View of Sierra from Tam brought hopeful cheer
As we look around we see so many challenges. I remember the day the sky turned dark orange on Sept. 9, 2020 as so much of California was burning. Even today, the cloud of COVID-19 hangs over us. Other dark clouds darken our horizon for sure these days, but let me share a recent view:
I got back to Marin on New Year’s Eve from the Sierra Nevada after three weeks buried in so much snow. I took a hike on Mount Tamalpais on New Year’s Day. It was cold and the sky was crystal clear. About two-thirds of the way up Tam, at about 1,800 feet, I was able to gaze at the horizon. I saw white, but it didn’t look like a cloud. It was snow on the Sierra.
I took a line of sight over Carquinez Strait and noted a heading of 70 degrees magnetic. After I got back home, I plotted it on the Google Earth website and found the distance to be about 140 miles. My heading led me to believe that the Sierra peaks and ridges I saw are between 8,000 to 10,000 feet tall.
It was so cool. It was heartening to get that view. It was a super-clear day with a high enough vantage, a low gap in line of sight, heavy snow fully covering the Sierra and the sun to my back.
It was a reminder that we do have challenges, as generations before us did. But we must remember what a treasure California is — from the sea to Sierra, as this view of note spans. As we dig into the new year, here’s to a lot of good thought, very hard work and a common commitment to keep the treasures of California and Marin. Best to all in 2022.
— David S. Walker, Belvedere
Avoid ‘urban renewal’ gentrification in Marin City
I’m writing to express my strong support for the community of people who live at Golden Gate Village — and the council of residents which represents them — in their fight to be heard. Housing and racial justice are at issue.
Golden Gate Village in Marin City is the largest public housing community in Marin County and the only one that accepts families. It is also the only majority-Black public housing in this affluent county. Many of the residents are descendants of the women and men who built ships here during World War II.
The Marin Board of Supervisors sit on the Marin Housing Authority board, which manages all county public housing. For decades, the Housing Authority has practiced a form of management that I believe should be viewed as intentional neglect. Disrepair in Marin City has reached a level so serious that the Housing Authority has rationalized that demolition was justified. Golden Gate Village sits on prime Marin real estate. That fact raises concern that some prefer to gentrify the community by demolishing many of the existing units and replacing them with market-rate units in newly constructed buildings. It would force most of the current residents to leave.
We’ve seen this pattern of redevelopment since the 1950s. It comes in the name of “urban renewal,” in which poor communities of color are destroyed and replaced with more affluent residents.
The Golden Gate Village Resident Council developed a plan to restore, repair and revitalize the property. This is their home and their community, and the Housing Authority must listen seriously to give their revitalization plan priority status.
Let’s not lose our Black brothers and sisters in Golden Gate Village to the exploits of redevelopment. Contact your supervisor to say you stand behind the residents of Golden Gate Village. Go to GGVRC.org to learn more.
— David Porter, Novato
Listen to residents’ plan for Golden Gate Village
I’m writing to express my great concern for the people who live at Golden Gate Village. It’s clear that Marin County has been avoiding maintenance for the public housing buildings for years. Some residents are forced to live in decrepit and hazardous conditions. As the only public housing in Marin that accepts children, it is of the utmost importance to provide safe, healthy living conditions for children.
On a recent tour led by a member of the Golden Gate Village Resident Council, I saw unacceptable conditions there for myself. Following the tour, I carefully reviewed the information on the GGVRC.org website. My impression after this research is that the county is looking to remove these residents in the hopes of using one of Marin’s prime properties for profit by having developers build unaffordable residences to increase county tax revenues.
I encourage all residents to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 25 at 9 a.m. The resident council will present its plan for improving a community it has been fighting to save for many years.
— Joy Martin, Novato