Marin IJ Readers’ Forum April 9, 2022 – Marin Independent Journal

Demand a commitment to renewable energy

In a letter to the editor published March 28, Todd P. Silverstein promoted the topic of natural gas restriction. His claims contradicted a previously published California Voice comment by Lance Christensen of the California Policy Center (“Restricting natural gas across state a Recipe for blackouts, March 20).

Silverstein believes that any citizen with a storage battery can power through the night with renewable energy created during the day. I tried to do just that when trying to add a storage battery to my existing solar panels. I’ve failed.

Four solar suppliers, including the original installer, refused my request. I was told I had to buy an entirely new system, costing a minimum of $30,000. Explanations varied. They cited liability and compatibility issues. I was told they had bigger projects to work on.

In addition to this hurdle, solar energy users fear that the California Public Utilities Commission will repeal the Net Energy Metering 2.0 program, which would drastically reduce consumer incentives to solarize. Moreover, we have the national priority, resulting from the war in Ukraine, for the United States to replace the gas that Europe buys from Russia.

As some may know, virtually all solar panels are made in China as there is no domestic solar manufacturing. We all know that we need to convert to renewables as quickly as possible to minimize the incipient climate catastrophe. Yet the government’s disjointed response at nearly every level makes failure a virtual certainty.

My position is that the government is incompetent because the citizens have never asked it for competence. Our government continues to be reluctant to clearly state its priorities, budget accordingly, and demand votes based on those priorities (and nothing else).

— Chet Seligman, Point Reyes Station

Sausalito parking ticket leaves an unwanted feeling

I received a surprise in my mailbox in mid-March. I was notified of an unpaid parking ticket from Sausalito. This was for “no parking at a bus stop/red zone” in January. The cost was $303. It was a bit of a shock as I didn’t receive a physical parking ticket on that date.

From memory, I remembered that I had stopped for three or four minutes in a bus stop area as a safety measure. I wanted to reprogram my GPS for the next destination and preferred to stop for that. In this area of ​​Sausalito, there isn’t much room to stop. I was in the car with the engine running and would have pulled out if a bus had arrived.

I filed and lost an appeal. I wrote three letters to Mayor Janelle Kellman suggesting that the Sausalito parking lot police were being overzealous in enforcing the law. I did not receive any answer.

Sure, I broke a law. However, in my limited experience, parking police in other cities are often lenient when it comes to this kind of minor incident. One option is to wave to the driver rather than issue a ticket. However, there doesn’t seem to be leniency in Sausalito. In my case, the issuing agent didn’t even approach the car.

A certain flexibility in the application of these laws engenders gratitude on the part of the driver. Instead, the “no tolerance” policy and an unresponsive mayor’s office bred disappointment. As an out of county resident, I don’t feel welcome to return as a visitor to shop or dine.

Sausalito doesn’t seem to be friendly to visitors. The city government seems to be unresponsive. Are they so desperate for parking fine income?

—Richard Mogford, Jenner

Housing element madness demands control

As director of the Catalysts for Local Control group, I think it’s time to push back on the craziness of the housing element. We are stuffed with housing solutions that do not deliver on the promise of affordable housing.

First, state housing quotas are double what they were eight years ago. Embarcadero Institute researchers show how the California Department of Housing and Community Development ended up with inflated numbers. Where is the evidence that the population of Marin will or is expected to double over the next eight years?

Risks such as fires, floods, parking, congestion and drought are aggravated by high density housing, but these factors are ignored.

Something is wrong when community well-being is threatened by unreliable state quotas.

Instead of being a partner in meeting housing needs, the state is ready to bully jurisdictions into compliance. For example, if cities fail to meet unrealistic regional housing needs assessment figures, the state threatens to sue, impose heavy fines, or hire a court-appointed outsider to put a city ​​in compliance.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have given developers, not voters, the power to set rules on heights and setbacks through density bonuses. Secondary suite legislation was passed with a height restriction of 16 feet, which is the equivalent of two stories. But lawmakers like State Senator Bob Wieckowski aren’t happy. His bill would increase the height to 25 feet, which is equivalent to a three-story building in your single-family residential neighborhood.

Marin County’s public participation process has been tightly controlled to hinder, not enhance, wisdom. The two-hour workshop on March 29 was the fourth in a series. Who believes you can get sound decisions for an eight-year plan with a two-hour series of Zoom calls? The “discussion” has been reduced to questions in a chat box. The workshops were not commensurate with the complexity of an eight-year plan.

It’s time to push back this madness.

—Susan Kirsch, Mill Valley

Opposing the Homekey site will cost us all

I was disappointed to see that some people who live in Larkspur still oppose elements of a homeless housing plan (“Marin residents sue county over Larkspur homeless plan “, April 3). In my view, this is another case of “not in my court” attitudes, not the issue identified in the lawsuit. I think his intent has little to do with the county’s due diligence to ensure the project is exempt from California’s environmental quality law.

I believe that many of the people living in the area where the proposed residence will be built are quite wealthy and in some way feel entitled to exclude certain people from their neighborhood. What they don’t seem to realize is that homeless people are human beings. Some have families. They need the stability of a home to meet their mental and physical health care needs.

The longer people live on the streets, the more likely they are to become victims of crime, as well as drug and alcohol addiction – all of which place a heavy financial burden on the county and the state. I believe that in the end, we all end up paying for their selfishness.

—Gail Dolson, Corte Madera

Putin’s hubris will torment the Russian people for years

We are witnessing the destruction of the invading Russian army by brave Ukrainians who have the will and the skills to fight and win in the field against all odds.

This is similar to the Bible story. Pharaoh’s chariots and men were consumed in the Red Sea when Pharaoh’s ego would not let the Hebrews go. Today, the ego and uncompromising determination of Russian President Vladimir Putin is causing great suffering and death to his own soldiers.

The punishments and isolation inflicted now on the Russian people are like the 10 plagues that were inflicted on the Egyptians as Pharaoh refused at every plea to yield to his subjugation of other people.

As we prepare for the week-long Jewish commemoration of the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt known as the Passover, the story of the plagues and destruction of the Egyptians seems so fitting for what we let’s see it unfold. Perhaps we could express some empathy for the Russian soldiers who are being led to the slaughterhouse in a war they did not want, nor did they believe in, by a leader who cares little for their death or of the suffering of the Russian people.

They will be tormented for years because of Putin’s stubbornness and hubris. May some of them rise up to stop the madness and put an end to so much suffering.

—Jeff Saperstein, Mill Valley