Coastal Post Online


April, 2004

By Judy Borello

When Intelligent Minds Think Stupid

For me, this all started in February when I read Phil Fradkin's letter in The Point Reyes Light that stated our little town of Pt. Reyes Station has become tacky and dangerous. His criticism pertained to traffic, stores that had books, melons and clothes in the front of them. The Grandi Building should be demolished and become a skate park, and the tourists should be gone.

I responded in a column I wrote in The Coastal Post in February and March.

The next editorial I read in The Point Reyes Light of March 11 was Dave Mitchell espousing the idea after talking to some Hispanics who come from a small village in Mexico that had a town square where the boys would walk on one side of the square and the girls on the other side. His idea was to create a town square in the middle of Pt. Reyes Station. This wouldn't work because State Highway 1 cuts right through the middle of town, and I highly doubt that the state would move it. The only property that could possibly house a town square is already marked for the EAH project for low-cost housing which Dave Mitchell and Phil Fradkin are both proponents of (low-cost housing). Knowing the community such as I do from owning The Old Western Saloon for over 32 years, I can positively say that the young people would not separate into one line of girls and one line of boys gazing at each other from across the square. It may work in Mexico, but not here!

In the March 11 edition of The Point Reyes Light, Dave Mitchell in his Sparsely, Sage and Timely editorial wrote that members of the Pt. Reyes Village Association, spearheaded by Phil Fradkin, have in the past couple of months publicly complained that town is turning into a tourist trap. I will interject here that the only way to stop the tourists is to get rid of the National Park. The Village Association's Planning Group has scrutinized every business for the last 25 years and they obviously passed muster. I doubt if anybody in the Pt. Reyes Village Association runs a business in downtown Pt. Reyes Station, but if they do, they would understand how tough it is to make ends meet -- you've got to make hay while the sun shines!

Then Dave's editorial goes on to say The Village Association voted to meet with the West Marin Chamber of Commerce to see if anything can be done about this. If the town loses its charm (by catering to visitors) by the stores catering to the tourists.

Then Dave proposes to move streetlights along Main Street (Highway 1) so that people at night could stroll, some with dog in hand, and so the youths would temper down and keep them from vandalizing property, etc.

First of all, I think the "charm" is really going to take a dive when the low-cost housing takes place. Like Dave and Phil really thought this through when they backed the low-cost housing project right in the middle of the business village instead of on the peripheries of the town. Wait til the low-cost housing comes to reality -- there will be more light downtown than they ever imagined. Picture 100 more people turning on living room lights, bathroom lights, bedroom lights, patio lights, garage lights, garden lights and so on. It will look like a charming small town gone wrong.

What would have been positive thinking is to have taken part of the land behind Toby's and create a gym where the kids could have dances and play sports and adults could use it also. I always thought if I became a multi-millionaire or won a fat lottery, I wanted to buy the Old Red Barn in town and renovate it into a gym like the one I grew up playing in Eureka Valley in San Francisco. It kept many of us teenagers with energy and hormones raging off the streets and out of trouble. The gym kept us busy with tournaments, dances and a lot of frolicking fun! Believe me, some of the teenagers I grew up with would have been stealing hub-caps and knocking off parking meters if it hadn't been for the good-natured, positive reinforcement that we got from the directors at the Eureka Valley Gym.

So if you really want to do something for the kids maybe the town could lease the Red Barn from the owner or better yet have the county lease it and let the kids use it with a director n duty at all times. Then the kids are entertained and supervised and there could be benches all around the Red Barn where the adults, old timers and children could mix it up.

In my life at The Old Western Saloon, I've gone through three benches. They either get stolen or broken up into little pieces.

Hypocrisy reigns supreme when I hear Dave and Phil wanting a "charming town" and giving their ideas on how to "uncharm" our little village, and the Village Idiot Association, which used to have four to six members present at their meetings thinking they represent the entire town. I remember when the Village Association were first involved in the low-cost housing project and there were at least 50 to one hundred people at the meetings -- mostly against the project. Instead of sticking by the people they represented in the Pt. Reyes village, they went against the vote of the community and that was when many of us quit going to the meetings. They used to cry, "How can we get people to come to the meetings -- only a few of us show up." Well, all I can say is, "You had a bunch of us there and when you didn't acknowledge the 'true' vote of the Pt. Reyes people, you (the Association) blew it!"

But then again, maybe they didn't really want more people in their organization when they sabotaged the ones who were part of it. Maybe some of them are so arrogant and power-seeking that another point of view (especially the popular one) won't be tolerated.

PS Dunce caps are available!




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