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The hollowing out of West Marin
By Paul Elmore
West Marin is becoming a hollowed out community.Many settlements have fewer than 50 percent full time residents.As Polly Adler, a noted madam in my day, said, “A house is not a home”.
There are fewer and fewer homes. The houses instead are second dwellings.They are visited weekly, often during the middle of the week, so they can be rented on the weekend to pay off mortgages and property taxes.Some owners visit their property less frequently, even just a once a year.Some former residences are converted into B and B’s.And a number of former homes are simply vacant much of the time.
Often the owners of these non-homes have little knowledge about local issues or conditions.There are exceptions: a few owners of second houses do travel here frequently and do participate fully in community organizations and events.
These observations of the emptying out of West Marin homes are not to cast blame on individuals.There are myriad reasons for using a dwelling as income, or not at all.
The effect on local organizations in West Marin is the overwork and burnout of those full-time residents who do volunteer.
Community planning organizations and those that plan events like Western Weekend, food banks, organizations that feed the home-bound, run the local history museums, plan for emergencies at the neighborhood level- all these and much more depend on volunteers who are full-time inhabitants. We do not live in cities or towns and the County is stretched thin.
Many of the full-time West Marin residents are growing older and have less energy for volunteering than they previously did.The real estate agents hover over us, waiting for the inevitable vacating of our houses. Given the ballooning of the value of these properties, selling them is irresistible for most heirs.West Marin properties are great investments, but we rarely live in our investments.
Community exists when people know each other, know whom to trust, and can work together. Soon we will become “villages,” delightful to the tourists who fill and often block our roads. Restaurants and oyster stores will be jammed.Serving visitors will be paramount. But the “villages” will be akin to movie sets, all false fronts with nothing discordant to an audience, but nothing behind them.
Informally what I observe in the Marshall area – roughly from Nick’s Cove to Millerton Park- is that of of approximately 77 houses along the Bay, 38 are occupied full-time, and 4 of these are the living quarters of Hispanic workers and, in some cases, their families.
Thirty nine houses are occupied part time and a number are week-end rentals.Recently two homes were sold to non-residents, and at least one other home is on the market.Both of these recent sales were to non-residents. Parenthetically I did not include the ranch properties within this area because they are not merely residences, but businesses
My intention in the near future is to transform some residences into full-time settlements for West Marin residents.In terms of a warm living community we are on our way to becoming an empty shell – like our oyster shells, once a home, but pried open by money.
Paul Elmore is the former president of the East Shore Planning Group
BIOBLITZ!!! Read about it!
The West Marin Citizen
April 10 , 2014
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Save Your Books!
Tomales Bay Library Association (TBLA) second annual used book sale at the Little Yellow House on the Commons, in Pt Reyes Station.
Friday April 11 1pm-7pm: Book drop-off(no sales)
Saturday April 12 9 am- 6pm : drop-off of books and book sale.
Sunday April 139 am-6pm Book sale only.
Questions call Laura 415-663-9260. Clean books only!
Home for sale by the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin
73 Inverness Way, Inverness
3-bedroom, 2-bath, fully remodeled home
Central Inverness – walk to school, library, market
Priced in low $300,000’s
Join us to find out more
Community Meeting, Wednesday April 9, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Dance Palace Community Center, 503 B Street, Point Reyes Station
Open Houses: April 12, 19, 23
Applications distributed at the meeting, and www.clam-ptreyes.org
The Roneil and EZ Powell Pledge.
Five Brooks Ranch in Olema will donate $1.00 from each paying customer for the whole year to the family. It will be paid out on a monthly basis. I am asking other local business owners and individuals to do something similar.A few of us joining together with this pledge will help make the lives of Alex Porrata and her children a little easier.This tragic twist of fate could strike any one of us. We have to do more than just express our support. We can cut down expenses a little here and there and the impact on our businesses will not be very noticeable but will make a huge impact for Alex and EZ and Lu.
Contact Andrew for information on how to set up your pledge: 415-663-1570 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Coast Guide available, contact the Citizen for copies. Free
By Mary Olsen
On February 5, some heavenly rain fell in West Marin. More fell on the February 7 and 9.It made for a good soaking, enough to awaken those lazy, snoozing fungi.By February 23, those sleepy heads were wide-awake and standing at attention. Hedgehogs and Yellow Feet and Oyster mushrooms all out there waiting for the knowledgeable forager. There are other species popping up that are interesting to look at, but not edible.
Learn how to identify mushrooms
Patrick Hamilton, the unofficial mycochef for the Sonoma County Mycological Association and mushroom expert, has teamed up with ForageSF to take people into the woods to learn about mushrooms first hand. Tomales Bay State Park and the Point Reyes Seashore are two of his favorite hunting grounds.
There are often anywhere from 12 to 24 people in the group and the cost is $90, not a bad investment considering the cost of a new liver. They meet at the Inverness Store parking lot, rain or shine, on the appointed day.The forays usually begin with Patrick pointing out, in no uncertain terms, the necessity of complete accuracy in mushroom identification before cooking and eating one of the foraged fungi. Patrick’s adventures usually last four or five hours.
Another good way to learn about mushrooms is to join a mushroom club.Consider the Sonoma County Mycological Society.SOMA.org.
And come to Toby’s Feed Barn on April 5, to hear an informative talk by famous mycologist, David Arora. Tickets are $15 online at ptreyesbooks.com.There will be food, beer and wine available for purchase but not included in the price of the ticket. All proceeds will go to the Roneil Powell Memorial Fund.This event will sell out, so get your tickets now.
West Marin Sheriff’s Calls, Special edition
Wednesday, March 26.
Inverness Park 8:21 pm Night squirrels reported loose on Sir Francis Drake. Deputy got them back into their pasture.
Inverness Park 11:05 pmHusband called to report wife stealing his blankets and pillow while sleeping. Advice given. Husband checked by paramedics for possible hypothermia.
Thursday, March 27
Point Reyes Station 9:32 am Tourist, unable to make a decision after standing in line at the Bovine, called to report she saw rain in the area. Asked if she should evacuate. Advice given.
Inverness Park12:42 pm Birders reported honking in marsh and thought hunters were driving around scaring birds. Deputies advised is was Canadian Geese and they always do that this time of year.
Friday, March 28
Dog Town2:46 pmMan from Milpitas called to say he did not see any dogs when they drove through. Deputy sang “Who Let the Dogs Out” to them over the phone and advised this is normal.
Tomales 4:08 pm Report of people throwing rocks at ducks. Deputy moved rock throwers along and said if they want to kill ducks they have to go to Inverness marsh.
Point Reyes National Seashore 4:45 pm NPS ranger reports being attacked by an oyster. Says that it slimed his funky green pants. Signs will be put up to warn of oyster attacks.
Point Reyes Station 5:15 pm Out of town visitor called to complain about all the signs in the park. Could not see whale, elk or elephant seals due to excessive signs. Referred to NPS.
Saturday March 29
Bolinas 6:30 am Caller reported someone doing something. Report taken.
Nicasio 9:34 am Man doing a selfie had his bicycle run over after leaving it in the road to photograph himself next to a “share the road” sign. CHP advised “duh”.
Point Reyes National Seashore 12:20 pm Man with anxiety episode at remote beach airlifted to local bar to chill out.
Inverness 4:32 pm Noise report. Gunshots and people with shotguns, pistols and machine guns shooting up house. All was quiet when deputy arrived. He advised involved parties to keep the noise down as the neighbors were complaining.
Sunday March 30
Marshall 10:32 am Woman complained she had been hacked online. Beyonce pictures were all over her twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Deputies determined she had spent too much time at local bar the night before.
Inverness Park 1:17 pm Pink flamingo seen in Giacomini wetlands. Birders from all over came and caused traffic problems as they parked in the middle of SFD Blvd. Found to be a faux flamingo. NPS now conducting scoping, NEPA and CEQUA studies on how to remove it. Action pending and pending and……….and no matter what is found, they will do what they want.
Olema 3:36 pm Pothole reported on Highway One. Deputy found hole but no pot.
Olema 4:03 pm NPS ranger found a pot ½ mile north of reported pothole. Ranger put pot back in hole and reported all is well.
Point Reyes Station 4:25 pm Ford Pinto rally arrived in town. Numerous calls to ask if it was safe.
Monday March 31
Inverness 7:25 am Banana slug was reported crossing Highway One. Deputy moved it along but called for traffic control from CHP as it might take a while.
Marshall12:20 pm Absentee homeowner reported that he had a restraining order against a man with Obsessive compulsive disorder. OCD man was still coming to his house and washing windows. Deputies suggested he drop the restraining order and enjoy the clean windows.
Marshall 2:37 pm Caller reported credit card fraud. Whoever was using it was purchasing and downloading funny cat videos. Advice given.
Point Reyes Station 3:30 pm Food shop owner reported hysterical out of town woman. She was ranting about gourmet food, prices, too many choices etc . Deputies arrived and calmed her down. She stated she was just upset and stressed out. In Des Moines she could get a bologna and yellow mustard sandwich without being asked so many questions about choices.
Tuesday April 1 Erroneous Sheriff calls reported. Deputies confirmed it could have happened.
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY!Submitted by the Inverness Ridge Barb.
Family and community mourn Rebecca Lyons
Rebecca Ruth Lyons, 41, passed away in Olema, California on Saturday, March 8, 2014, surrounded by her family. Rebecca was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1972. She relocated to Mill Valley, California in 1987, with her mother, Rita, and her sister, Anna, where she attended Tamalpais High School and later College of Marin. She was a preschool teacher for most of her career. Rebecca was an avid gardener, and especially loved her flowers and her two cats, Serafina and Scout.
On August 1, 2012, Rebecca was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. She won the hearts of all her doctors and nurses with her tireless humor and positive attitude in the face of such a devastating diagnosis. Throughout it all, she smiled and laughed every day. That was her gift; Rebecca was magnetic. Our entire community and all who had the good fortune to know her will truly miss her.
Rebecca leaves behind her sons Jack Murray, 8, and Ryan Murray, 5, her children with Kevin Murray, as well as Duncan Hutt-Lyons, 14, son of Rebecca Lyons and Mathew Hutt.
Rebecca came from a large family and is mourned very deeply by her mother, Rita Lockett, father, Winder Lyons, sisters Leslie, Anna, HariNarayan, and Mariah and brothers Kartapurkh and SatNarayan as well as all of her adoring cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
A small private family service will be held on March 27. Family and friends are invited to a memorial gathering on March 29, 3pm to 7 pm at the Inverness Yacht Club, 12850 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Inverness, CA 94937.
In honor of Rebeccas passing, and to help defray expenses, donations can be made to the Rebecca Lyons Fund at GoFundMe.com.
Citizen launches new column – Birthday Celebrants wanted
If you’ve got a milestone birthday coming up, the Citizen wants to interview you. We define milestone as the following ages: 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, and every year after that as long as you, and we, are still kicking. And if you are a Latina celebrating your quinceanera, you too!
You will be interviewed in a question-and-answer format, your replies published verbatim, free of any spinning by a pesky reporter. Be prepared to reflect philosophically about the
passing years . . . . And of course we’ll want a photo of your smiling – or brooding – face.
Step right up and email Larken Bradley at
LarkenB(at)aol.com. Or telephone (415) 663-8232
West Marin Sheriff’s Logs
Curated by David van der Wal
West Marin Sheriff’s Logs
Monday March 31
Stinson Beach 12:11 a.m. Reporting person called from Indiana, but upon further investigation this call probably came from Kentucky. Woman seemed to be in ‘altered’ state. Deputies checked three properties listed for woman’s friend and were unable to locate her. They then checked with a definitive source, a bartender at Smileys. They reported that they had known woman in potential danger for 30 yr.’s and that she seemed fine.
Point Reyes Station 4:28 a.m. Woman described a noise that she could not describe; possibly blowing the minds of the emergency responders she had called. Deputies unable to locate unknown noise.
Point Reyes Station 11:00 a.m. Owner would like advice regarding person who sits in her shop every day when it is raining. She reports that sitting person hurts business and she would like advice on how to deal with rain avoiding transient.
Muir Woods Park 3:42 p.m. Woman called to report that her ex-boyfriend had punched his fist through a window in her home. She reported they were not fighting and that they have no history of violence and would not like to file a report but would him to leave.
Tuesday April 1
Inverness 5:22 a.m. A woman called the sheriff’s department about various people trespassing on her property. Woman began rambling about other things that were not relevant to a call the sheriff’s office. Woman cautioned about what type of call should be made to emergency services.
Dogtown 10:36 a.m. A car was found abandoned off an embankment. Deputies soon found out that the car belonged to a man that had been reported missing. Missing persons report originally entered by Santa Rosa Police Department.
Point Reyes Station 4:51 p.m. Neighbor reports that his neighbors often yell at each other loudly. Neighbors are not doing anything now but they would like advice for when inevitable fighting begins anew.
Forest Knolls 6:07 p.m. Tenant hit reporting parties car two weeks ago and has refused to exchange insurance information since then. She is asking for advice on how to resolve the issue.
Forest Knolls 11:54 p.m. Neighbor was playing loud rock music. Music was turned off prior to deputies arrival and the neighbor soon left house for arts unknown.
Wednesday April 2
Tomales 8:21 a.m. A report of computer/phone fraud was made.
Forest Knolls 9:52 a.m. Loud electric guitar reported at neighbor’s house. Neighbor also made report last night. Reporting party does not need deputies to make contact.
Woodacre 10:06 p.m. Reporting party helped owner move ex-tenant’s property out of house. Now, he is concerned about possible retaliation as ex-tenants belongings are standing out on the curb. Advice given.
Thursday April 3
Lagunitas 8:36 a.m. Reporting party stated they saw a vehicle that had crashed and were concerned for occupants. Reporting party stated that driver was slumped over the steering wheel.
Bolinas 4:36 p.m. Woman called deputies to report that another woman in Kentucky has been calling repeatedly to request welfare checks for her. She states that she is fine and that this woman has been harassing her and calling 911 and her cell phone up to 40 times a day to tell responders that she needs help. She states that woman in Kentucky has been calling the La Grange Police department as well. Woman will be at Smiley’s if anyone needs to contact her.
Point Reyes Station 11:33 p.m. A person is sleeping in front of a business/home in a sleeping bag to keep out of the rain. Reporting party states they don’t know the sleeping parties ethnicity. This probably wouldn’t change the deputy’s response to the call, which was to tell the wayward traveler to not sleep in front of local businesses. Subject stated they would be taking a bus to San Rafael tomorrow.
Friday April 4
Inverness Park 9:31 a.m. 80 yr-old friend called reporting party sounding terrified. Reporting party stated that his friend allows his caretakers to live with him and that they have been acting strangely. Welfare check conducted on man. Advice given on tenant/landlord dispute.
Inverness 2:24 p.m. Woman called to report that she believed that her Costco card had been compromised. She doesn’t believe that there was any loss of money. As Costco card is a membership card I believe she is right.
Bolinas 5:11 p.m. A woman in her 50’s was reported yelling, “God will get you!” Reporting party states that they believe she may be having a ‘meth’ meltdown.
Olema 10:16 p.m. Subject arrested and booked on an outstanding San Mateo warrant.
Inverness 11:41 p.m. A man who was tired of running called and asked to turn himself in for an outstanding warrant. He said he couldn’t make it down to the jail and that he didn’t have a phone, but that he would be in front of the store at midnight. Man arrested and booked at Marin County Jail.
Saturday April 5
Inverness 9:58 a.m. Man lost paddle that says ‘Werner” on the side of it. Paddle is 7 feet tall and worth $400 dollars. He is checking out of hotel in one hour and is running out of places to look for it.
Lagunitas 10:58 a.m. A resident was yelling at Comcast cable installation crew who were running cable from pole to a house above their residence. Public easement law was explained to resident and argument was abated.
Point Reyes Station 11:48 a.m. Reporting party states that their car was stolen.
Forest Knolls 2:47 p.m. Two men were reported driving around on a scooter with no muffler or helmets. Scooter was very loud. Men were reportedly fixing scooter but were warned to not drive scooter till it was fixed and not without proper headgear.
Sunday April 6
Muir Woods Park 4:30 p.m. A fire broke out in basement of house. Two residents escaped the blaze and the accompanying smoke. Fire crew on scene controlled the danger.
Stinson Beach 11:18 a.m. Hikers on Mt. Davis Trail reported two suspicious individuals walking along the path. Two males in their 20’s, one wearing a camouflage vest and the other wearing a gas mask.
Point Reyes Station 1:45 p.m. A woman in her 30’s, apparently jammed her foot in a door, but somehow was able to walk into town and report the incident to deputies. Woman was alert and conscious.
Point Reyes Books
TOBY'S FEED BARN
Reliving the Dipsea:
Dipsea Trail - Nomination for national and state historic registries by Dewey Livingston
Welcome to the blog of David Mitchell, editor & publisher emeritus of The Point Reyes Light. In 1979, The Light won the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service for an exposé largely written by him of the increasingly violent Synanon cult. Mitchell retired in November 2005 after 35 years of newspapering, 27 of those at The Light.
During his newspaper career, he also worked for the old San Francisco Examiner, Sonora’s Daily Union Democrat in the Sierra Nevada, and Council Bluff’s daily newspaper, The Nonpareil. In addition, he edited the weekly Sebastopol (California) Times. Mitchell holds a master’s degree in Communications and a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University. He is 68 and lives in Point Reyes Station on the rural coast north of San Francisco.
Herd Out West
By Larken Bradley
Couldn’t help but hear.
“Self-knowledge is 70 percent bad news.”
Teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Citizen readers: When you hear or observe something amusing in West Marin, over the hill, while on vacation or a business trip or perusing blogs, we want to join in the fun. E-mail submissions for publication to Larken@obituarywriters.com. Or telephone: 415-454-3552
Also provide your name, town and contact information.