The Coastal Post - June, 1996

News & Notes Of Novato

BY BETTY MACHADO

Hello, Dear Hearts

When we think of June, it means Father's Day, weddings and graduations. Congratulations to all. Family picnics and outings are being scheduled for the long summer ahead. Have fun. It's wonderful to have a family that acts like a family. Enjoy everyone and every activity! Happy Birthday to Rachael Machado. June 16 is her Big Day!

South Novato improvements

We have waited 35 years to have this major street improved. Sidewalks have been placed on the west side. But look at the major hill in the design between Arthur and Rowland. The skateboards should use that as a practice site. How the young mothers of my age wanted sidewalks on South Novato to wheel the children to the Nave Shopping Center!

The brick tunnels make you think of Oakland when you come off Highway 101 at Rowland. The concrete dividers scare me to death—watch when you approach Center Road by the Nave Shopping Center. Cars are coming from every which way. The parking for the Human Needs Center is a disaster. The bus stop should be relocated down at the shopping center where the post office has all the drive-in mail boxes. In front of the Human Needs thrift shop is the worse place for a bus stop! When drivers start to receive tickets for just stopping to drop off donations, a war will start.

The trees being planted in the middle of the center strips look fine now—tall and thin. What happens when they grow out of control with no maintenance funds in the City budget? Do hope the type of tree the City has selected never do the damage the City-selected trees (liquid amber) did on Dawes Street in the South Novato area. Whole chunks of the City sidewalk is buckled like an earthquake has hit the area. Totally dangerous and has been this way for years!

To end on a positive note: South Novato project has offered a long employment season for the North Bay Construction Company (NBC) from whom Jack Machado retired.

Speaking of Jack Machado

The column last month did not give you his new address. After being discharged from Yountville on April 12, he was sent by Whistlestop bus to the skilled nursing facility of Pleasant Care at 1565 Hill Road, Novato. Dianne McClain, admitting nurse, was a great person in receiving Jack. She made the transition a very easy affair. He is in 419 on ward 4. When you visit him, please "sign in" at the front desk so we can know who is there to see him. Ray Struck, a Tam High classmate of over 50 years ago went to see Jack. They reminisced over old baseball days.

Days in court experience

On Thursday, May 16, a court hearing was called by Public Defender Monica Rudden, in which she stated in her filed report: Most importantly, "John Machado has nominated his children to be his conservator." This statement is dated April 4 while Jack was in Yountville and being refused admission because he had dementia and requires skilled nursing! The court date of May 16 shall remain with me the rest of my life.

Ed Grundstrom, my attorney, had substituted himself out. We were asking for a 30-day continuance to allow me to hire a new attorney and close the case in the near future. Would you believe Judge Michael Dufficy refused the continuance and made me be my own attorney up against the public defender, Monica Rudden! I pleaded I was not prepared—Monica had subpoenaed six witnesses! "Only a fool represents himself as a client in a court," and I professed to be no fool. "Nor am I Marcia Clark," I told Judge Dufficy. "Case to proceed!"

To this day, I am still in shock. Here I am a 73-year-old, not in good health, senior citizen warring and sparring with a professional. Paul, Laura and Paul's wife, Angela, were representing themselves (pro per) by choice, since their attorney, Judith Austin Brown, had been told by the court of Mary T. Grove on April 15 the legal fees were to be the children's responsibility and not attached to the estate of John A. Machado. Monica Rudden was there to protect them in the name of being a court-appointed lawyer for Jack.

I had to cross-examine Monica's witnesses. All related to Barbara Dolan and my action of taking Jack to Yountville on January 9 with ten stitches in his head after Kaiser released him at 5:00 a.m. Laura brought him back home with a bag of doughnuts and she left! Never called again to ask what I planned to do. The Thursday court case related to abandonment filed by Angela Machado against me in Napa and Marin counties. Without my knowledge, our children got into the system with the Adult Probation Agency because Barbara Dolan and I took Jack to Yountville on January 9!

Judge Dufficy allowed the case to be heard all day Thursday. It adjourned until 9:00 a.m. on Friday. I would not endure what I had on Thursday. So I wrote a statement into the record before the proceeding continued, stating, due to my known health problems, stress, I have been warned to not allow it to happen, so I demanded the court not continue without my two doctors' permission. Judge Dufficy wouldn't pay any attention. He and Monica engaged in a legal discussion over my finances and I walked out after filing my written statement with the court. It is in the record. Last words of Judge Dufficy, "Let it be noted, Mrs. Machado voluntarily is leaving." No, I was forced out due to no attorney representation and health reasons. Will give you the next chapter! Thanks to Ed Ryuken, Jack did go by Whistlestop to court on Thursday.

Downtown Specific Plan Steering Committee

This group met on May 2 at 5:00 p.m. Margaret Todd Building. Ned Lagin, chair, was allowing discussion about the future of the downtown area. It will be proposed to have a 1880 to 1925 look. Sandy Huff, of the French Toast business, was making sure no neon signs will be allowed! At Mail Box, Etc., on Seventh Street their neon sign of "open" is what I look for as a customer. Told Al, the owner, when his sign is off, I don't even stop!