The Coastal Post - August, 1997

News and Notes Of Novato

BY BETTY MACHADO

Human Needs has a problem

The second Human Needs Center on South Novato Blvd. has no parking. The business has been in existence 25 years. Parking has always been a problem with their sites. Now with the widening of South Novato Blvd, the parking is gone. There are only two spaces for the customers. No business in town would be allowed to even open with this parking formula. Benny, a local resident, drove up and parked on the far end of where the bus pulls in. He didn't use his handicap plate, thought he gave the bus plenty of room. He went in to buy three magazines for his upcoming plane trip, came back out, and the Novato police had ticketed his truck. He found out it was going to cost him $250 for the ticket. He had parked in a handicapped zone. You, the public, are supposed to know bus stops are handicapped zones. No blue paint on the curb-you just have to know. Benny did go to the police department and filed a complaint regarding the amount of the ticket. The arresting officer has to meet with him and another officer acts as referee. Benny stated his case and the fine became $15-five dollars a magazine.

I requested to go before the City Council with his case-he gave me permission. I reported the incident, a study was started about the fine along with an on-going study of a committee to see how they could eliminate the parking problem. On July 15, the council received a report from the Human Needs Committee. No solution for parking.

I have one: Combine the Human Needs with the Salvation Army, which is located at Dr. John Elloway's office complex. Build one building to serve both organizations. They are duplicating their services. One big thrifty store, like the Salvation Army's on Mary Street in San Rafael, would serve the two agencies plus the communities in style.

The other interesting item: The City Manager stated that, should the present site on South Novato no longer be used, the site would be sold to return the money to the gas tax fund, since the Connell House was purchased with the gas tax funds, as that was to be an extension of Hill Road. But it can no longer be considered since the marsh to Redwood Blvd. does not allow a road across it. So now you have Hill Road off Redwood Blvd. plus Hill Road to the west with a marsh in between. Only in Novato would you end up in a swamp instead of finding the Second Hill Road connection.

Rancho School site be expanded by purchase of Connell House

Do you realize Rancho School has a one-way-in, one-way-out entrance? I don't know how that passed state inspection when they built that school. I have two grandchildren going there and it makes me nervous when I think of what would happen should they really have to evacuate the school.

The Connell house would be a solution. Remove the Human Needs Center and when the house is gone, connect it to the Rancho School site off South Novato Blvd. That way you would see the school site from South Novato Blvd., plus the residents on Johnson Street would have a solution to the traffic backing up on their street during rainy weather.

Think about it with the upcoming Novato School District Capital Improvement Bond issue. The City could sell it to the District and put the money back into the gas tax fund. Win-win situation.

Measure D goes down by City Council again

With the purchase of the Goodman Building for a teen center and gymnastics, to remodel the building, City Manager Rod Wood wrote a lengthy report for the July 15 council meeting requesting $988,336 from the Community Facilities Fund at six percent interest for 30 years.

I stayed until 1:15 a.m. on July 16 to protest the resolution as one of the authors of Measure D. I felt the City Manager was manipulating and maneuvering to avoid using Measure D and going to the ballot, as Measure D states on any expenditure over a million dollars. Furthermore, as a citizen and taxpayer, I strongly feel this Council has no right to tie up future councils for 30 years. The Council passed the Resolution as requested by the City Manager. So much for Measure D.

The on-going saga of Laura Machado

On June 30, I disqualified Judge Michael Dufficy from hearing the visiting schedule as requested by our children, naming Angela as the main culprit. Seems Laura wants that distinction. At any rate, I have cross-filed a complaint on Monica Rudden, Public Defender, for writing up the visiting schedule instead of using the proper title of temporary restraining order.

We did not have a court hearing since I declared Judge Dufficy biased and prejudiced when he would not give me a 30-day extension on May 16, 1996, after Ed Grundstrom substituted himself out in the judge's chambers and Grundstrom left, smiling as he went through the door.

I then learned I was going to be my own lawyer at the demand of Judge Dufficy. Monica Rudden had six people subpoenaed against me. That was the day our children received the right to declare that Jack Machado needed to be under conservatorship. And he still is, thanks to Judge Dufficy. We just celebrated our 52nd wedding anniversary. So now the county conservator has requested medication instead of going to court as scheduled on July 22.

Dedication of IVC lighted ballfield

After 10 years of legal fighting we finally broke ground on the site on Wednesday, July 16. Just heard that Robert Lang, the opponent, has been transferred by his company. Long live the lighted ball field!