Saturday, August 31, 2019

Bay Area Exodus.

Bay Area exodus: Thousands more fleeing region than arriving from other states

Even with its lucrative tech jobs and some of the best weather in the country, thousands more people have fled the Bay Area’s high housing costs and jammed roads than have moved into the region from other parts of the United States in recent years.

According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the five-county Bay Area lost a net total of nearly 35,400 people between 2013-17, not counting births and new arrivals from other countries.

“It is a troubling sign of the affordability crisis of the region,” said Jeff Bellisario, director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

But, Bellisario said, when factoring in international immigration, there are still more people arriving than leaving. According to the state’s Department of Finance, he noted, some 44,729 people immigrated from other countries to the region between July 2017 and July 2018.

And while Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a business advocacy group, thinks the Bay Area is fortunate to attract talented immigrants, he’s also concerned by the data.

“All too often,” Guardino said, “we’re seeing folks like me, who were born and raised here, who simply want to be able to have a home at least somewhat close to where we work, leave.”

According to the latest Silicon Valley Index, a report from Joint Venture Silicon Valley that examined tech sector migration trends, some 30 percent of tech talent aged 25-44 who moved to Santa Clara County in 2017 came from outside California, with many coming from other countries like India and China.

For Rachel Massaro, vice president and director of research with Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, the data raises concerns about the Bay Area’s education system and untapped potential.

“Not only are we not educating people here well enough to compete for those high-level jobs,” Massaro said, “but we’re also especially not educating women well enough in those particular fields of need in Silicon Valley.”

Alameda County saw the most outward migration, with almost 13,000 more people leaving than arriving, according to the new census data. Santa Clara County came in second, bleeding a total of almost 8,200 people. San Francisco saw the lowest net losses at just 1,385 people over those five years.

As in the past, Texas and Oregon remained popular locations for those leaving the Bay Area, according to the data released this week. A net total of more than 4,000 people moved to the Lone Star State, while more than 3,600 decamped to Oregon. Nevada, Washington and Arizona were popular choices, as were Idaho, Tennessee and North Carolina.

A poll conducted earlier this year for this news organization and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group found that 44 percent of those surveyed said they were likely to move away from the Bay Area within a few years, pointing to housing and living costs as key factors prompting them to leave.

“We are hollowing out our middle class,” Guardino said.

While local home prices began softening in March after seven years of rising prices, the Bay Area remains among the priciest housing markets in the country, with median home prices above $1 million in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Still, even as thousands of Bay Area residents pack up and head out, thousands of people move in. New Yorkers, especially, still find the Bay Area attractive, with a net total of more than 3,600 people moving from the Empire State to the Bay Area. People from Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and elsewhere were also still moving to the Bay Area in significant numbers.

When higher-skilled, higher-paid workers from such places move in and lower-wage workers move away, Bellisario said, “that adds to some of the income inequality we have across the region here.”

People also relocated within the Bay Area.

People from San Francisco County were most likely to move to Alameda County, home to Oakland.

Residents of Alameda County were most likely to go to Contra Costa County, with residents of that county unlikely to relocate within the Bay Area and more likely to head for cheaper parts of California or other states like Texas, Nevada and Washington.

Many people, Massaro and Bellisario said, are choosing San Joaquin County and Sacramento.

Residents of San Mateo County were more likely to move to the East Bay than to San Francisco or the South Bay, while Santa Clara County residents moved to all four of the other Bay Area counties.

According to the Silicon Valley Index, many local tech workers are heading to other burgeoning tech centers like Austin and Portland. Seven percent of the new tech talent that moved to Seattle in 2017 came from California, according to the report.

Guardino is not surprised.

While the Bay Area is still attractive to companies because of its talent pool, fed in part by world-class universities, the housing shortage and traffic are its “Achilles’ heel,” he said. Competitor regions, he added “are growing stronger because of these issues.”

Friday, August 30, 2019

Marinwood Parks and Rec Commission 8/27/2019

Marinwood CSD threatens citizens with ARREST while COVERING UP Sex Assault against minor

Marinwood CSD has serious problems.  Here is an example of legal intimidation by the Marinwood CSD.  Keep in mind this is the same board that covered up the armed assault of minor in the very same building.  Not until the news story did they issue a public statement.  Even more damning, they did nothing to improve safety.  The public was subjected to police intimidation for months while REAL CRIME was hidden from public view.  It calls for futher inquiry and removal of people from positions of responsibility.

On April 6, 2019, a 19 year old male pointed a stolen gun at the head of 16 year old girl and demanded sex during a party at the Rec Center. He claimed he was drunk and the sixteen year old was "sexual aggressor".  Fortunately, the girl ran into the woman's restroom and called for help.  The Marin Sheriff was called and the perpetrator was arrested. See more about this in the Marin IJ HERE

The public did not learn of the crime until August 25, 2019 because the Marinwood CSD covered it up and did nothing to improve public safety.

It is outrageous.

The "police protection" of the Marinwood CSD Board lasted several more months until June 2019 when Isabela Perry claimed that she "felt threatened" by the public.

THIS IS TWO MONTHS AFTER the Armed Sex Assault.   Notice that ALL of the CSD is playing this juvenile power game of intimidation while completely ignoring their legitimate concerns of safety of our children in the Recreation Center.

Arrest Information for Marinwood Sex Criminal on April 7, 2019

Arrest Information for Jordan Adelso Escobar Perez

Arrest NameJordan Adelso Escobar Perez
City, StateSan Rafael, CA
Arrest DateApril 7, 2019
County of ArrestMarin
SourceMarin County Sheriff
Arrested For148(A)(1) - Resist / Obstruct / Delay Peace Officer
243.4(A) - Sexual Battery With Restraint
245(A)(2) - Assault With Firearm On Person
417(A)(2) - Exhibit Firearm
496 - Receive/Etc Known Stolen Property Over $200
647.6(A) - Child Molesting
25400(A)(2) - Carry Concealed Firearm Upon Person - Pistol / Revolver / Other Firearm

The Marinwood CSD Board and staff knew of this crime since the date of arrest on April 7, 2019 but kept it secret until the public found out about it in the Marin IJ on August 25, 2019.  They have done nothing to address the legitimate safety concerns for literally thousands of people who use the park each year.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Opinion: Gavin Newsom tells Southern California NIMBYs to expect new housing in their backyards

Opinion: Gavin Newsom tells Southern California NIMBYs to expect new housing in their backyards

Construction in downtown Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times )
AUG. 23, 2019
1:33 PM

Gov. Newsom has talked a good game about housing in California. He said he wants to build 3.5 million units by 2025 to end the housing shortage. He said he wants to yank transportation funding from cities that refused to build enough housing to meet their communities’ needs.

But the real question was whether the governor would stand firm when faced with the inevitable slow-growth, anti-development pushback from local governments.

This week, he did.

His administration decided that cities and counties in Southern California will have to plan for the construction of 1.3 million new homes in the next decade, Times reporter Liam Dillon reported Thursday. That number is more than three times larger than what local elected officials had wanted to commit to.

By overruling Southern California leaders’ recommended construction target, Newsom made clear that his administration is going to be far more aggressive in requiring cities and counties to make room for new housing.

The housing target set by the Department of Housing and Community Development is required under the state’s “fair-share” housing law, which instructs cities and counties to plan and zone every eight years for enough development to house their proportion of the state’s growing population. Cities aren’t required to build the homes — that’s up to the private sector — but they have to plan and zone for them.

For decades, some local governments have looked for ways to shirk that responsibility, bending to complaints from NIMBY groups that want to minimize traffic, discourage development and preserve the region’s low-slung suburban character. That’s one reason California is in a deep housing shortage that is fueling poverty, displacement and homelessness.

At the heart of the “fair share” process is the estimate each community makes for how much housing it needs. A higher number means cities have to zone for more housing, factoring in the need for affordable units as well as market-rate ones.

In June, the board of the Southern California Assn. of Governments, which is composed of city and county elected officials from across the region, voted for the woefully low number of 430,000 homes by 2029. Housing advocates and some regional leaders, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, complained that such a low-ball target wasn’t enough to help ease the housing shortage that is driving up rents and housing prices.

The Newsom administration heeded those complaints and, fortunately, the state sets the target. And although 1.3 million new homes in Southern California between 2021 and 2029 is an ambitious target, it’s still less than some advocates and experts say is necessary.

That works out to about 162,000 new units a year across the SCAG region, which is home to half the state’s population. The entire state of California has averaged only 80,000 new homes a year over the last decade. But state law demands an ambitious target both to address the existing shortage created by decades of insufficient construction and to meet the needs of the growing population.

By the way, the fight over the region’s total housing-need number is probably nothing compared to the coming battle royal over how to divvy up that number. SCAG is now developing the methodology to assign cities their fair-share allocation, including how many affordable homes they need to plan for. Cities will then be required to identify properties that could accommodate such housing developments.

Housing advocates are pushing SCAG to assign most of the new housing to coastal urban centers, where there are jobs and more extensive transit systems — and where housing costs have skyrocketed. These are also the areas that tend to fight density and new development most vociferously.

All of this is probably going to intensify the fight in Sacramento between state lawmakers who want to push cities to approve more home construction and city and county elected leaders who don’t want to cede any local control over housing decisions.

Local officials may not have been paying close attention two years ago when state lawmakers began passing bills to add teeth to the fair-share housing law. They’re paying attention now. But they’ve got to contend with a governor who is increasingly pushing cities to say, “Yes in my backyard.”

Editor's Note:  Let these writers and housing activists call us NIMBYs.  Anyone drive in downtown San Francsico, Sacramento, Los Angeles or San Diego recently?  Let these writer's tell us that we are to blame for the homeless crisis.  Let THEM defend their policy solutions with FACTS. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Why no questions concerning the Marinwood Sex Assault?

My Letter to the Marin IJ Editor, Jenn Schwartz:

I was shocked to learn about the armed sexual assault that occured in the Marinwood Community Center against a juvenile in April 2019. (Marin IJ 8/25/19) Thankfully, the 19 year old perpetrator was caught and sentenced and the 16 year old girl is safe.   

Unfortunately there was no news of this crime when it happened and Marinwood CSD did not inform the community.  It is too bad because there are lessons to be learned and safety steps that can be taken.

First, the 16 year old victim deserves to be recognized for her bravery and swift action to protect herself and calling for help.  That is an inspiration for all of us who suddenly find ourselves in a situation beyond our control.

Second, apparently they victim only knew the first name of her "date" via the Internet.  This was very unwise and is a cautionary tale for everyone on social media.  They were in a public place but it could have really gone wrong had they met elsewhere.

Third, the perpetrator claimed he was drunk and blamed the victim. While this is a typical defense, the real issue is the lack of security at Marinwood Community Center events where alcohol is served.  The Marinwood CSD puts on many events like the beer festival and there is no uniformed officers present.  This is a recipe for disaster. The ONLY uniformed police presence I have seen in Marinwood has been at CSD meetings where they intimitate the public in attendence who dare criticise the CSD.

The Marinwood CSD has kept this shocking sex assault quiet for months and has done nothing to improve security at alcohol fueled events. We need to know our public spaces are safe and teach our children about the dangers of Internet encounters. This story ends well but the lessons should never be forgotten.

Stephen  Nestel
Former Marinwood Parks and Recreation Commissioner
Marinwood, CA

See the Marin IJ story on the Marinwood Sex Assault  HERE

Monday, August 26, 2019

Marinwood CSD covers up Sex crime in Marinwood Center

Marinwood sex crime suspect sentenced for gun charge

By GARY KLIEN | | Marin Independent Journal

PUBLISHED: August 25, 2019 at 11:43 am | UPDATED: August 25, 2019 at 12:25 pm

A man accused of threatening a teenage girl with a gun during a sexual attack in Marinwood was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Jordan Adelso Escobar Perez, 19, of San Rafael was arrested in April during a party at the Marinwood Community Center. He and the 16-year-old victim were both guests at the party.

The victim told investigators that a party guest forced himself on her and pointed a gun at her head, according to a case summary filed by the probation department. Eventually she was able to escape by locking herself in a bathroom and calling her mother.

The victim, who only knew the suspect through social media, was able to provide sheriff’s deputies with his first name. Deputies found the suspect at the party and identified him as Escobar. He initially struggled with deputies and had a Glock handgun in his jacket.

Escobar admitted he brandished the unloaded gun but described the girl as the sexual aggressor, according to the probation report. He also said he was intoxicated at the party.

The Marin County District Attorney’s Office charged Escobar with counts that included carrying a stolen firearm, resisting arrest, sexual battery and false imprisonment. Escobar accepted a plea offer and admitted to the felony gun charge and the misdemeanor resisting charge, and the other counts were dismissed.

The plea bargain called for the 120-day jail sentence and five years of probation. Judge Geoffrey Howard sentenced Escobar on Thursday.

“Mr. Escobar is gainfully employed and is taking the case seriously,” said his public defender, Tamara York. “He looks forward to making the best of his probation and using the resources to continue to better his life.”

Editor's Note:

Why are we just learning of this today? Did the Marinwood CSD inform their residents of this serious crime?

According to court records the case was filed on April 10, 2019. The crime likely occured around April 6th. Why did the Marinwood CSD hide this from the public?

And you thought NextDoor is bad.

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system

In China, scoring citizens’ behavior is official government policy. U.S. companies are increasingly doing something similar, outside the law.

Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system

[Images: Rawf8/iStock; zhudifeng/iStock]

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.
In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.
It can also award points for charitable donations or even taking one’s own parents to the doctor.
Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.
China’s social credit system has been characterized in one pithy tweet as “authoritarianism, gamified.”

At present, some parts of the social credit system are in force nationwide and others are local and limited (there are 40 or so pilot projects operated by local governments and at least six run by tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent).
Beijing maintains two nationwide lists, called the blacklist and the red list—the former consisting of people who have transgressed, and the latter people who have stayed out of trouble (a “red list” is the Communist version of a white list.) These lists are publicly searchable on a government website called China Credit.
The Chinese government also shares lists with technology platforms. So, for example, if someone criticizes the government on Weibo, their kids might be ineligible for acceptance to an elite school.
Public shaming is also part of China’s social credit system. Pictures of blacklisted people in one city were shown between videos on TikTok in a trial, and the addresses of blacklisted citizens were shown on a map on WeChat.
Some Western press reports imply that the Chinese populace is suffocating in a nationwide Skinner box of oppressive behavioral modification. But some Chinese are unaware that it even exists. And many others actually like the idea. One survey found that 80% of Chinese citizens surveyed either somewhat or strongly approve of social credit system.


Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.
Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.


The New York State Department of Financial Services announced earlier this year that life insurance companies can base premiums on what they find in your social media posts. That Instagram pic showing you teasing a grizzly bear at Yellowstone with a martini in one hand, a bucket of cheese fries in the other, and a cigarette in your mouth, could cost you. On the other hand, a Facebook post showing you doing yoga might save you money. (Insurance companies have to demonstrate that social media evidence points to risk, and not be based on discrimination of any kind—they can’t use social posts to alter premiums based on race or disability, for example.)
The use of social media is an extension of the lifestyle questions typically asked when applying for life insurance, such as questions about whether you engage in rock climbing or other adventure sports. Saying “no,” but then posting pictures of yourself free-soloing El Capitan, could count as a “yes.”


A company called PatronScan sells three products—kiosk, desktop, and handheld systems—designed to help bar and restaurant owners manage customers. PatronScan is a subsidiary of the Canadian software company Servall Biometrics, and its products are now on sale in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
PatronScan helps spot fake IDs—and troublemakers. When customers arrive at a PatronScan-using bar, their ID is scanned. The company maintains a list of objectionable customers designed to protect venues from people previously removed for “fighting, sexual assault, drugs, theft, and other bad behavior,” according to its website. A “public” list is shared among all PatronScan customers. So someone who’s banned by one bar in the U.S. is potentially banned by all the bars in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada that use the PatronScan system for up to a year. (PatronScan Australia keeps a separate system.)
Judgment about what kind of behavior qualifies for inclusion on a PatronScan list is up to the bar owners and managers. Individual bar owners can ignore the ban, if they like. Data on non-offending customers is deleted in 90 days or less. Also: PatronScan enables bars to keep a “private” list that is not shared with other bars, but on which bad customers can be kept for up to five years.
PatronScan does have an “appeals” process, but it’s up to the company to grant or deny those appeals.


Thanks to the sharing economy, the options for travel have been extended far beyond taxis and hotels. Uber and Airbnb are leaders in providing transportation and accommodation for travelers. But there are many similar ride-sharing and peer-to-peer accommodations companies providing similar services.
Airbnb—a major provider of travel accommodation and tourist activities—bragged in March that it now has more than 6 million listings in its system. That’s why a ban from Airbnb can limit travel options.
Airbnb can disable your account for life for any reason it chooses, and it reserves the right to not tell you the reason. The company’s canned message includes the assertion that “This decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts. Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation for the action taken against your account.” The ban can be based on something the host privately tells Airbnb about something they believe you did while staying at their property. Airbnb’s competitors have similar policies.
It’s now easy to get banned by Uber, too. Whenever you get out of the car after an Uber ride, the app invites you to rate the driver. What many passengers don’t know is that the driver now also gets an invitation to rate you. Under a new policy announced in May: If your average rating is “significantly below average,” Uber will ban you from the service.


You can be banned from communications apps, too. For example, you can be banned on WhatsApp if too many other users block you. You can also get banned for sending spam, threatening messages, trying to hack or reverse-engineer the WhatsApp app, or using the service with an unauthorized app.
WhatsApp is small potatoes in the United States. But in much of the world, it’s the main form of electronic communication. Not being allowed to use WhatsApp in some countries is as punishing as not being allowed to use the telephone system in America.


Nobody likes antisocial, violent, rude, unhealthy, reckless, selfish, or deadbeat behavior. What’s wrong with using new technology to encourage everyone to behave?
The most disturbing attribute of a social credit system is not that it’s invasive, but that it’s extralegal. Crimes are punished outside the legal system, which means no presumption of innocence, no legal representation, no judge, no jury, and often no appeal. In other words, it’s an alternative legal system where the accused have fewer rights.
Social credit systems are an end-run around the pesky complications of the legal system. Unlike China’s government policy, the social credit system emerging in the U.S. is enforced by private companies. If the public objects to how these laws are enforced, it can’t elect new rule-makers.
An increasing number of societal “privileges” related to transportation, accommodations, communications, and the rates we pay for services (like insurance) are either controlled by technology companies or affected by how we use technology services. And Silicon Valley’s rules for being allowed to use their services are getting stricter.
If current trends hold, it’s possible that in the future a majority of misdemeanors and even some felonies will be punished not by Washington, D.C., but by Silicon Valley. It’s a slippery slope away from democracy and toward corporatocracy.
In other words, in the future, law enforcement may be determined less by the Constitution and legal code, and more by end-user license agreements.

The Seekers

Sunday, August 25, 2019


A WILD BOAR was sharpening his tusks busily against the stump of a tree, when a Fox happened by. Now the Fox was always looking for a chance to make fun of his neighbors. So he made a great show of looking anxiously about, as if in fear of some hidden enemy. But the Boar kept right on with his work.

"Why are you doing that?" asked the Fox at last with a grin. "There isn't any danger that I can see.

"True enough," replied the Boar, "but when danger does come there will not be time for such work as this. My weapons will have to be ready for use then, or I shall suffer for it."

Preparedness for war is the best guarantee of peace.

Jazz Sunday morning.