there was one who loved her more than all the others. He was her father's farm hand, Jegu, a steadfast and upright Christian. But, alas, he was as rough as a Northerner and as ugly as a tailor. Barbaik would not listen to him in spite of all his merits. She always laughed and spoke of him as "the country bumpkin."
Folk Tale From Britanny - The Country Bumpkin And The Hobgoblin

But Jegu loved her with all his heart. He bore all her insults and allowed himself to be badly treated by the girl who made joy and grief for him.

Now one evening as he was bringing his horses back from the pasture he stopped at a quiet pool to let them drink. He stood near the smaller horse, his head fallen on his breast. From time to time he would heave a sigh, for he was thinking of Barbaik. Suddenly a voice spoke to him, seemingly coming from the reeds that grew by the edge of the pool.

"Jegu, why are you grieving so?" the voice inquired. "You are not done for yet."

How to buy a Politician

Friday, January 4, 2019

Leah Green violates Civil Rights with Fake Meeting Minutes

Leah Green violates the civil rights of citizens by approving false and misleading reports of the public record and refusing to correct them despite video documenting the actual meeting,  The Marinwood CSD minutes are manipulated to create a false public record and to propagandize the CSD.   Ms. Green was elected president by the CSD board unanimously (except for Jeff Naylor who was mysteriously not present) Green later  cryptically refers to Naylor as "not wanting to throw him under the bus".  The Marinwood CSD violates the laws of transparency and government accountability virtually every month and may have violated  laws that could result in severe criminal penalties.

Marinwood fails to distribute Employee Handbook to the Public as required by Law

Bill Shea suggests that the Marinwood CSD does not have to provide the Employee Handbook at the Marinwood CSD meeting "because we have been discussing this for years".   The public complained that it was not included with the meeting agenda.

The Marinwood CSD is in violation of public records disclosure and open meeting laws.

Latest data shows you can’t bring prices down by building more housing

Latest data shows you can’t bring prices down by building more housing

When prices soften, developers stop building. So that plan isn't going to work.
Dec. 29 story by the Chron’s real-estate reporter, J.K. Dineen, who knows the market as well as anyone in town, shows exactly why the Yimby agenda will never work in San Francisco. The story dropped in the middle of the week when news readership is the lowest of the year, so I’m not sure how many policymakers saw it. But it has critical imformation about the way housing markets really work.
Housing for all — or just market-rate housing for the rich?
To wit: Developers now think that the market for condos and apartments is “softening” – that is, it’s not rising as fast as it used to – so they aren’t planning to build any more, except at the very high end.
In other words, you can’t bring down housing costs by removing barriers to more market-rate housing – because as soon as those costs come down, the developers (and more important, the speculative investors who finance them) put their money somewhere else.
The median price of a single-family home in the city has fallen 15 percent from its peak of $1.7 million in February 2017, according to real estate brokerage Compass. While the median price of $1.44 million is still out of reach for most people, it’s enough to have a chilling effect.
“Nobody buys land and develops in a downward market,” Keighran said. “Our guys stopped buying sites a year and a half ago.”
That doesn’t mean there’s no market for housing in the city; it just that the only market that private developers want to build for right now is the ultra-luxury level.
While middle-market projects are stalled, towers at the higher end of the price spectrum are still feasible, he said.
“Everything that is going forward is falling above the $2,000 (per square foot) price point,” Garber said. Projects with a projected price of $1,300 or $1,400 per square foot are not worth it to developers, he said. “In the short term, we are not going to see a lot of those delivered.”
The market is “softening” – so to speak – for a lot of reasons, including increases in interest rates, which makes mortgages more expensive. Construction costs are still up, though – in part because land is still really, really expensive in SF. (And “softening” doesn’t even remotely mean that new housing is anything close to affordable for most residents.)
Why is land still so high? Because density drives up land values and prices. Whatever the Yimbys say about homeowners wanting to protect their equity by opposing upzoning, the reality is that in the vast majority of the city (maybe not St. Francis Wood, but most places) density just makes existing land more valuable. And a lot of land owners are more than happy to sit on parcels rather than sell them at reduced rates (which is why there are so many commercial vacancies in a booming market). 
At the ultra-luxury end, none of this matters, in part because those buyers don’t care about price; either they are so rich that the difference between a $2 million condo and a $5 million condo is irrelevant, or they are buying just as an investment, a place to park money, and they are never going to live here anyway.
So the model of the government getting out of the way and allowing the private market to work its magic by the old rules of supply and demand isn’t working, hasn’t worked, and won’t work. It can’t – unless we fundamentally change the rules of the speculative late-state Capitalism urban housing market. SEE 48 HILLS