The Coastal Post - September 1999

Submitted By Release
Underground To Vote No Steve Kinsey in 2000

One hundred black and white signs sized 3 feet by 2 feet were distributed throughout West Marin reading: For Sale West Marin Offered by Supervisor Steve Kinsey (415) 499-7331

The Underground is growing to vote "No for Steve Kinsey" in the upcoming race for Marin County Supervisor. Potential candidates to run against Kinsey need to step forward and register their candidacy as soon as possible. There is a strong undercurrent which opposes Kinsey's policies and record which include:

1. His support of the St. Vincent and Hamilton Field developments to add thousands of new homes to the central Marin corridor.

2. His support of French Ranch, one of the largest current developments in West Marin, with most homes in the $1 million dollar category. Kinsey has worked out a deal to contribute open space to the county, which could not be developed anyway. All the homeowners of French Ranch gain open space maintained by the tax dollars of all the citizens of Marin, while the developer adds value to the homes.

3. Kinsey was instrumental in the controversial addition of a mutual septic system contract of French Ranch shared with the Lagunitas School was supposed to help the school by having the development share the cost of the upgraded system. Instead, the contract has forced the state to take over the finances of the now-broke school district.

4. His involvement with the Ecumenical Council of Marin and their development of a low-income housing project in Pt. Reyes Station. The voting policy and the amount of non-West Marin voters participating to pass this development is of serious concern to the citizens of Pt. Reyes Station. Of greatest concern is the fact that the developers of Baywood Canyon, French Ranch, and the Ecumenical Housing project are business partners. Kinsey receives direct political contributions from developers of these projects.

In closing, many in West Marin are extremely unhappy with the pro-development philosophy of Kinsey and consider him to be undermining many of the environmental advances of the 1960s through the 1980s.

We strongly encourage a NO STEVE KINSEY IN 2000 vote at the polls. Were You Ready For The Bolinas Earthquake?

"Tuesday evening's 5.0 magnitude earthquake centered in Bolinas was a wake-up call for emergency preparedness," says Lt. Ken Freberg, Program Manager of the Marin County Sheriff's Department, Office of Emergency Services. "We don't know when, but we do know the Bay Area will be hit with a major, devastating earthquake."

To help prepare for the "Big One," keep emergency supplies of water and food on hand. A flashlight and pair of shoes by your bedside. A working flashlight and sturdy shoes placed next to your bed every night are basic to emergency preparedness. Many injuries during the Northridge earthquake were caused by walking barefoot on broken glass. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours.

An emergency supplies kit includes items that suit your lifestyle and circumstances. It can be stored in a plastic 30-gallon trash can be kept in a place safe from water, fire or earthquake damage. Basic items are water, food, portable radio, flashlight and a first aid kit. And don't forget to keep some of these supplies in the trunk of your car, too. Store a grab-and-go bag at work under your desk and at home for each family member. Include change of clothing, medications, personal care needs, flashlight, a small amount of cash, snacks and water.

A detailed list of essential emergency supplies is available from the Office of Emergency Services at 415-499-6584 and can also be found in "Preparing for the Year 2000: A Household Guide." These Guides are distributed by the Marin County Free Library and obtainable at your local branch.

Don't call 9-1-1, or your local law enforcement agency, to determine if that was an earthquake, or where and how strong it was. The media has faster, better information. Do not call 9-1-1 unless you are reporting a life-threatening emergency. Using 9-1-1 for non-emergencies may cause real emergency calls to be needlessly delayed.

For more information on emergency preparedness, see the OES website at http://emergency.marin.org

"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret." Protecting Natural Resources Bill

California's population is expected to grow to 51 million people by the year 2030-an increase of more than 18 million. This rapid population growth places increasing pressure on our land resources. These resources are critical to the quality of life in California and to our multi-billion dollar tourism and recreation industries. The Governor's Infrastructure Commission recently estimated a $5.6 billion need for open space acquisition and enhancement projects. Senator Jack O'Connell's Land and Water Conservation Act (SB 680) provides an innovative and cost-effective mechanism to protect our state's natural resources. Overview of legislation

SB680 would create an important tax incentive for landowners by allowing the donation of land to state and local agencies, as well as to non-profit groups, for environmental protection and agricultural preservation. The land donated could be used for parks, open space, wildlife habitat purposes, or an easement to protect valuable agricultural land.

Only lands which are found important for conservation purposes would qualify for the tax credit. If approved, the donor would realize a state tax reduction of 55% of the appraised value of the donation. The federal government will pay for up to 35% of the costs of the land because donors will receive a federal tax deduction for their contribution. This is a real advantage for wildlife since the federal government will help pay for costs associated with the protection of endangered species and land conservation. The tax credit can also be provided to donors of water rights to preserve depleted fish species.

The control of the amount of money spent each year on the tax credits remains in the State Legislature through the budget process. SB 680 does not currently appropriate any money to the program; it merely established the purchasing agreement that can be applied when money is made available in the future.

Each year the Legislature allocates dollars for the protection of important habitat. Last summer I led an effort to put together a funding package that would protect four miles of stunning coastline in San Luis Obispo County. To accomplish that objective, the Legislature allocated $2.50 million from the General Fund in the 1998 Budget Act. (That was matched by the Package Foundation and the Trust for Public Land raised another $1 million to fund the $6 million package.) If the program in SB 680 was in place last summer, the state's cost to protect that four miles of coastline would have been $1.4 million rather than the $2.5 million allocated. That would have been a saving of $1.1 million to the General Fund that could have been used for other important habitat protection, park maintenance, or to meet any of the other important resource protection needs that we all have in our districts.

Under the 680 program, the federal government would have picked up the difference in funding because the landowner could have claimed a federal tax deduction for the land contribution. The end result is that the landowner would have still been compensated for the full market value of the land and the State's General Fund would have been $1.4 million ahead. Public support

A recent poll conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates from March 27-April 3, 1999, demonstrates that California voters overwhelmingly support the idea of conservation tax credits. The poll shows that four out of five voters supported this policy, with more than half of the voters saying they strongly supported it. Quake Insurance Authority Responds to Bolinas Temblor

Officials with the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) have mobilized in response to Tuesday's 5.0 earthquake, centered near Bolinas.

Although preliminary reports indicate little or no residential damage as a result of the quake, the CEA is working with insurance industry officials and local authorities to assess the possible needs of homeowners in the affected area.

"Our initial review indicates there are approximately 15,500 CEA policyholders in Marin County," said CEA spokesman Mark Leonard. "While we have no immediate reports of significant residential damage, it is possible we will receive claims from homeowners in the coming days and weeks. We are fully prepared to handle those claims."

Leonard said CEA policyholders who wish to file claims should contact their homeowner insurance agent or company. Additional information is available through the CEA at (916) 492-4300.

The CEA is a privately financed, publicly managed entity, funded by insurance companies and customer premiums. It has more than $7.2 billion to pay claims resulting from residential earthquake damage. Insurance companies that provide earthquake coverage for approximately 70 percent of California's homeowners are participants in the CEA. Homeowners with CEA coverage have purchased their policies through their own insurance agents.

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