Green New Deal News

Marin IJ Readers' Forum for Nov. 1, 2020

Golden Gate Village needs help from supervisors

I attended the video conference meeting of the Marin Board of Supervisors about the future of Marin City’s Golden Gate Village public housing project on Oct. 20 (“Marin might help public housing residents buy homes,” Oct. 27). Over the years, I have attended various hearings, the last one when the Michaels company presented its idea for a public-private partnership, with no plans in place for funding, a serious flaw in my opinion.

Now the housing authority is presenting another broad-stroke plan without funding.

Speakers at the hearing raised thoughtful questions. Why haven’t the supervisors considered the tenants’ plan? They are the ones worried about losing their housing. The tenants have filed a lawsuit against the county. The lawyers are working pro bono.

Moreover, Bernadette Stuart filed a major complaint against Lewis Jordan, Kimberly Carroll and Amy Chan, stating the three engaged in mismanagement of the property, fudging the books, and nepotism (“Marin housing manager claims retaliation for whistleblowing,” Oct. 21).

I am truly confused and would like the supervisors to get to the bottom of this.

— Barbara Rothkrug, Corte Madera

Safety protocols at Bayside MLK are strong

As a parent of a child at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Sausalito, I thought the article headlined “Bayside MLK students told to quarantine” in the Marin IJ Oct. 15 was missing important points that would be useful for the community to hear.

I think the undertone of the article seemed to imply that the school’s reopening is to be blamed for a student testing positive for coronavirus. I believe that the real story here is that protocols, as implemented by Bayside MLK and other schools, are working to allow safe, in-person learning for our children. The protocols are allowing students in non-affected cohorts, such as my kindergartner’s class, to keep going to school and continue uninterrupted learning.

The words from Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis are noteworthy. When talking about public health protocols are key to the strategy of reopening schools he said, “we cannot define success as zero cases.” Required protocols, as implemented by Bayside MLK, include: small cohorts with dedicated teachers; separate cohort school entrances and staggered start times; breakfast and lunch delivery to classrooms in lieu of cafeteria service; a restroom dedicated to each cohort; staggered recess times; enhanced cleaning protocols; and masks worn by everyone at all times.

Protocols allow education to continue by reverting to short-term distance learning during the quarantine period for any affected cohort. School administrators anticipated this in the design of the coronavirus protocols and teachers have been ready for such a possibility.

In fact, as soon as possible, Bayside MLK informed us that there were no additional positive COVID-19 tests results within the school community since the one positive case the previous week. This is further evidence of the effectiveness of health protocols.

— Kirstin Thomas, Sausalito

Crucial to keep pace with climate actions

The article headlined “Climate plan calls for push to electric cars,” in the Marin IJ Oct. 13 was almost perfect. Tailpipes account for about 40% of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When a household moves from gasoline to electric transportation, the reduction in GHGs is a big deal.

My quibble with the article is simple: It omits recent news which provides necessary context. Throughout California, and particularly in Marin towns and cities, we are picking up speed on the path to climate action. This has a lot to do with the transition to electric vehicles.

On Sept. 24, the IJ reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered sales of new gas cars to end by 2035. That same day, the paper reported “the Novato City Council voted unanimously to consider declaring a climate emergency.” A model resolution submitted to the council called for banning gas car sales and gas stations by 2030.

These milestones are theoretical, but they embody real-life concerns for Marin households considering the purchase of gas cars. Right now, EVs are a better buy in terms of lifetime cost of ownership. The cost of fuel (electricity) for an EV is about 75% lower than the cost of gasoline.

There’s nothing theoretical about saving money — or saving our environment via GHG reductions. I think most Marin households would choose both.

— Kevin Morrison, Novato