Thursday, January 26, 2012

Comments : Bold Burglar Stalks HV Resident; Mr. Cook's Sandwich Board Roams the Valley; Cowardly Commenter Strikes Again!

Comments :(Post) Bold Burglar Stalks HV Resident; Mr. Cook's Sandwich Board Roams the Valley;  Cowardly Commenter Strikes Again!


  1. Driving home from dropping my kid off at public school today, I noticed all the people walking on evergreen. I noticed everyone was walking in the middle of the street. when the sidewalk is completed, most of those kids, dog walkers and parents will move over to the sidewalk. making it safer for everyone, including myself, the driver. your great plan for building a eco sidewalk will first of all, never happen, and even if it did, no one will use it. scooters, bikes, will still use the center of the road like they do now.

    1. Doug - what makes you think that all the people walking, biking and using the Evergreen Avenue will be safer on a 4.5 or 6 foot sidewalk than they would be sharing a 30 foot wide stretch of pavement??
      if you, as a driver, want to make Evergreen safer for bicyclists and scooters and pedestrians, just SLOW DOWN or use another street.
      I have said it before and I will say it again - until the "powers that be" LISTEN.
      The Safe Routes grant application describes a scenario that does NOT exist. It was written by the perspective of the head of a school who was afraid and/or unwilling to engage in Level 1 of Safe Routes to Schools "education and encouragement"- without a sidewalk.
      It's bad enough that no one seems to respect the TAM Plan - which states "we do not encourage the construction of sidewalks, curbs and gutters in the planning area."
      But what is WORSE - it does not make ANY sense to support ANY construction project that will alter the physical characteristics of a street with a 100% safety record!
      The grant application that was awarded the funding is INACCURATE at best. It uses DATA from another street to justify building a sidewalk on Evergreen - a street where there is PLENTY of room to walk on the shoulder!

      Do we need any encouragement to walk on Evergreen? NO. Please see above statement by a DRIVER who states Evergreen is currently used by walkers and many forms of non-motorized transportation.
      Sure, drivers want the sidewalk, to get the walkers out of the way so they don't have to bother to slow down - they can just speed along on our street even faster than they do now! With a sidewalk only on ONE side of the street, and drivers going even faster than they do now, how does that make it SAFER when someone is trying to CROSS the street??
      Do we need to encourage drivers to slow down on EVERY street? YES.
      Here's a radical idea for you : LOWER THE SPEED LIMIT. $500 for a sign.

  2. Doug - thanks for your perspective as a driver. Where exactly on Evergreen did you make this observation?

  3. I would really appreciate the opportunity to analyze the data received from residents who have stated that they support this sidewalk project. I can't find anyone who thinks this currently proposed design is a good idea for Evergreen Avenue. That is, except for a few people from the HVCA - and some folks who filled out a form letter after being brainwashed by the MHS reps. It boggles the mind.

  4. Mari, your last comment is what is truly boggling and is indicative of why so few stand up to support your cause.

    You state:"Except for a few people from the HVCA." That's flat out wrong. There are a lot of people in the HVCA who support it, as far as I can tell all 15board members do as well as a whole lot of other members who have specifically said so to me.

    Then you go on to say: "brainwashed by MHS..." that is truly a load of crap with the implication being that anyone who doesn't agree with your view is so intellectually deficient so as to be susceptible to brainwashing. That shows how totally blinded you are to reality. If you think insulting people's intelligence is a way to win them over to your side then I think you are going to be severely disappointed.

    You can stand out in the street all day long surveying people and then quoting only those who agree with you just to imply lots of anti-sidewalk support but I don't think too many people are that naive to believe what you are saying has any veracity to it.

    I think the proof is in the pudding - $326 from 8 people. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

    1. Scott,

      All 15 HVCA board members support MHS/DPW proposed sidewalk due to their conflicy of interesr. A large amount of HVCA's annual oprating budget is paid for by MHS' annual rental of HVCA's interior and exterior facilities.

      And none of them are financialy impacted by this sidewalk nor will they be legally liable for accdents.

      Pnlike a "representative democracy" nn a Republic imposition of cost are not made on anyone with out a referendum or the vote Kinsey promised last year.

      So is Kinsey so unsure of his majority in favor of a sidewalk for MHS that he fears the result if Homestead Valley resdents vote?

      I think so :)

  5. Scott - we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one - maybe I should have said "brainwashed by Safe Routes to Schools, then. Because it IS brainwashing. The SR2S philosophy is that every street without a sidewalk needs a sidewalk.
    The FACTS speak differently. Evergreen has a 100% safety record.
    You have your opinion - I have mine.
    Your opinion is based upon "theory" - mine is based upon FACT.
    btw - the indie gogo campaign which ends tonight is just phase one of our outreach. It was a litmus test to see how many people wanted a sidewalk so badly that they were willing to chip in a dollar for it. Well - "0" pretty much sums it up.
    It wasn't as if I didn't give the HVCA a chance to share this campaign with their readers - they refused to print the link in the Headlines. Only two people at the annual meeting came up to me to tell me they favored the sidewalk. Several others told me privately they don't think we need a sidewalk -

  6. I don't think Mari is exaggerating the unhappiness of the actual residents of Evergreen Ave. though her statement about others being brainwashed was undiplomatic.

    I don't personally know anything specific about HVCA Board member support, or how many of those board members actually live on Evergreen, but I can tell you that nearly all the residents I've spoken with on this end of the south side of Evergreen (near Ethel) would prefer NOT to have the sidewalk. There are many reasons for this which have all been stated at one time or another in this process, not the least of which is the drainage issue and the threat of flooding by the creek, which we are definitely prone to. But I could list a dozen more. We just feel that no one is listening to our point of view. There seems to be an uneven balance of power on this issue. I believe it's only fair that the voices of the people who are most directly impacted - and who will have to pay to maintain this sidewalk, and be liable for any accidents that occur on it - should count at least as much, if not more, than those who don't live here but who are happy to tell us what we have to do and what we have to give them! So I for one appreciate Mari's advocacy.

    1. Apologies for being undiplomatic - but a person can only bend so much before they break.

    2. I agree with Gail's post above. There has been a remarkable absence of respect from most posters who are not Evergreen residents insofar as they imply, among other things, that the afected property owners have an incumbency to accept the sidewalk because it will serve users from nearly everywhere else, keeping them safe from the hazards of using the street. What a priveledge to be selected without notice to shoulder that burden! Accepting the sidewalk has been elevated to "civic duty" under this view. I am not anonymous; this is the only "identity" that I don't need a url for.
      Bob Cogswell

  7. I disagree. You have been heard (including 55 emails from one person?!?). I think you assume because the decision went against you it means no one listened. The alternative assumption, as I believe has been repeatedly pointed out, is other voices espousing the opposing view were also heard and their points held more water than yours.

    I think your concerns about drainage and flooding are valid but I have not heard any credible evidence that the DPW's plans would negatively affect that. In the public meeting they held last year I remember they specifically called out the issue and indicated not only are they considering it but that it would improve water flow.

    Nevertheless, in my view, the reason the pro-sidewalk side won is because it came down to a simple trade-off between safety and some people's views on what makes a street attractive or not.

    I also suggest you review many of the posts and comments here and note the outlandish comments often spewed by supporters of the anti-sidewalk position, many of whom do not live on Evergreen either. Those posts are the ones that likely limit the discourse on these boards to few people and fewer still who dare announce their names. I know quite a few sidewalk supporters who read these boards but wouldn't consider posting here given some of the others here. Yes I've seen sidewalk supporters go off the handle too but not near the extent and frequency of the opposition here. I think supporters do not see this as the venue of choice for sharing their views and therefore don't post here. I rarely do, the reason being will become obvious once responses to this post are approved by Mari.

  8. Dear Scott,
    We are still in the midst of the process. Residents in Homestead who do not trust the process have good reason.
    That said, I do believe in democracy, and agree that democracy in influenced only by those who choose to participate.
    But the entire community does not have a right to force any property owner on Evergreen to accept a sidewalk - especially under the circumstances with which this particular sidewalk is being forced upon some property owners against their will.
    I thank you sincerely for your input, even though we do not agree on this issue.

  9. I don't live on Evergreen Avenue. Consequently, I prefer not to be involved in this ugly, Evergreen Ave. sidewalk dispute, but I'm contemptuous in the extreme of outsiders butting their snotty, privileged noses into the lives of others. No one on Evergreen invited these arrogant people here! If these cement fetishists can't fulfill their perfectly manicured lives without living in a world of asphalt and concrete they should look to the south. There's plenty of all they desire there. This isn't San Francisco, and we who live here don't want it to be! If you don't like it here - LEAVE! You won't be missed!

  10. Mari,

    We are watching our democracy operate the way it has been designed. We live in a representative democracy meaning we do not vote on individual issues and instead vote on people to represent us and vote on the individual issues the way they believe is best for the community as a whole.

    That would be Steve Kinsey. He's listened to everyone's views and has agreed with a sidewalk. Further proof of that is the narrowing of the sidewalk from 6' to 4.5'. I disagree with this narrowing but am willing to accept it as a compromise. The same goes for some portion of the anti-sidewalk people who now support it.

    I also think it's important to recognize and remember that no one is losing any of their property. The sidewalk is going on public propert and as far as I know no eminent domain issues have arisen. We'd be having an entirely different conversation if it involved the government encroaching on individual property rights. But where it involves public lands, I think the public does indeed have a right to have a say in how it gets used. And I further believe they have a right to say individuals cannot co-opt public lands for personal use.

    And Frank, I'd rather not engage in any discussion with you - because you prove my point - but while we're talking about democracy, no one needs an invitation to come here. Not the least of which, from you. On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet your infamous activities so degrade the property values around you that your neighbors would like to rescind any invitation previously extended to you.

    1. We may not be losing "our property", but we are suddenly being forced to maintain and insure public property! That burden is not being imposed on everyone on Evergreen, just the residents of the south side of the street! Also, the drainage issues do not exist across the street on the north side, only on the south side. And that is not right or fair! And I wonder if it's even legal. It seems like a tax being imposed on a few of us, but not others.
      At one of the meetings at MV community center, we asked if the county would at least plant some trees along the sidewalk to soften the impact of the ugly concrete thing. They said NO because the trees would have to be maintained.
      And yet, they have no problem asking us to be financially responsible for maintaining this sidewalk that didn't ask for and don't want.

    2. I live at the end of Evergreen nearest the school. I agree with Gail Taras about suddenly being asked to maintain and insure public property. Furthermore, in fact, I am losing something: not one, but two parking spaces in front of my home--that is, I will have no street parking at all. And, since guests who visit are of increasing age (as are many of us), this poses a problem. Mine is the only home on Evergreen which is losing both of its street parking places. I was one of the first to write to the County when this issue first came up...which calls for a "more creative, greener solution" ...and mandatory shuttle to the school. At school times, it is almost impossible to get out of my driveway with all the school traffic. During school times, or when school is not in session, this is almost never a problem.

      Karlyn Ward

  11. Scott - a democracy does not exist where a private club elects its board members by a show of hands at a potluck.
    As I have stated before, Mr. Kinsey has reached his decision to continue the PROCESS - because he received an influx of requests from some people who want a sidewalk.

    Again, Mr. Kinsey has based his current decision to allow the DPW to continue their PROCESS, which has been corrupted by several individuals in our community - individuals who have vested personal interest in seeing a sidewalk be built on Evergreen. A sidewalk that they will not have the responsibility to maintain,
    These entities worked together to secure funding from a source that awards funding for sidewalks.
    If you take ANOTHER look at the June 2006 Headlines, you will see the motivation for the sidewalk was the FUNDING that existed for one.
    The "traffic calming committee" was begging for people to volunteer at that time. If there was such a grave danger to pedestrians, don't you think they would have had an easier time recruiting volunteers?

    Do we NEED a concrete regulation sidewalk to encourage people to walk and bike on Evergreen Avenue? Judging by the amount of people that already do that, without injury, I would again say "no."
    While I can empathize with SOME people wanting a sidewalk, one can state that "Some people are always going to want a sidewalk."
    What they will not always find is someone willing to lie, cheat and in effect steal a million dollars to build one.

  12. Mari,

    The HVCA had nothing to do with the sidewalk other than to express the views of the board and host a traffic committee to discuss traffic issues in the Valley. The Marin County Board of Supervisors decided the sidewalk and Steve Kinsey is our elected representative on that board.

    I think you are reading more into the survey than actually exists. The COUNTY received a grant. It HAD NOT decided to spend a portion of it on the sidewalk at that time. That survey was conducted in June 2006. Al wrote his letter of support in July 2008 - that's two years AFTER the survey. Your claim funding already existed for a sidewalk at the time of the survey just doesn't hold water.

    Did the traffic committee have a hard time finding volunteers? How do you know that? I find it more telling that the committee invited people to get involved in part "to reach some community consensus" and what comes out of it appears to be a consensus for a sidewalk. Obviously the expressions of community interest against the sidewalk were not enough to sway consensus. That suggests to me the current anti-sidewalk group is very small, yet very vocal, indeed.

    Yes, we do need a sidewalk. It is unquestionable that it is safer than existing conditions with a very minimal, if even noticeable, impact to the street. Saying that there have been no injuries is irrelevant. Unless you can guarantee no injuries will occur in the future, which you cannot, past experience is no predictor of the future particularly when an obvious safety deficiency exists. We've been lucky no one has gotten seriously hurt so far. I'm not trusting my kids lives to luck.

    My understanding, from people who have spoken with Steve, is this decision is final and a sidewalk will be built this summer.

    p.s. "Lie, cheat and steal" is quite an accusation that you better be able to support with actual and credible evidence lest you fall completely into irrelevancy, or worse.

    1. Scott - Your most recent comment shows just how "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing." The funding I refer to is the amount of funding for Safe Routes to Schools. There is a huge movement to encourage people out of their cars and getting more people to walk and bike. As stated previously - we share this goal.
      As far as "consensus" goes - the "consensus" was for restoration of an historic walking path.
      Popular opinion is not always equal to fact, nor is it always equal to justice.
      Who are the "we" who need a sidewalk?
      A small, yet very vocal minority with the ear of the County?
      What is with the threats? Read the application - it is full of lies.
      To state that a non-profit club is a homeowner's association when it is not, is a LIE.
      To state that you represent the community, when you do not, is LIE.
      To use data of a minor accident that happened in Mill Valley, where a sidewalk and crosswalks exist - to gain funding to build a sidewalk in Homestead, is not only a stretch - it is CHEATing - and STEALing from a community that has a legitimate need.
      Look - I support the Community Center - I think it is a great community resource - and I support the HVCA in its mission to maintain the center and provide recreational activities.
      Les and David are great people. So are the volunteers at the HVCA. I have no personal beef with anyone who WANTS a sidewalk.
      But I DO have a problem when an honest effort to engage people in a cooperative effort for a win win solution to this fiasco is blocked at every turn.

      Although I am one of MANY people who would like to see Evergreen stay exactly the way it is - I continue to offer my time, expertise in fund raising and social contacts - which are vast - to anyone who wants to join a community effort to build a dedicated pedestrian path that fits our community.
      But to ask me to sit idly by while this pile of BS is being dumped on my neighbors on Evergreen - is something I cannot, and will not - do.
      Why do you insist on making this a war?
      What is it going to take to get a little cooperation around here?

  13. Scott and others

    We live in a Republic not in a "representative democracy" which is the definition of a republic. Do you have a problem caling our form of government by its correct name ?

    In as much as only the 30 +/- residents on the south side of Evergreen will be liable for accidenets and maintenae of a sidewalk or pathway WHY NOT LET THEM DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT.?

    An at grade permeable asdphalt pathway is a semi-rural design concept that is enviromentally of friendlier, semi-rural/park like in character and quality and reduces storm water poluted runoff into Reed creek which is know haitt for endangerd Steel Headtrout.

    Why not require MHS to have liability insurance and pay maintenance costs for the sidewalk it wants for its students?

    A multi-million dollar a year educational busines, Marin Horizon School pays no property or income taxes. Yet this 1 percenteer wants to have its sidewalks paid for by the 99%.

    Seems like George Orwell's Animal Farm has arrived in Homestead Vslley where Homestead Valey folks are equal but Marin Horizon School is more equal than others.

    Indeed in a republic the folks decide by referndum on situations like this.

    Kinsey said there would be a "vote". so where is he "vote"

    Perhaps Kinsey doesn't want a vote for he knows that the 99 percenters are against a sidewalk supported soley by the 1 percenters (Marin Horizon School and HVCA supporters) beause MHS rentals of HVCA failities have bought the support of the HVCA Board.

    Community planing and design issues are normally and best worked out in oommunity workshops. Why no workshops ?


    1. Wow - Mr. Sands - that has got to be one of the best posts I've seen from you, despite the typos.
      By the way, the "Community Built concept is just that - "community built" - it is a great concept and results in many wonderful projects. LOTS of workshops!
      Again, a fellow member of the CBA told me that we needed to show support for a sidewalk in order to start the process to build a path. So far, I have not seen much support from the community - just
      Unfortunately, the "pro-sidewalk" camp is not interested in working with the people who live on Evergreen.
      They are only interested in calling us names and lobbying the DPW to force this environmentally irresponsible sidewalk onto our street - no matter who they hurt or what they kill.
      We could also build one of those multi school bus bikes - much more unique and eco-friendly than a hard concrete sidewalk.

  14. Btw - maybe someday you will see it wasn't "my cause."


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