Feedback & Discussion

Guy on soapboxWe’re trying an experiment here. Normally, websites collect comments attached to each story.  However, Sustainable Novato serves a relatively small local community, and there are lots of cross-connections between specific sustainability topics and stories.  As a result, we’re going to try collecting all the comments and discussions in one place – – HERE.

People should understand that there will be a delay of a few hours to a day before comments are posted. It’s the only way we can have a real human filter out the spammers, scammers and four-letter screamers. Otherwise, anything goes.So fire away.


5 Responses to Feedback & Discussion

  1. Lisa Moskow April 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    I would like to see poisonous fluoride (fluorosilisic acid) removed from the Marin County water supply– a desire shared with most other thinking people in this county.

    We will be able to vote for 3 Marin Municipal Water board candidates soon.

    How can we get candidates to run who will help with this or influence current
    board members to take up the cause?

    I would like to be connected with others who wish to work on this.

    I would like a response from the person who reads this email.

    Thank you.

    • Roy Pfeifer April 16, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for the comments. We understand this is a concern for many, but Sustainable Novato doesn’t currently have a position on the issue – so many issues, so little time and volunteer power – so we can’t address this topic at this time. You might want to send an editorial to the Patch or the Advance to connect with other like-minded individuals. Thank you for your concern for our environment.
      The Board of Sustainable Novato

  2. Tina McMillan October 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    It is helpful to have voices that can also challenge the status quo. I hope this site is open to alternate viewpoints.

    As a participant of the North Redwood Corridor workshops I was impressed by Bob Brown’s presentations and his comments to the effect that both vertical and horizontal Mixed Use is no longer being funded and that the development of the North Redwood Corridor should be primarily commercial. Bob Brown is an ardent environmentalist and for him to speak out on this particular stretch of land is significant.

    Novato has only 5% of its land use dedicated to commercial and light industrial. Compared to a city like San Rafael that has 17%, we must focus on increasing revenue in order to maintain city services and overcome the structural deficit that Michael Frank has spoken of these past four years. If you walk Redwood from Grant to San Marin/Atherton there is a tremendous amount of housing on the west side. That is optimal because it is further away from the noise and air pollution that is a part of the railroad and the freeway.

    Then north of north Redwood we have housing that is a part of the Buck Center, Partridge Knolls and possibly housing that may be developed as part of Fireman’s Fund. Fireman’s Fund has suffered economically in recent years and it is not clear what they will be doing in the future but those sites are much better suited for additional housing as they are away from the town’s center.

    Then there are the ten opportunity sites throughout Novato that are part of the current housing element. One that is part of North Redwood is the site adjacent to Trader Joes. Across the street there are two additional sites, possibly market rate, that include housing and potential mixed use. These are near Ranch Rd.

    If we really want to create appropriate affordable housing we would look at which schools are currently the least impacted by struggling student populations. A significant number of Socioeconomically disadvantaged students, SED, in Novato score below proficient in Language Arts and Math. If you look at the percentages, Olive Elementary School would not support more low income families whereas Rancho and Pleasant Valley would. If you go to the websites of the various elementary schools you can see schools that in ten years time have gone from minimal impacts to more than 50% of their population qualifying for the free lunch program and in some schools 60%.

    In 2003 we had 13% socioeconomically disadvantaged students in the Novato Unified School District. in 2012 we had 34%. The number continues to grow higher and higher as the economy struggles to rebound. Schools with larger percentages of SED students have declines in API. This is the case throughout the country. We must search for curriculum that meets the needs of all our students. At Hamilton School the principal stated that the current curriculum does not meet the needs of the SED and ELL students.

    This issue must be addressed or we will continue to see declining enrollment in public schools of families that can afford private schools and other families will simply turn north where they can apply for public charter schools using curriculums like Montessori, Waldorf and a Back to Basics.

    Jobs, housing, transportation and the environment are all complex interrelated issues. If we really want to help then we can’t slap a one size fits all solution on the problem. Mixed use is too limited for Novato. Novato needs a strong commercial district to support all residents. According to our budget and our housing element, from 1999 to 2006 Novato built 15% more affordable housing than required by the state only to find that the population and jobs numbers were seriously inflated.

    Yes, there will always be a need for low income housing but if we truly want sustainable practices then we must look at our financial picture, the impact on local public schools and the possibility that what fits San Rafael does not fit Novato. Just ask Bob Brown or Michael Frank. Both men are ardent supporters of sustainable practices including sustainable fiscal planning of the North Redwood Corridor.

    • Spoffo October 5, 2013 at 1:37 am #

      “I hope this site is open to alternate viewpoints.” Absolutely, and thank you for your thoughts. Serious comments from any point of view are welcome.
      As noted above, the only people we filter are spammers, screamers and ill-mannered trolls.

Leave a Reply