Saturday, April 27, 2019

Golden Gate Transit considers axing Marin bus routes

Golden Gate Transit considers axing Marin bus routes

The Route 38 Golden Gate Transit bus to Terra Linda crosses the Golden Gate Bridge near Sausalito in 2014. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

PUBLISHED: April 26, 2019 at 4:06 pm | UPDATED: April 26, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Golden Gate Transit bus routes serving Lucas Valley, Marinwood and Sleepy Hollow commuters may be axed for low ridership but nearby routes would see faster, more frequent service, transportation officials said.

The Golden Gate Bridge district board voted unanimously Friday to hold a public hearing in June on whether to cut the Route 44 bus route and the Sleepy Holly section of Route 27.

Supervisor Kate Sears, who serves on the bridge district board, said the district has yet to receive any public input on the proposal, prompting the need for a public hearing. The hearing is set for 9 a.m. June 20 in the bridge district’s board room at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza Administration Building in San Francisco.

“Some of the proposed modifications should benefit the public as they increase the frequency of transit,” Sears said in a statement. “Other proposals change routes and transit availability somewhat, and that’s what I really want to hear from the public about.”

Route 44, which runs from Marinwood to San Francisco, has failed to meet the district’s 20-passenger-per-trip standard. The route averages about 16 passengers per trip, making it one of the “lowest performing routes in the system,” according to the district.

The district is suggesting Route 44 riders who board along Highway 101 could use Route 58 instead. For those who board Route 44 buses in the Lucas Valley and Marinwood areas, the district is proposing riders take Route 38 buses in Terra Linda.

If Route 44 is eliminated, the district proposes to bolster existing routes by boosting frequency and adding express routes. The four buses on Route 44 would be reassigned to these upgraded routes, according to bridge district spokeswoman Priya Clemens.
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The morning and evening Route 27 trips between Sleepy Hollow and the Hub in San Anselmo were previously on the chopping block in December 2016, but were kept in place after community outcry.

“However, no new ridership has materialized in the intervening period, and the one morning and one evening trip in Sleepy Hollow continue to average just three passengers,” the district staff report states.

These aren’t the first routes that faced cuts because of low ridership in recent months. Earlier this year, the district board voted to end the relatively new Route 41 shuttle bus because of poor ridership, averaging two riders per trip. The shuttle, which traveled nonstop from the Smith Ranch Road Park and Ride to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, ended in March. The run cost the district about $400,000 during its nine-month trial.

Public comments can be submitted by email to or by mail to the district secretary at Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, P.O. Box 9000, Presidio Station, San Francisco, 94129-0601.
Route changes

Golden Gate Transit is proposing various changes to its Marin bus routes. Proposed changes include:

Marinwood and Novato:
Discontinue Route 44 and extend Route 38 from Terra Linda to Marinwood along Las Gallinas Avenue and Miller Creek Road
Discontinue Route 38 service along Del Ganado Road in Terra Linda and shift it to service on Freitas Parkway at Montecillo Road.
Add a new afternoon Route 58 trip for Marinwood and Lucas Valley residents.
Increase Route 56’s span and frequency including adding an express route.
Shift Routes 54 and 54C along South Novato Boulevard and central Novato. Route 54 would serve Highway 101 bus pads south of Alameda del Prado.

See the full article in the Marin IJ HERE

Friday, April 26, 2019

MMWD is Raising Rates again. Full Meeting

SF Biz Times: no proof that TOD works

SF Biz Times: no proof that TOD works

Transit-oriented development has been a Bay Area buzzword for the last 15 years, heralded as the best weapon against the housing crisis, gridlocked traffic and widening sprawl.

Across the region, developers have pushed dozens of TOD projects into urban centers and far-flung suburbs alike, from Oakland’s Fruitvale Village to Walnut Creek. Meanwhile in Sacramento, the idea has grown legislative legs in proposals that would spur development near high-frequency transit stops.

“TOD is not only the rage, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Brian Fitzpatrick, real estate and property manager at SamTrans. “Get people closer to their jobs, get people closer to transit.”

It “just makes sense,” as AvalonBay senior vice president Nathan Hong put it.

But for all the chatter, a lack of comprehensive data about how Bay Area TOD projects have fared — in terms of transit use, traffic reduction or quality of life for residents — makes it difficult to keep transit-oriented development aligned to its lofty goals.

There’s minimal Bay Area-specific data to guide decisions about key issues like parking, amenities and transit access. Developers and planners are often left to follow their hunches.

“It’s interesting how much money we’ve put into TOD projects and encouraging them … but how little we really know about the success of them, and also how little strategy we have with TOD in the region,” said Tom Radulovich, executive director of nonprofit Livable City who served as a BART director from 1996 to 2016.

(Not) tracking success

The big-picture idea behind TOD is to get people out of their cars. Research has shown that people living near transit are about five times more likely to use it than the average commuter in the same city.

But no comprehensive data tells us how effective TOD sites have been at moving the needle in the Bay Area, said Kate White, planning leader for Arup and former state housing and environmental official. Instead, TOD studies are “piecemeal,” she said, spliced between the state’s 28 different transit agencies and often limited in scope.

Even collecting basic inventory of TOD projects can be difficult for staff-starved public agencies, said BART’s TOD program manager Abigail Thorne-Lyman. This year, BART has kicked off a study with UC Berkeley to survey residents’ transit patterns within a quarter-mile of its stations — for the first time since 2004.

“It’s really hard to monitor and collect this information, and it can take several years,” Thorne-Lyman said. “In terms of ‘does it work’ — do people actually take BART? — that requires tailored survey work that’s pretty resource-intensive.”

Some developers track anecdotal data about their own projects, but few with any consistency. AvalonBay Communities, for example, conducted a commuting survey at its 422-unit project in Walnut Creek in 2017, finding that about 42 percent of residents reported using BART daily.

But many outside studies about parking needs and desirable TOD amenities are already several years outdated by the time they’re published, said Hong of AvalonBay.

“It would definitely help if there was more parking usage data, for example, that tracked things year-over-year — it would help pick up a lot of information on how people live, travel, actually take transit,” Hong said.


AvalonBay Communities Sr. Development Director Jeff White, left, with Sr. Vice President Nathan Hong.


Creating a sense of place

Back when AvalonBay first started developing TOD projects in the early 2000s, some people questioned who would want to live with the constant disruption of transit, said Jeff White, senior development director. AvalonBay’s completed or in-progress TOD projects include 505 units at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station and 438 units at the Union City BART station.

But the market has borne out, in part because developers have taken wide-ranging approaches to designing welcoming TOD sites.

The Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland, for example, includes both affordable housing, ground-floor retail with offerings like a beignet shop and a bank, plus a preschool and community services. It’s been held up as a national model after a UCLA study found it helped to spur socio-economic improvements in the neighborhood without displacing Latino and black residents.

Equally important is the project’s genuine sense of place, said Chris Iglesias, CEO of Fruitvale’s nonprofit developer, the Unity Council, during a recent walk-through of the village. As trains sped by, a group of teenagers shared a smoke outside the beignet shop and preschool workers waved to passersby.

“It feels like a TOD that has a heart — it’s very much community folks and members hanging around, a lot of strollers,” Iglesias said.

That feeling can actually be measured through “quality of life” scores, Radulovich said, including walkability, the interconnectedness of streets and surrounding income levels. Most transit-oriented developers also push for open space and hangout nooks, which make residents feel at home, said John Eudy of longtime developer Essex Property Trust.

Of course, that doesn’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all standard, either. At Essex’s multi-phase Station Park Green project at San Mateo’s Hayward Park Caltrain Station, a rooftop hangout spot, a “zen garden” and a bocce ball court aim to attract a more suburban crowd.

The question still unanswered is how these different versions of placemaking perform overall, said Radulovich. In other words, while projects should serve their location and demographic, the Bay Area still needs “state of the union” data to advise decisions.

“The good news is that we know more than we did 20 years ago in terms of making good places,” Radulovich said. “The thing that seems lacking is gathering data around policies and practices in terms of both transit agencies, employers, owners of housing — and making sure all those practices are the best practices.”


“You couldn’t get a better location, we believe, than the Transbay area,” says Eudy of Essex Property Trust.


Lagging regulations

Whether it was a San Leandro project that took a decade to break ground or a Millbrae project already five years into negotiations, TOD is typically complicated, involving public agencies and private developers and taking years to come to fruition.

Not having up-to-date data and regulations makes it even harder, developers say. Case in point: When Panoramic Interests first proposed its 1,032-apartment project next to the West Oakland BART station, CEO Patrick Kennedy wanted just eight parking spaces on the site.

The city disagreed, and Kennedy compromised with 59 spots. Because “nobody knows” how much parking is the right amount, Fitzpatrick of SamTrans said, there’s wide variation in how up-to-date cities’ requirements are, and how aggressively they are enforced.

“The regulations lag quite a bit. You try not to build something obsolete on day one, but you have to comply with current regulations,” said Jeff White.

Both AvalonBay and Essex, for instance, have conceived ways to build parking garages that could be converted to new uses sometime in the future.

Despite those workarounds — and cities’ frequent reluctance to make radical decisions — developers and policymakers say the hunger for TOD is obvious: Residents actively look for units near transit. People are sick of traffic. And more than ever, the Bay Area needs homes.

“If we didn’t believe it’s working,” Eudy said, “we wouldn’t be developing next to transit stations.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

What is the difference between a petty cash fund and a slush fund?

petty cash fund is used for the minor, legitimate needs of an organization (e.g. a box of staples, bag of coffee). The contents are included in accounting records, receipts are collected, etc.
slush fund is money that is used for illegal or illegitimate purposes (bribes, for example) and is either kept off accounting records, or hidden or deliberately diverted into a mislabeled account
Marinwood CSD, Are you listening?

Here is how CSU Stanislau County handles Petty Cash. Marinwood CSD should adopt the same policy. Theft and abuse of petty cash is common in poorly managed organizations.  

A Russian Doctor plays funky guitar

(start at 3:30 for the music; this is a song whose melody he borrows, with acknowledgement, from Vladimir Vysotsky (1938–1980), who played the seven-string guitar, but Rosenbaum sets his own lyrics about work as an emergency doctor, and his phrasing and accents are quite different.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Noah Griffin welcomes new students to the former Dixie School District

Public Comments on the Dixie Name Change for April 2019

This is a fascinating document of the public debate on the Dixie School name change debate.  It really gives you a flavor of the debate on both sides.  It should be noted that the real issue was if the name "Dixie" is racist.  None of my neighbors have any association with the South or the Confederacy but simply associate it with education excellence.  After looking at the issue, I have concluded that it was an offensive to name the district "Dixie" in the midst of the Civil War in 1863 and we should find a new name for the future.  At no point do I think the "We are Dixie" group were racists and have been disappointed that the "Change the Name" people used bullying, intimidation and hyperbole to destroy the reputation of our community.
The only time a Confederate Flag was flown in Marinwood is when Noah Griffin posed for this photo to send out to the news media.

Marnie Glickman, could at one point be credited for raising the issue but ultimately condemned for allowing scorched earth tactics to effect change.  Even after the issue was settled, she sought more media attention in the UK Guardian by trumpeting her "victory".

We lost an important opportunity to learn about Marin County history from the Miwoks until the present day.  We will heal and I hope this episode does not discourage minorities from choosing our wonderful community in fear that we are still a "Confederate outpost".

Time will heal.

Noah Griffin (left) is seen in his "Straight Outta Tiburon" tee shirt.  Griffin is a wealthy political consultant who once worked for Speaker Nancy Pelosi  has extensive media ties.  The core strategy of the "Change the Name" people was to cast our community as racists in the international press until we succumbed to outside pressure. 
It worked but divided the community. 

A House Painter in L.A. talks about Illegal Immigration and its impact.

The Green New Deal's Bad Science

Mark P. Mills and James B. Meigs join John Stossel to discuss the Green New Deal, the limits of wind and solar power, and the “magical thinking” of an all-renewable energy future.
Countries around the world are embracing subsidies to expand the production of renewables, and environmentalists claim that we’re on the cusp of a tech-driven energy revolution that will make oil and gas obsolete. Are they right?
Not likely. According to Meigs and Mills, improvements in wind and solar technology are reaching their theoretical limits. It would be virtually impossible to generate the amount of wind and solar power necessaryto replace the world’s oil and gas consumption. And yet, renewables enjoy strong political support, while nuclear technology, our best source of clean, reliable, and—yes—safe electricity, faces intense political opposition.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Marie Glickman receives International Press on the Dixie School name change

Dixie school district: why it took 22 years to change a name in liberal California

A moniker associated with the Confederacy is finally being eliminated after a decades-long battle over its origins

Vivian Ho in San Francisco

Sun 21 Apr 2019 02.00 EDTLast modified on Sun 21 Apr 2019 02.02 EDT

Marnie Glickman, second from left, and Kerry Peirson, right, pose at the Dixie Schoolhouse. Photograph: Courtesy Marnie Glickman.  Noah Griffin, Marin IJ columnist and one time aide to Willie Brown and Speaker Pelosi is seen on the left wearing the “Straight Outa Tiburon” tee shirt.  He is also seen below, dressed like a preacher, holding a Confederate flag.

The first record of someone in San Rafael raising an eyebrow at the name of the Dixie school district – whose name is synonymous with the Confederacy – dates back to 1863, a month after its founding and two years into the American civil war.

“It is supposed, by the ominous name, that the young ideas are here to be ‘trained how to shoot’ you,” wrote the Red Bluff Independent, in its 11 December edition.

More than 150 years later, the Dixie school district board in northern California has voted to change the name, after a hard-fought, 22-year battle that shook this affluent community located thousands of miles from the former Confederate states.

Against the backdrop of the national debate around Confederate monuments, the fight to change the district’s name turned particularly toxic, with racial slurs, accusations of antisemitism, a school board recall effort, and death threats.

Concerns over a name that evokes slavery and racism should have been clear-cut in Marin County, which touts its liberalism and where more than 77% voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Dolly Parton dropped the “Dixie” in her civil war-themed theater production, Dixie Stampede, in 2018. Disney changed the name of its Antebellum-themed resort, Dixie Landings, in 2001.

But at the heart of the matter in this county that is more than 85% white lies the interpretation of centuries-old documents, figures, and history itself – and, more importantly, the truths they tell about the community’s past.

“People wanted a nice story,” said Marnie Glickman, a Dixie School Board trustee who was a driving force behind the latest effort to change the name. “They wanted to believe that racism and the Confederacy couldn’t exist in Marin.”

We Are Dixie, the group that formed to oppose the name change and put up lawn signs calling to “Keep Dixie Dixie”, felt that changing the name besmirched the legacy of James Miller, the man who founded the school district.

“We believe James Miller was an amazing man, and they believe he was a racist who named the district after the Confederacy,” said a We Are Dixie representative who asked not to be named.

FacebookTwitterPinterest Kerry Peirson speaks at a school district meeting in a screen shot from video footage. Photograph: Jim Geraghtty/

The debate first came before the school board in 1997. “One day, I opened the local newspaper and read a story about the Dixie soccer team, which at the time was called the Dixie Stompers,” Kerry Peirson, a black man who moved to Marin county in 1982, said. “It was an immediate visceral image.”

Peirson contacted the superintendent at the time, who told him that Dixie was the name of the daughter of person who was superintendent in 1929. But the district and the old Dixie Schoolhouse had been named well before then – so Peirson began his own digging.

In a 1972 application to the National Park Service to get the Dixie Schoolhouse added to the National Registry of Historic Places, the Dixie Schoolhouse Foundation cited Frances Miller Leitz, the granddaughter of James Miller, as saying that her grandfather had named the school itself on a dare. During construction of the school in 1864, Marin county “was hotly pro-Northern, and the fact that several ‘gentlemen’ from the South helped construct the first schoolhouse prompted someone to dare James Miller to name the school ‘Dixie’,” the application reads.

This document doesn’t explain why James Miller chose to name the district Dixie in 1863, but in an oral history archived at the Marin County Library, James Miller’s great-great grandson, Lucien Miller, said James Miller was a Democrat. During the civil war era, southern Democrats favored slavery while the Republican party was the party of Abraham Lincoln.

FacebookTwitterPinterest A 1972 application to get the Dixie Schoolhouse added to the National Registry of Historical Places. Photograph: Screen shot/Squarespace

But opponents of the name change were doing research as well. They found a Miwok Native American woman named Mary Dixie, who lived 140 miles away in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Though James Miller sold cattle in the area where Mary Dixie lived in 1849, there is no record of the man ever meeting the woman they believe to be the school district’s namesake.

“Why is one story more believable than the other? Neither one has any proof,” the We Are Dixie representative said. “The granddaughter said it was named on a dare, but she was born after he died. It was family folklore.”

Those behind We Are Dixie don’t believe that James Miller or his family had Confederate sympathies, and they argue that changing the name will only serve to minimize his contributions.

For Glickman, the school board trustee who pushed for the name change, nothing better captured the crux of the whole fight than the fact that the opponents to the name change named their group We Are Dixie. She felt that they saw themselves as this name, as this place, as the founder, and that to call out the word’s Confederate and racist roots was akin to calling them racist.

At the very least, the fight unearthed something ugly in Marin county, and not just from the civil war era.

“I was the target of serious of antisemitism,” Glickman said. “I received death threats. All for saying that Dixie is a synonym for the Confederacy.”

To Peirson, a black man living in a county that is not even 3% black, this was nothing new. When he first brought the issue to the board in 1997, he was the only black person in the room.

“They were saying, ‘Go back to where you come from, you gorilla,’” he said. “That room turned into the Antebellum south. No one corrected the man who called me a gorilla. That atmosphere, I don’t know if I ever felt so scared in an institutional setting.”

And whether they choose to believe it or not, this mindset continues in Marin county to this day, Peirson said.

“Marin had one of the highest percentages of Obama voters in the state,” he said. “There are contradictions. It’s a different kind of bigotry. They like to project themselves as progressive and liberal, but they are blind to blatant racism.”

The We Are Dixie group maintains that it was the Change The Name team that deployed bullying tactics. All sides hope to move forward from the nastiness and find a new name before the start of the next school year.

A proposal to rename the school district after Mary Dixie, the Miwok woman who the We Are Dixie group believes the school district was originally named after, was rejected in an earlier effort.

(story credit: The Guardian )

Editor's Note: The only time a Confederate Flag has been seen in Marinwood is when Noah Griffin dressed as a preacher held one up for a press photo in March 2019. Disgusting. (photo credit: Marin IJ)

The One drop rule

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Nurse and the Wolf


"Be quiet now," said an old Nurse to a child sitting on her lap. "If you make that noise again I will throw you to the Wolf."

Now it chanced that a Wolf was passing close under the window as this was said. So he crouched down by the side of the house and waited.
"I am in good luck to-day," thought he. "It is sure to cry soon, and a daintier morsel I haven't had for many a long day."
So he waited, and he waited, and he waited, till at last the child began to cry, and the Wolf came forward before the window, and looked up to the Nurse, wagging his tail. But all the Nurse did was to shut down the window and call for help, and the dogs of the house came rushing out.
"Ah," said the Wolf as he galloped away,
Moral of Aesops Fable: Enemies promises were made to be broken.

Chuck Berry vs “the Boss” on America