Friday, April 10, 2020

“No Essential Items to Consider” for Marinwood CSD?

Did we hear this right? The Marinwood CSD has “no essential items to consider” during a financial crisis?  Maybe they have no PUBLIC items they wish to discuss but there are plenty of items to discuss like the 2020 budget. Sorry, problems don’t simply disappear.

Sent to us at 5:15 pm April 10th, 2020:


On behalf of Marinwood CSD, we all hope this finds you and your loved ones managing through these challenging times as well as possible.

As there are currently no immediate and essential action items for the Board of Directors consideration, it has been decided that the board meeting originally scheduled for April 14, 2020 will be cancelled.  The next regular board meeting is scheduled for May 12, 2020.

In the meantime, we continue to work diligently while remaining committed to the District and the community.

Thank you,

Eric Dreikosen
District Manager

Mass layoffs at Yelp, Eventbrite show coronavirus’ damage to SF tech

Mass layoffs at Yelp, Eventbrite show coronavirus’ damage to SF tech

Roland Li April 9, 2020 Updated: April 9, 2020 5:15 p.m.

1of3Employees work at various spaces around the building at the Yelp headquarters in San Francisco in 2018.Photo: Amy Osborne / Special To The Chronicle 2018
2of3Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman poses at his company’s headquarters in San Francisco in 2014.Photo: Eric Risberg / Associated Press 2014
3of3Eventbrite Chairman Kevin Hartz, center, is welcomed by Specialist Peter Giacchi, left, as he and company CEO Julia Hartz, start Eventbrite's IPO process on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.Photo: Richard Drew / Associated Press 2018

The coronavirus is bruising San Francisco’s tech industry.

Yelp is laying off 1,000 workers and furloughing 1,100 more, roughly a third of its staff, the company said Thursday. Eventbrite laid off 450 employees, or nearly half of its workforce, on Wednesday.

Airbnb, which planned to go public this year, raised $1 billion this week as bookings have plunged worldwide. The company enacted a hiring freeze for most jobs and paused marketing in an effort to save $800 million this year, tech news website the Information reported last month.

The three companies, which are headquartered in the South of Market, are reliant on industries that have been devastated by the coronavirus: live events, retail, restaurants and travel. In contrast, major companies like Salesforce and Google are still hiring rapidly and donating millions of dollars for aid.

Smaller companies are more vulnerable to an economic downturn and other challenges from coronavirus compared to the tech giants, Colin Yasukochi, executive director of brokerage CBRE’s Tech Insights Center, previously told The Chronicle. More economic pain could widen the gap between the biggest tech companies and startups that are struggling.

Shelter-in-place orders have shuttered most small businesses in the Bay Area and around the world, which has badly hurt Yelp.

“Yelp connects people with these great local businesses, and as their worlds have been turned upside down, these businesses are understandably forced to pause or reduce spending on the products and services that Yelp provides,” Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote in an internal company email Thursday. “To help Yelp get through this period of great uncertainty, we have had to make some incredibly hard decisions to reduce our operating costs.”

The company expects to spend $8 million to $10 million on severance and furloughing costs. Executives are taking a 30% pay cut, and Stoppelman will not receive a salary this year.

Three steps that will save Marinwood CSD in 2020: An Open Letter

Public meetings in times of COVID 19/ Three steps that will save Marinwood CSD in 2020

I understand that the Brown Act public meeting requirements are still in effect excepting the in person requirement. This means that meetings must be noticed and there needs to be a way for public to participate.   

I wrote to you recently offering to help with video streaming and setting up web conferencing but received no detail on how you plan to move forward during this time of COVID 19 crisis. The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Undoubtedly, there has been discussion among the staff and the Marinwood CSD board members but the public has been left in the dark.  This is a vital moment for our community and the public should be participating during these times.

According to the latest Marinwood CSD budget submitted March 10, 2020 the Marinwood CSD could LOSE $2,000,000 in lost revenue from recreation programs this year.   We still are employing a full staff and nothing has been said about cancellations except that Jeff Naylor CSD President "hopes that we have a normal summer" in his April 3, 2020 letter.

As of April 7th we know that Marin schools will not resume for the remainder of this year.   How likely is it that suddenly, the aquatic and summer camp will return to "normal levels" with 500 children a day running around our park "maintaining social distancing" after being prohibited from social interaction for months?

Not very likely.

It is imperative that the Marinwood CSD take the following three steps to minimize the financial havoc to our bottom line.  If nothing is done, insolvency may be in our future.

1.) Suspend the 2020 Pool Season.  Hire no seasonal staff, layoff existing support staff until 2021.  Use this time to upgrade the facility, resurface the pool, conduct major maintenance.  What better time to do this anticipated maintenance that a year where demand will be light.  

2.) Postpone all summer camps.  This seems very obvious. There will be no way to protect children and staff from being vectors for COVID19 transmission.  The liability is enormous.  Craft alternate "coronavirus safe" activities that will not endanger our population.  I have no doubt that camps will return once more information and treatment of COVID 19 is available. In the meantime it is an unacceptable risk to host a summer camp.

3.) Postpone the Maintenance Facility project.  This also seems obvious in light of a major financial crisis.  As you know I have been a critic of the project and most especially the inflated and unnecessary costs.  If you move ahead with this project now, you will risk plunging the Marinwood CSD into insolvency.  Use this time instead to maintain existing park structures upgrade trails, install safety equipment etc.

Action steps taken today will save Marinwood CSD for the future.  Are you up to the task?

Please let me know how you plan to conduct public meetings as required by law.

Stephen Nestel

P.S. If you think these steps are difficult for the Marinwood CSD, consider that approximately 1/3 of our workforce in private business are suffering catastrophic financial losses.  Many businesses will simply not return.  It may be years before the economy returns to normalcy.   The Marinwood CSD can avoid MAJOR LOSSES by acting now to preserve capital and redirect assets. In the long run this will be best for the employees of the district and the public alike.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Marinwood CSD faces a $2 Million dollar LOSS in Revenue in 2020

Jeff Naylor's "happy talk" is too little too late.  The Marinwood CSD only increased disinfection routine AFTER a public complaint to the Marin County Health Department.  It took them TWO WEEKS to lock up the filthy public restrooms and empty trash bins daily.  The Marinwood Fire Department however, was up to task immediately under the leadership of San Rafael Fire Department.

Marinwood CSD faces a $2 Million dollar LOSS in Revenue in 2020

As most people know, all schools in Marin County will be closed for the rest of the school year as a result of COVID 19.   As a result it is absurd to think that Marinwood CSD programs will "return to normal" in June as suggested by Jeff Naylor, Marinwood CSD board president on April 3, 2020.

At the March 10, 20120 meeting, the public was met with the typical arrogance of the CSD Board when we implored them to take immediate action in preparing contingency plans for our budget in the face of a global pandemic.  They told us "wait and see"

In this letter from several days ago, Jeff Naylor Marinwood CSD president and Eric Dreikosen, CSD Manager  is still taking a "wait and see" approach as if magically everything will return to normal and suddenly in a few weeks, we will return to normal life.  

Despite the sudden prospect of losing all of our recreation revenue for Summer 2020, no actions have been taken to preserve our financial reserves and to take financial precautions immediately.   Several weeks ago I suggested that we eliminate our 2020 pool season and mothball the Summer camp programs.  This will be difficult but completely a rational business decision in light of the current reality.  If circumstances change, we can create a partial camp and swim season.   

This has not been done, however, and CSD has a full load of employees who's only 
role is to provide support for our summer recreation season. Despite the opportunity to create alternative recreational programs, there is no evidence they are doing anything during the shutdown excepting "waiting and seeing".

On top of all of this Dreikosen and the CSD announced they are continuing to fund Bill Hansell's  White Elephant Maintenance Shed which will may be the most expensive project in Marinwood CSD history.  Hansell was hired to do the entire project for $13.800 but the project has only gotten to the blueprint stage for FIVE TIMES THE COST.  It is very expensive because the architect is insisting on customized features unheard of for a landscaping shed.  

The Marinwood CSD  is destined to be driven into bankruptcy and dissolution if competent leadership is not found soon.  The Marinwood CSD is "waiting and seeing" in the time of extreme financial crisis. Both the Marinwood CSD board and staff are to blame.

How to make a non-medical coronavirus face mask – no sewing required

The CDC now recommends all Americans wear a face mask in public – you can make your own using a T-shirt or handkerchief
 Don’t wear a face mask more than necessary, just wear it when you’re actually in a public place, like a supermarket, where you might be within 6ft of people. Photograph: Guardian Design

The US Centers for Disease Control now recommends that all Americans wear face masks in public to reduce transmission of Covid-19. Because there are widespread shortages of medical-grade face masks, and leaders and experts agree those should be reserved for healthcare providers, individuals are largely making face masks at home.
Jeremy Howard, a University of San Francisco researcher and the co-founder of Masks 4 All, explains how to create your own, with no sewing required.

Version one – the T-shirt facemask:

 Photograph: Masks 4 All
  1. Start with an old T-shirt, preferably 100% cotton – anything will do, as long as it’s not too thin – and outline the pattern of the mask. The bottom line should go just beneath the armpits of the shirt. Make sure the part that goes on your face is large enough to cover your nose and mouth.
  2. Cut along the lines through both sides of the shirt so that your mask has two layers.
  3. Place a safety pin along the bottom and insert a piece of paper towel or coffee filter in between the two layers of the T-shirt. This acts as an additional filter, and rests on top of the safety pin.
  4. Secure the mask around the front of your face, covering your nose and mouth. Tie the top straps under the back of your head and the bottom straps at the top of your head. That will ensure a nice fit underneath your chin. By covering your mouth, you have now protected those around you, and the better the fit, the more you’re going to also protect yourself.

Version two – the handkerchief face mask:

  1. Start with a handkerchief and two hair ties. Rubber bands are okay as well, although they will be less comfortable.
  2. Fold the handkerchief in half, along a horizontal axis, and make a nice crease.
  3. Place piece of paper towel or coffee filter at the center of the handkerchief. Fold the top down and the bottom up, so that the coffee filter or paper towel rests in the fold.
  4. Place your first elastic about one-third of the way in from the edge of the handkerchief. Place the second elastic one-third of the way in from the other side. The two elastics should be about one hand-width apart.
  5. Fold the left side in toward the center and then fold the right side in toward the center, tucking the right side into the left-side flap.

Using and taking care of your mask:

  • Don’t wear it at home, and don’t wear it in the car, unless you’re with people outside your regular family group. Don’t wear it more than necessary – just wear it when you’re in a public place, like a supermarket, where you might be within 6ft of people. It may not be necessary in a park or on a quiet street with few pedestrians, when you’re moving around.
  • Don’t remove the mask until you’re at home or in a place where you can wash your hands and avoid coming within 6ft of other people. When you do remove the mask, avoid touching the front of it in case you breathed in infected droplets that could now be there.
  • Remove and dispose of the paper towel insert. Place the rest of the mask in soapy water, soak it for two minutes, then wash and rinse. Any kind of soap – dish soap, laundry detergent, hand soap – will do. Then wash your hands, and disinfect with bleach or alcohol anything you touched after taking off the mask. Never reuse a mask without washing it first.
  • Next time you wear the mask, remember to replace the paper-towel insert.
  • If you have symptoms – a stuffy nose, a cough, a fever – stay inside.

Sunday, April 5, 2020


A Town Mouse once visited a relative who lived in the country. For lunch the Country Mouse served wheat stalks, roots, and acorns, with a dash of cold water for drink. The Town Mouse ate very sparingly, nibbling a little of this and a little of that, and by her manner making it very plain that she ate the simple food only to be polite.


After the meal the friends had a long talk, or rather the Town Mouse talked about her life in the city while the Country Mouse listened. They then went to bed in a cozy nest in the hedgerow and slept in quiet and comfort until morning. In her sleep the Country Mouse dreamed she was a Town Mouse with all the luxuries and delights of city life that her friend had described for her. So the next day when the Town Mouse asked the Country Mouse to go home with her to the city, she gladly said yes.
When they reached the mansion in which the Town Mouse lived, they found on the table in the dining room the leavings of a very fine banquet. There were sweetmeats and jellies, pastries, delicious cheeses, indeed, the most tempting foods that a Mouse can imagine. But just as the Country Mouse was about to nibble a dainty bit of pastry, she heard a Cat mew loudly and scratch at the door. In great fear the Mice scurried to a hiding place, where they lay quite still for a long time, hardly daring to breathe. When at last they ventured back to the feast, the door opened suddenly and in came the servants to clear the table, followed by the House Dog.



The Country Mouse stopped in the Town Mouse's den only long enough to pick up her carpet bag and umbrella.
"You may have luxuries and dainties that I have not," she said as she hurried away, "but I prefer my plain food and simple life in the country with the peace and security that go with it."

Better a little in safety, than an abundance surrounded by danger.