The Coastal Post - March, 1998

News And Notes Of Novato

By Betty Machado

Hello, Dear Hearts

Happy St. Patrick's Day! With my grandfather being Thomas J. Malloy, this Irish decedent enjoys the March 17 recognition.

Novato is struggling with many problems so let's update them:

Partridge Knolls

The William Cotton Report, Part One, is available. But, not to the general public. Mediator John Griffith has stated ONLY the homeowners who have paid up front the requested $500 will receive a copy. To date the Partridge Knolls residents are short $10,000 in paying the mediator. Seems a vote was taken to increase the original amount of $200 per household but it was voted down. According to John Griffith, unless property owners have paid a total of $500, they won't receive a copy of "Part One, Cotton Report." We, the general public as taxpayers, have paid John Griffith for his services every time he has presented a bill to the City of Novato. The City council, on our behalf, haven't even questioned his expenses! The report includes a plan for de-watering the slipping hillside. The two dozen damaged homes won't be addressed until the hill has been stabilized. Two of the homeowners, Greg and Diane Arata of Wood Hollow Drive and Ralph Hints of Cobblestone Court have filed a claim against the County, alleging its involvement with the Buck Center makes it responsible. According to the legal notice filed in the Novato Advance one property owner has defaulted on his loan and the property is into a trustee sale. Two families have moved out of their homes. Long hot summer ahead!

No money for freeway projects in Marin County

Novato City Council met with Petaluma City Council for a dinner meeting and decided they would join Petaluma to push for the freeway funds to create new car pool lanes between Petaluma and Novato instead of joining the rest of Marin Councils to have a reversible commute lane in Central Marin The two projects were submitted to the state Department of Transportation's Bay Area offices. But, since Novato is not in a unified front with the other City Councils in Marin County, Caltrans just took us off the list for Highway 101 improvements of moving the commuters. Art Brook, Marin County traffic engineer stated, "It looks like they thumbed their noses at all of us." Now, the upcoming election in November for Marin voters to approve a proposed transportation tax could produce the reversible commute lane in Central Marin, if the voters approve the vote. New title for the expansion of a four-lane section of 101 between Novato and Petaluma is called Novato Narrows. The cost of state's funding was 15 million dollars for the engineering and environmental studies which are needed before the expansion can take place. We are talking about a 14-mile stretch at the cost of between $120 million to $150 million to construct. Look to year 2002 when the two projects will have realistic chances for state funding.

District Attorney Jerry Herman will retire on March 31

Met the D.A. in Long's during the office hours, so he didn't stay home by the fax machine and telephone to conduct the work we voted him to do on our behalf. I informed him I would have contacted him in the office, but was not given his home phone to conduct a piece of business which the state law controls through his office. I went to John Posey in order to file a complaint of perjury which involved me in a deposition. To date, I feel we do not have access to an elected District Attorney and I needed him to conduct business on my behalf. John Posey has taken the information as the Acting District Attorney. Will give you the next chapter regarding the matter.

Human Needs parking problem solved?

No! The City Council had the Golden Gate bus moved to Joan Avenue and South Novato Blvd. to allow the public to park in front of the Second Center instead of having the busstop. On January 29, a work order was signed to complete what the City Council had acted upon. Would you believe the red zone precludes the public from parking as intended? I did call the Chief of Police, Brian Brady, to have the street maintenance paint the curb for the public to use. To date no return call. One employee did tell me it will have to be sand-blasted in order to prepare it for the paint, so despite the good intentions of the City Council, El Nio reigns again in a major action! (Pun: Rains vs. Reigns.)

Good-bye to Marin Fruit and Grocery in Sausalito!

Having lived in Sausalito prior to coming to Novato, can only say "good-bye to the Yee family" with deep sadness. The store was and is Sausalito. Everyone knew Willie. We all loved the Chinese family. Jack Machado grew up with Nathan and Laura, and Jack is 77 years old this month. An era is gone!

When should a use permit be terminated?

Take the case of the Redwood Sanitary Land Fill, better known as "the county dump." Under the present use permit, Redwood is supposed to be drying the mud-like substance known as sludge, which is leftover material from human waste and storm drain water, in an indoor building fitted with an odor control system, according to Ed Stewart, head of the County's Environmental Health Services. The present operation is causing complaints from Novato residents due to the air drying. The Novato City Council is involved, since the Redwood Sanitary Group pledged to the Council it would build an indoor facility. This has been going on for over three years. The City Council granted the Use Permit. But only the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has the enforcement authority over this matter. The agency is now reviewing the use permit. Doug Diemer is the General Manager for Redwood and he admits to be diligently working on the problem. Robert Turner of Marin County Environmental Services is the one to contact if the smell of the dump is too much to tolerate, especially in the early morning. Four odor complaints were filed against Redwood last year. Now two Novato residents have filed lawsuits against the landfill because of the smell. Let the City Council know if you support the termination of the use permit.

I walk by night

The St. Francis Church was flooded following the volunteer work crew to clean up the Goodman building. The Novato Creek was blamed. But no other buildings, like DMV, Long's Mail Boxes, Etc., or Lucky's were flooded. Could the drain with a grate between Goodman's and St. Francis have created the "overflow," since maybe the Public Works failed to remove all the building materials taken out of Goodman's by the volunteer group? City Manager Rod Wood is a member of the parish.

Shelly Shepherd Klaner is back in Novato with her Public Relations and Publications. She can be located at the Redwood Crossroad, 7595 Redwood Blvd, Suite 220. Call her at 898-6564. Welcome back, Shelly!

Carolyn Crabtree and her daughter Jennifer attended the new citizen ceremony in San Francisco where Jennifer's Irish husband received his American citizenship. Both ladies were delighted to witness the posting of the colors by the Novato High School students. Carolyn has served as a an elected school board member and Jennifer graduated from Novato High School.

March 20 between 9:00-10:00 p.m. will be the next time for the TV show, Public Advocate, which I produce and moderate. Wednesday nights will be the new time since the video operator, Chris Hasseld, has a conflict with his college courses.

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mr. Scott.

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