Saturday, April 6, 2019

Stop SB 50

Marinwood Park Sinkhole grows and still no repair

If you are a regular walker in Marinwood Park, you noticed a sinkhole on the nature trail in late February after rainstorms.  It was much smaller then.  The CSD responded by putting up caution tape and hiring a geologist for advice.  $1700 later, he told Eric Driekosen, Marinwood CSD manager and Luke Fretwell, CSD that it was a sinkhole and how to fix it.  

That was over a month ago and still no repairs.

The sinkhole was probably due to buried trash, a decaying tree stump or a storm drain.  I saw old bottles in the hole and believe it was buried trash.  It is not the same type of sinkhole found in Florida from decaying limestone.  This sinkhole is of limited size and easily repaired with concrete and fill dirt.

Why doesn't the Marinwood CSD fix this?  Do they not know that kids ride and walk this way to school?   A child could be seriously injured playing in the hole.   Do they not care about the public safety?

The Marinwood CSD management team has NO EXPERIENCE managing landscaping crews nor do they have a sense of urgency for public safety.  This is why they ignore safety handrails for the western Quietwood walkpath entrance despite many requests over a four year period.

Instead, Eric Dreikosen, CSD Manager, is wasting his time with attempting to build the largest, most expensive maintenance facility in Marin County history, designed by former Marinwood CSD director, Bill Hansell.  The project aka "White Elephant"  will require 1 1/2 acres for the building grounds and access roads.  It is THREE TIMES the size of Marin County McInnis Park maintenance building.  It is a massive grift of the Marinwood community and must be stopped before they ruin our park and stick us with the bill.

The Marinwood sinkhole grows and no one is fixing it.

How to Repair Sinkholes in the Backyard

Written by Hana LaRock; Updated November 28, 2018
Sinkholes are the result of collapsing underground bedrock, leaving behind a hole. They occur in nature but also can be a result of humans cutting down trees and leaving rotting stumps behind, or because of buried construction debris. Sinkholes come in all sizes, causing safety hazards in your backyard, as people are likely to trip, twist an ankle or, in the case of larger holes, fall in. Because of these dangers, you should repair sinkholes as soon as you notice them. more HERE

Friday, April 5, 2019

SB50 and the destruction of cities

Disturbing a Public Meeting or Assembly

Disturbing a Public Meeting or Assembly

California Penal Code 403 PC

California Penal Code 403 PC provides that "Every person who, without authority of law, willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its guilty of a misdemeanor."

Here are examples of "disturbing a meeting" that would likely be prosecuted:
Protesting tuition hikes, a group of UC Berkeley students brings a "boombox" and blares loud music outside the chancellor's office during a meeting he's having with faculty
Protesters at a prayer vigil begin chanting loudly, making it impossible for the prayer services to go on

What About Freedom of Speech?

Penal Code 403 has the potential to infringe on peoples' First Amendment right to freedom of speech and freedom to assemble peacefully. It also gives law enforcement enormous power and discretion to decide that certain forms of protest are illegal.

Therefore courts have said that it's only the crime of disturbing a meeting if the defendant deliberately and substantially impairs the function of the meeting. Also, the nature of the disturbance must be in the defendant's behavior, not his message.

Whether it's a crime or a permissible exercise of free speech depends on what is customary for the type of meeting in question. As the California Supreme Court explained:
In applying these standards, the nature of a meeting necessarily plays a major role....The customs and usages at political conventions may countenance prolonged, raucous, boisterous demonstrations as an accepted element of the meeting process; similar behavior would violate the customs and usages of a church service. Audience participation may be enthusiastically welcomed at a bonfire football rally or an athletic contest, but considered taboo at a solemn ceremony of a fraternal order. Explicit rules governing the time and place of permitted nonviolent expressions...may in some circumstances fix the limits of permissible conduct.1

The California Jury Instruction for Penal Code 403 lays out what the three things the prosecution must prove if a case goes to trial:
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (disturbing/ [or] breaking up) a public meeting [in violation of Penal Code section 403].

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1 The defendant intentionally committed acts that violated (implicit customs or usages of/ [or] explicit rules for governing) a public meeting;

2 The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that (his/her) acts violated those (customs[,]/ [or] usages[,]/ [or] rules);


3 The defendant's acts substantially [and unlawfully] interfered with the conduct of the meeting.

You may not find the defendant guilty of this crime unless you find that the defendant's acts themselves, not the message or expressive content of the acts, substantially interfered with the conduct of the meeting.

[When deciding whether the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that (his/her) acts violated the (implicit customs or usages of/ [or] explicit rules for governing) the meeting, you may consider whether someone warned or requested the defendant to stop (his/her) activities.] 2
Penalties, Punishment and Sentencing for Disturbing
a Meeting

Penal Code 403 is a misdemeanor. As such, it carries a maximum sentence of up to six months in the county jail. However, judges have the discretion to grant summary (misdemeanor) probation with little or no actual jail time. The exact sentence in a given case depends on the circumstances of the offense and the defendant's prior criminal record, if any.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Marinwood CSD Park and Recreation Meeting 3/26/2019

TAM talk at Marin Coalition.

The State of Transportation in Marin”
Speaker: Dianne Steinhauser, Executive Director,
The Transportation Authority of Marin

Many Marin County residents cite increased traffic congestion, lack of public transportation alternatives and the failure to adequately maintain existing transportation infrastructure as major areas of concern. The ability forgovernment agencies to help address these issues is crucial to economic health and well-being of the County.

   What Fixes are Planned for Highway 37 and the Richmond Bridge”

Speaker: Nicholas Nguyen, Principal Project Manager

The Transportation Authority of Marin.

Highway 37 and the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge are two of the major roadways in which people travel into and out of Marin County. On a daily weekday, more than 40,000 vehicles use Highway 37 to travel to and from Marin from Sonoma, Napa and Solano Counites. By 2040 the number to expected to increase to 70,000. The Richmond/San Rafael Bridges accommodates 83,000 vehicles on a weekday traveling between Marin County in the East Bay and this number is also expected to grow in the future.

Nicholas Nguyen of the Transportation Authority of Marin will provide us with a presentation on the state of each of these roadways, what is being planned to address immediate issues and what options are being considered for the long term. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Oh No! Senate Bill 50 passes the CA Senate Housing Committee!

Oh No!  Senate Bill 50 passes the CA Senate Housing Committee! 

We are extremely disappointed to announce that Senate Bill 50 (Wiener) passed the California Senate Housing Committee today, with a 6 (Aye) to 1 (Nay) vote.  Four Senators (Senators Durazo, Umberg, Wieckowski, and McGuire) left the room and did not vote.   The only Senator that voted "Nay" was Senator Patricia Bates.  Senator Bates spoke at length about her career in South LA and other low income areas as a social worker and said that SB-50 would seriously augment gentrification and displacement of existing residents.

Here's the break down...

Senate Housing Committee Members and how they voted on Senate Bill 50:

Senator Scott D. Wiener (Chair): Aye
Senator Mike Morrell (Vice Chair): Aye
Senator Patricia C. Bates: Nay
Senator Anna M. Caballero: Aye
Senator Maria Elena Durazo: Didn't vote
Senator Mike McGuire: Didn't vote
Senator John M. W. Moorlach: Aye
Senator Richard D. Roth: Aye
Senator Nancy Skinner: Aye
Senator Thomas J. Umberg:  Didn't vote
Senator Bob Wieckowski:  Didn't vote

Moreover, the Senate Housing Committee also approved two other housing bills, SB-4 "Housing" and SB-5 "Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program", both of which were introduced by Senators McGuire and Beall.

SB-4, 5 ayes, 1 no
SB-5, 6 ayes, 1 no

SB-50 "Planning and Zoning; Housing Development: Incentives(Wiener) requires a local government to grant an equitable communities incentive, which reduces specified local zoning standards in “jobs-rich” and “transit rich areas,” as defined, when a development proponent meets specified requirements.  Click HERE to read the Senate Housing Committee Analysis of SB-50. (Click on 03/28/19 - Senate Housing)  Also, please scroll down to read a previous email we sent that gives a brief description of the bill.

SB-4 "Housing" (McGuire & Beall) creates a streamlined approval process for eligible projects within 1⁄2 mile of fixed rail or ferry terminals in cities of 50,000 residents or more in smaller counties and in all urban areas in counties with over a million residents. It also allows a streamlined approval process for duplexes and fourplexes, as specified, in residential areas on vacant, infill parcels.  Click HERE to read the Senate Housing Committee Analysis of SB-4. (Click on 03/28/19 - Senate Housing)

SB-5 "Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program" (McGuire & Beall) creates the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program, which funds affordable housing and housing-related infrastructure.. The bill establishes a replacement tool for redevelopment agencies through a state and local partnership funding mechanism to create affordable housing.  Please click HERE to read the Senate Housing Committee Analysis of SB-5. (Click on 03/28/19 - Senate Housing)

SB-50, SB-4, and SB-5 will continue to be refined and head to the CA Senate Governance and Finance Committee.  The Governance & Finance Committee will vote on the bills on April 24th.  Our representative, Senator Mike McGuire, is Chair of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

Members of the California Senate Governance and Finance Committee:

Website for the Senate Governance and Finance Committee:


We are focusing our opposition on SB-50, which is especially bad and a significant threat to local control, democracy, and public engagement. .  (Although, you may also want to oppose SB-4 at the same time you oppose SB-50.)  We have not really analyzed SB-5.  

Please do the following:

1. Contact Senator Mike McGuire, express your disappointment that he did not oppose SB-50 when the Housing Committee voted on the bill, and ask him to lobby against the bill as it progresses to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.  Office of Senator McGuire - Tel: (916) 651-4002, Email:

2. Write to your local representatives (Marin County Supervisors and City Council Members) and ask them to write letters of opposition to Senate Bill 50.  Marin County Board of Supervisors -  

3. Contact the other Senate Governance and Finance Committee Members and urge them to oppose SB-50. (Click on their names above for contact information)

Thank you in advance for taking action.  Together we can make a difference!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

My Working Class White Privilege

Students support Segregation

Contempt of the Common Man

Mary Jane Burke inserts herself in the Dixie Debate again

Marin superintendent prods Dixie board to move past turmoil

San Rafael police continue probe into trustee hate letter

By KERI BRENNER | | Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: April 1, 2019 at 5:15 pm | UPDATED: April 2, 2019 at 6:20 am

If the date Aug. 22, 2019, wasn’t emblazoned before in the minds of Dixie School District’s board of trustees, it is now, after Monday’s intense board workshop led by Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke.

That is the first day of school for 2019-20 school year, by which time the board, traumatized in recent days by staff losses and continued community uproar over the district name change issue, needs to regroup and build more trust, stability and optimism, Burke said. She handed out cards with the date printed on them to the trustees and the audience at a special meeting in north San Rafael.

Keri Brenner

Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools.

12:57 PM - Apr 1, 2019 · San Rafael, CA
See Keri Brenner's other Tweets

Twitter Ads info and privacy

“It is now an unsettled situation,” Burke said. “More than ever, it’s important that the board be in alignment. It’s not necessary that you all agree on everything, but it’s important that the people on the board are in alignment and that you are all able to work together.”

Burke was referring to last week’s surprise announcement about the resignation of Superintendent Jason Yamashiro, on the heels of the resignation of Assistant Superintendent Tracy Smith and vacant positions in information technology and in the business office.

Those changes come as the district community remains divided over the question of changing the name of the district and the board has been unable to focus on a clear path forward. In giving the trustees the date when school starts in the fall, Burke was reminding them that the top priority for them is to do the best they can for the district’s kids.

“I know for sure, I am not unclear about each of your purpose for being on the school board — and on this board in particular — and it’s for the children,” Burke told the board. “If in any way, I didn’t believe that, I would not be giving my time, support and energy at the level I am. I just want for us to get back to it — how do we find it again?”

Board President Brad Honsberger, who walked out of two recent five-hour-plus board meetings in apparent frustration after trustees failed to take any significant action forward, agreed with Burke.

“Our overarching goal has been a student focus, and I think we’ve completely lost that,” Honsberger, who has been on the board for 10 years, said Monday. See the full Article HERE

Editor's Note: For the second time in a week the Marin IJ has shut down comments on a Dixie story.  What an over the top reaction to a few trolls!  This issue has been even more contentious  than needed largely because of the one sided coverage of the extremists in this debate.  I think the Marin IJ could play a role here by encouraging more debate, even sponsoring forums to discuss the issue.  Why should the paper allow itself to be cowed by a few angry people?  They are not the majority.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Town Hall Meeting on SB-50 and the CASA compact

The Camel’s Nose Fable – “Setting Limits”

The Camel and the Arab
One day an Arab and his camel were crossing the desert. Night came and the temperature became colder. The Arab put up his tent and tied the camel to it. The Arab went to sleep.
The temperature became slightly colder and the camel asked the Arab if he (camel) could just put his nose in the tent to warm up. The Arab agreed that the camel could just put his nose in, because the tent was small and there was no room for 2. So the camel’s nose became warm and after a while the temperature went down even more.
The camel asked the Arab again, if he (camel) could just put his fore legs in because they were very cold. The Arab reluctantly agreed that the camel could only put his fore legs in and no more. So the camel moved in his fore legs and they became warm. After sometime the camel asked the Arab again that he had to put in his hind legs or else he won’t be able to make the journey the next morning with frozen legs. So the Arab agreed and once the camel moved his hind legs in, there was no more room in the tent for the Arab and the Arab was kicked out.