The Coastal Post - October, 1996

News And Notes Of Novato

BY BETTY MACHADO

Hello, Dear Hearts

Happy Halloween. Make it a safe one.

Outside of the transfer of the middle schools students, school has started without too much fuss this year. The reason the school district received a gym at Hill school was the transfer of students from Sinaloa to Hill way back when I served on the school board. This is not a new problem!

Purchase of Goodman Hardware site for recreational use

The City came out of a closed session on Tuesday, September 17, and the City Manager announced the acquisition of the building. Purchase price: $1.25 million! City Manger Rod Wood said, "We do not have a plan for how we are going to use the facility. Our intent is to work with parks and recreation youth and other groups to build a consensus for what makes the most sense in the space available." Larry Dito, Parks and Recreation Director, estimated it will cost $158,000 to renovate the facility. By the way, Larry Dito's new title is Community Services Director! Gail Meyers, one of the authors of the Measure D passed by the voters in 1981 and which was made into an ordinance, did object, because Measure D says, "any project over one million dollars, will go to the ballot." City Manager Wood does not feel Measure D applies. Money for purchase of the property will come from the $4.5 million the city has in a community facilities fund set aside as a part of the financial package negotiated in the development of the Vintage Oaks shopping center. Dito said the city could purchase the property and still keep the fund principal. "By using a cash-flow strategy we will be able to buy the property and keep the entire fund intact," he said.

Why didn't the City Council use that side for a second post office downtown? By having the money available in the fund from Hahn, we will never vote on future sites the city staff decides to purchase. Would you believe the skateboard park could go on this new site, next to the DMV?

Novato hospital forum

On September 5, as the Public Advocate, I had the pleasure of producing a television show on Channel 23, here in Novato, on the subject of the Novato Community Hospital services being left intact now that Novato has merged with Marin General Hospital as of January, 1996. The panel presented the Task Force Committee Report which the public did not know about, plus opposition from those who did know about the report. Seems a major decision was made to eliminate Novato's birthing center. All births will take place in Marin General Hospital. The program ran for two hours!

People came down to ask questions and we had live telephone calls during the discussion. Supervisor Harry Moore was the moderator. He became so involved in the discussion because he had seven typed questions he wanted to present before the public were able to ask their questions, but he only used two when the audience reminded him they were there to ask questions and they had baby-sitters at home so they could come down. Some people brought their babies to the program—it was lively! It has been re-run twice on Channel 23 and it was even better the second time. Viewers of Channel 31 will have an opportunity to watch it twice. The first date is Tuesday, October 8 at 10:30 p.m. The time is late, but as Jen Kloepping said, the election is taking the prime time. The second date is Saturday, October 26 at 1:00 p.m.

The follow-up is a printed survey in the Novato Advance on Wednesday, September 25. Half-page ads will allow for comments along with the printed questions. The completed survey will be sent to Box 175 at the downtown post office, Mailboxer ETO at 936-B 7th Street, Novato 94945. If you miss the survey and want to add your two cents worth, write a letter to the above address. We'll read it and add it to the comments to present to the City Council. Get involved.

Congratulations to the following people

Dr. Yvonne Cagel was selected to be part of NASA's astronaut candidate training program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The training lasts 18 months. Yvonne was one of the 35 Americans selected for astronaut training. The entire application process takes two years. There were 5,000 initial applicants. Out of those, 500 people were picked by NASA. Yvonne graduated from Novato High School in 1977. Her parents, George and Juanita, were attached to the Hamilton Field operation.

Cindy Johnson: Another Novato high graduate makes out fine in the business world here in Novato. Cindy purchased the Hair Scene at 161 Grant Avenue. She also owns Precision 6 Haircutting and Styling at 1769A Grant Avenue. Good luck to Cindy! Her mother is a business partner and her college-age daughter is working with her mother—three generations!

College Board fiasco

When Dale Fleming, trustee on the College Board, died in July, his replacement became a feud. Why? The lawyer did not give reliable advice. Bill Gillen spelled it out in a letter to the county newspaper. Fire the attorney! The chairperson of the board, Phyliss Metcalf, will not allow him to be replaced. Seems she protected him once before when he was about to be relieved of duties. Trustee Barbara Dolan has made her position known: you have to trust in your attorney. But Phyliss has a controlling effect on the trustees, in my opinion.

Congratulations to Wanden Treanor, a San Rafael attorney and past president of the Marin County Bar Association, our new College Board trustee!