The Coastal Post - April, 1997

News And Notes Of Novato


Hello, Dear Hearts

Top priority of this month's column is to welcome our new grandson, Jack William Thomas Machado, born at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 12, in Santa Rosa. He weighed nine pounds and is 21 inches long. Grandma has already mailed him his first piece of mail with a card from Hallmark stating what the name Jack means from now 'til ever. This is the first child for our son Paul. We have four generations of the Machado family born in Marin County. We have now branched out to Sonoma County with a second grandchild born in Santa Rosa.

Skateboard Park Chapter Two

The public advocate TV program which I pay to produce on Channel 23 had a show on March 20 concerning the development of a privately-owned skateboard indoor facility to be located in an industrial site. Two young men were invited from Fresno to present a proposal of how they could provide a recreational sports complex with private money. This would be an alternative to the Marion Park skateboard ramp which the Novato Park and Recreation Department want to develop over the objections of the residents living in the Marion Park apartments

For some reason, our city staff wants to locate facilities in the downtown business area for the youth. The two guests offered a skateboard facility with added features of a drop-in teen center plus concerts and other youth activities. The operating hours would be from 3-10 p.m. with the concerts going to midnight. There would be a gated parking lot with private security, and a membership fee, a skating fee and the cost of skateboard safety equipment. It works in Fresno.

Two Park and Recreation commissioners came down to voice objections to the proposal. Staff has put in so much money, time and effort, we should not explore alternatives. The council has accepted the site, so let's move on. I do hope the people of Novato will thank Charles Gravenhorst for locating private operators to come and share their knowledge of what a city-owned vs. privately-owned skateboard park has to offer. The Council has to be made aware there is more to be taken under consideration before the cement truck arrives at Marion. I do have a videotape of the meeting, if anyone is interested in seeing the alternative.

Partridge Knolls dispute

What would you do if your home was on a sinkhole and the streets, sidewalks, storm drains and retaining walls all looked like a war zone?

Over 100 people crowded into the Todd Senior Center to meet "in private" with the City Council to find answers to the problems. "By invitation only" read the press release. Then City Attorney Jeff Walters requested the people sign waivers for confidentiality regarding the subject. Channels 4 and 7 were there, and KCBS had a news story at 5:00 a.m., March 21 on which Mayor Pat Eukland is quoted as saying, "I know nothing about the 1975 Salem-Rice report as I wasn't on the Council in 1975." Irony of the evening: I went to another meeting at the Community House. Clarence Bracy showed me a yellowed copy of the 1975 issue of the Novato Advance. Gwen Trankel has a by-line on a story about the Salem-Rice Geological Report concerning Mt. Burdell and the mud flats for buildable land use. The state paid half for the report. Novato paid the other half. Do not build on Mt. Burdell, was the message. When the Buck Center came on line, Mt. Burdell was protected by Open Space A-60 zoning. No building would take place. Doug Maloney as County Counsel and Supervisor Gary Giacomini created a new zoning for Marin County, a "city-county corridor," because they wanted to spend the Buck money. So they designed the Buck Center on Aging for Mt. Burdell! And placed in on Mt. Burdell.

Watch how the courts will be handling the Partridge Knolls case, be it in the Marin or Supreme Court. A long, hot summer is coming up!

Hurray for the lights at IVC!

Seven years is a long time to fight for this facility. Glad Robert Lang did not win by default! But, remember Gail Wilhelm's statement against the light. "This is the only area where you can read the newspaper by the light of the moon." Those were her words as I recall. May my new grandson will be glad there are lights at IVC when he goes to college there and plays baseball. Long-term planning is the phrase.

Watch for the next chapter of the Skateboard Park issue. On April 17, 9:00 p.m. on Channel 23, if all goes well, we could have a private skateboard proposal from another young man from Sacramento. Two are always better than