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Sausalito Currents - April 11, 2014
your weekly e-newsletter
Posted Date: 4/11/2014 3:15 PM

Information from your City Offices Public Notices  Public Announcements  |  Meetings/Events this Week Things Happening Around our Community




On March 18th, 2014, the Sausalito Police Department and the Department of Public Works presented a plan to the Sausalito City Council requesting a summertime closure of Tracy Way for the purpose of creating a designated bicycle parking zone. The designated bicycle parking zone is meant to address the influx of bicycle tourism in the downtown area, improve the overall beauty of the downtown area by removing concrete dividers, and enhance overall motorist, bicyclist and pedestrian safety.

The plan is scheduled to begin April 15th, 2014. Motorists will experience the following changes in the immediate area:

  • El Portal will become a two-way street with a cul-de-sac or turnaround at the waterside end
  • Some of the parking spaces along El Portal will be posted NO PARKING ANY TIME
  • Passenger and commercial loading will be permitted in these spaces, but they must generally be kept clear to allow larger vehicles to make the turnaround without having to back
  • Other parking spaces on El Portal will be available for parking between 6 PM and 11 AM, but will become NO PARKING LOADING ZONE spaces between 11 AM and 6 PM

Motorists using El Portal to drop off and pick up passengers are asked to use Municipal Lot #1.

For questions about this project, please contact Jonathon Goldman, Director of Public Works, at 415-289-4176, or John Rohrbacher, Police Captain, at 415-289-4177



Caledonia Street Lights
It seems like forever ago that the City started a project to rewire the 21-fixture 5,000 volt series streetlight circuit serving portions of Caledonia and a short segment of Bridgeway. Well, the project is almost complete with the wiring done, the refurbished, LED retrofitted original fixtures rehung and a 72-hour burn-in test successfully completed! The temporary trailer mounted lights are expected to leave today (Friday the 11th), the temporary “cobra-head” fixtures that were strapped to the pole arms are expected to be removed next week, and some additional pavement repairs will also be completed within the next two weeks. The City thanks the affected residents and businesses who patiently kept faith that the work would finally be completed, and thanks its contractors, W. Bradley Electric for getting the rewiring done, and DC Electric for getting the original fixtures so elegantly refurbished and retrofitted. The successful completion of this project will allow the City to remove, refurbish and retrofit the remainder of the 1940’s vintage streetlight fixtures as budget permits and eliminate a significant number of the least energy-efficient streetlights remaining in the City’s inventory. For questions regarding this project, please contact Andrew Davidson, Senior Civil Engineer, 415-289-4180


City Hall Parking Lot
Despite the rain, the City’s project to remove a barrier to access to City Hall for drivers with impaired mobility is also in its final stages. Repaving of the City Hall Parking Lot off Bee Street is being completed as this is being written (Friday April 11th), the jaunty driveway approach will be removed and replaced Saturday, April 12th with what is intended to be much more pleasant to drive over and the new pavement will be permanently marked Monday April 14th. The City appreciates our neighbors and visitors patience as we have completed this important project. We also appreciate the contractor who submitted the low bid for the work, American Asphalt, and look forward to the opportunity to work with them again. For questions regarding this project, please contact Andrew Davidson, Senior Civil Engineer, 415-289-4180


Municipal Pier Project
The City opened bids on this grant-funded project on Tuesday April 8th. All of the bids opened exceeded the Engineer’s Estimate and the threshold under the California Public Contract Code for formal bids (the project had been advertised under informal bid rules). At its April 22nd meeting, the City Council will be advised of these results and Staff’s recommendation that the bids be rejected, the project be value-engineered to determine whether costs can be reduced, and the project re-bid under formal bid procedures. For questions regarding this project, please contact Jonathon Goldman, Director of Public Works, 415-289-4176


 Weed Eradication Plans
With springtime and weed germination season approaching, the City is proactive about weeds at certain locations where manual weeding is not feasible. The Testa Street fenceline and the area planted with Poplar trees outside the eastern edge of Marinship Park, the boundaries of the running track and baseball infield at MLK Park, and portions of the turf medians along Bridgeway are treated using products approved by the State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and Marin County Department of Agriculture for control of weeds. These products are applied in conformance with the label directions and County regulations by City employees who are licensed Pest Control Applicators. The City uses these products only very judiciously. The products used are the same ones that any homeowner may buy and use in California, they are toxic only to the vegetation or weed seeds they are applied to and are toxic to those plants for a relatively short period of time. The City always posts an advisory in advance of its application of these products and only removes the posting when the treated area is dry and it is safe for people (including children) and the animals cared for by people to use the areas treated. As a consequence of their training and licenses for controlling undesirable pests, City staff is very knowledgeable regarding alternatives to weed abatement products and utilizes these products only when the desired maintenance objective cannot feasibly be accomplished any other way with the resources available. The City is always open to discussing and considering alternatives that provide the level of service desired by the community while minimizing potential adverse environmental effects. Please feel free to contact the City’s Department of Public Works Maintenance Division Manager Loren Umbertis ( for more information on this topic.

Springtime is also a wonderful opportunity to follow the City’s lead and perform or encourage your landscape maintenance contractor to perform some pre-weed landscape maintenance to discourage weed growth, compost the green waste produced by landscape maintenance either onsite or using the greencycle service provided by Bay Cities Refuse Service, and tune up the landscape irrigation system to ensure that there are no leaks and that the timers and other controls are set to achieve the 25% reduction in use the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) has requested of all of its customers. As of March 27, 2014, MMWD reports that reservoir levels are at 78% of capacity as compared with a historical average of 91% for this date (see Application of mulch to soils under irrigated landscaping is commonly overlooked by landscape maintenance workers seeking to reduce irrigation water demand (by reducing evaporation from irrigated soils), protect against erosion, and protect against soil compaction that can occur during the winter with rainfall or due to spray irrigation. Learning more from MMWD ( ) and other resources to conserve water during this period of irrigation water shortage is time well-spent. 


Community Update on City Sewer Needs
Like many Marin sewer systems, Sausalito’s is 75-years-old, deteriorated and needs upgrades. We have more than 27 miles of pipe in the City that convey our wastewater to treatment facilities.

By keeping up with sewer maintenance, we’ve been able to comply with a 2008 Environmental Protection Agency Order. But we must replace our deteriorated, 1930s-era sewer pipes to continue to comply with clean water requirements.

The City has identified $5 million dollars in priority sewer system projects over the next five years to address initial critical needs, and rate payers have received a notice about a proposed rate structure to make the necessary improvements. The proposed homeowner rates include an average increase of about $50 annually, or about $4 per month. Rates for condos, apartments, and commercial properties vary. A public hearing will be conducted on May 6 offering property owners the opportunity to comment on this issue.

The proposed residential rates improve equity by being based in part on winter water consumption, so that residents who conserve water (and therefore generate less wastewater) will pay less. Proposed commercial rates now align more closely with water consumption (and wastewater generation) so that businesses which place a greater strain on the sewer system will pay their fair share. All funds raised by sewer fees are legally required to stay in Sausalito, are subject to annual independent audits, and must be spent to improve our sewer system.

Ensuring that we have updated pipes and infrastructure to properly and safely transport sewage is essential to protecting our environment and maintaining a healthy, safe community.

For more information, visit our sewer information website page or call our Sewer Hotline at 1-800-676-7516. 



Sausalito People Series
Friday, April 11th  -  7:00pm inside the Library
Terri Thomas: Nature in Your Backyard

Sausalito resident Terri Thomas has worked as an ecologist for Golden Gate National Recreation Area for the past twenty years and currently serves as the Director of Conservation, Stewardship and Research at the Presidio Trust. Her work ranges from habitat restoration, to safeguarding endangered species, to ensuring that the coyotes that have recently found their way back to the Presidio don’t cause too much trouble. In her talk, Terri will share stories and discuss the challenges facing Bay Area ecosystems. Terri lives on a houseboat on Richardson’s Bay.


Library Speaker Series
Monday, April 14  -  2:00pm in the Council Chambers    NEW DATE AND TIME 
All About the Marin Civil Grand Jury (What the heck is it, anyway?)

For those of you who missed the presentation with Beach Kuhl on March 17th, please join us for this very important topic.  Application for serving on the Marin Civil Grand Jury deadline has been extended to April 20

You’ve probably heard about Grand Jury reports in the news, but what is a Grand Jury?

For this program, representatives from the Marin Civil Grand Jury will be on hand to explain the Grand Jury system and its benefits. Does the Grand Jury affect public policy?  What kinds of issues are investigated?  What are the responsibilities and benefits of serving on the Grand Jury?

Monday, April 21 - 7:00pm in the Council Chambers
An Evening with Deborah Grabien, author of the JP Kinkaid Chronicles

In their review of "Comfortably Numb", her latest JP Kinkaid Chronicle, Library Journal calls novelist Deborah Grabien "a master of the rock and roll narrative." Grabien brings a long personal history and bone-deep familiarity with both the Bay Area and rock and roll at its highest level to her critically acclaimed series, the JP Kinkaid Chronicles. The Chronicles weave many of the author's own experiences into the fictional world of their narrator, ex-pat superstar guitarist JP Kinkaid, as he comes to terms with coming of age in the rarified world of top level rock and roll success.

Like her narrator, Grabien also lives with the reality of worsening multiple sclerosis. That, too, forms an integral part of the Chronicles' foundations. Come for conversation, reminiscence, and bring your questions.

You can find out more about Deborah on her website:



The Parks and Recreation Department is looking for a Bocce League Referee
Shifts are Friday (for Spring/Fall League) & Monday (for Summer League) Nights, beginning at 4:30pm ending at 7:30pm to 8:30pm (depending on available daylight) + Saturday & Sunday mornings are reserved for any rain cancelations. Championship Games are scheduled once a season and are scheduled for the final date of the season.

Spring League is scheduled March 14 – May 17
Summer League is scheduled June 2 – July 26
Fall League is scheduled September 5 – October 25

Bocce Ball is a simple bowling type game involving two teams competing to roll closest to an object ball. A bocce referee is responsible for telling the teams what the current point is, which team is responsible for rolling, keeping track of the 40 minute game time and keeping score of the match. Prior to games beginning, referees are responsible for grooming the courts with a drag bar and setting out trash cans near the courts. At the end of league play, referees are responsible for locking the parking access chain and hauling accumulated trash to a city dumpster.

Requirements of the position: You must be able to visually discern distance and take simple measurements using a tape measure, relay game information clearly, stand for the entire shift, walk from each side of the court, lift and carry 25lbs.

We have two to four open positions, we’ll teach you the fun game of Bocce, so there’s no experience in the game necessary - and it is something you get paid to do. Starting at $10/hr

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Jeff Dybdal Recreation Supervisor phone 415.289.4140 e-mail




The City Council’s Legislative Committee (Vice Mayor Theodores and Councilmember Leone) plus Historic Landmarks Board Member Kiernat, and Planning Commissioner Nichols will meet on Tuesday April 15th 8:30 a.m. in the City Hall Conference Room to review the proposed updates of the City’s Historic Preservation Regulations. The purpose of the Historic Preservation Regulations update it is to better implement the City’s preservation principles, help guide development to meet community needs, and protect the City’s significant buildings and areas.

Contact Community Development Director Jeremy Graves at 415-289-4133 or for additional information.


Valhalla Residential Condominiums
The Community Development Department has released the Valhalla Residential Condominiums Initial Environmental Study / Mitigated Negative Declaration for public review and comment. The study analyzes the potential impacts caused by the Valhalla Residential Condominium project and identifies various measures to mitigate these impacts.

Project Description. The project would redevelop the former Valhalla site and building at 201 Bridgeway by renovating and re-configuring the Valhalla structure to accommodate seven residential condominium units. The project would also maintain the existing single-family residence located at 206 Second Street. In total, the project would add approximately 600 square feet of new floor area to the existing 9,290 square feet of building space on the Valhalla property, for a total of 9,900 square feet of floor area. Additionally, approximately 570 square feet of floor area would be removed from the existing 2,018 single-family residence at 206 Second Street. The project requires approval of the following discretionary actions by the City:

General Plan Map Amendment. To change the site’s land use designation from Neighborhood Commercial to High Density Residential.

Zoning Map Amendment. To change the site’s zoning designation from Neighborhood Commercial (CN-1) to Multi-Family (R-3) to allow residential Use on the ground floor. Amend the Zoning Map to add a Planned Development (PD) Overlay District.

Planned Development Permit. Allow for master planning of the site and flexibility in the application of the City’s development standards in some areas of the project.

Tentative Subdivision Map. To create seven residential condominiums, common areas, and a separate parcel for the existing single family residence at 206 Second Street.

Design Review Permit. For demolition, renovation, and restoration of the portions of the existing Valhalla building for residential units, and the construction of a new two-story condominium duplex.

Condominium Conversion Permit. For conversion of the existing Valhalla building into residential condominiums.

The Planning Commission will take public comments on the Initial Environmental Study / Mitigated Negative Declaration at 6:30 p.m. on April 16, 2014, April 30, 2014 and May 14, 2014. All meetings will be held in the City of Sausalito Council Chambers, 420 Litho Street, Sausalito.

The draft Initial Environmental Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration is available for viewing at the City of Sausalito Community Development Department (open from 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday, 7:30 P.M to 5:00 P.M. Tuesday through Thursday, and 7:30 A.M to noon on Fridays) and the City of Sausalito Library (open every day) located in City Hall, 420 Litho Street, Sausalito and on the City’s website at The project plans are available for viewing at the Community Development Department. For questions regarding the project or to review a copy of the draft Initial Environmental Study/ Mitigated Negative Declaration please contact Community Development Director Jeremy Graves, AICP at (415) 289-4133. Staff reports will be available on the City’s website on the Friday preceding the Planning Commission meetings. Any written comments on the project must be received by the Planning Commission prior to the close of the public review period noted above.



 Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District Special Meeting on its Sewer Rate Study – April 16, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

The Sausalito Marin City Sanitary District is completing the second part of a multi-year study to review how it allocates sewer service charges among its customers. This second phase is nearing completion, and we will be presenting the findings to our customers. A change in the rate structure would lead to some customers having lower charges and others higher charges. Please visit for more information on the rate study work.

Please Attend a Meeting Where You Can Learn More, Ask Questions and Provide Input
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, located at 420 Litho Street in Sausalito. The meeting will begin with a presentation on the study goals and objectives, and will outline the proposed 5-year sewer charge rate plan. There will be ample time for questions, discussion, and input from attendees.

More About the First Phase of the Study
Prior to the study, all residential customers—single family homes, multi-unit residences and floating homes—paid the same fixed charge for sewer service. In response to requests from customers, the District embarked on a study to consider a change in the way these different classes of customers are charged. Following the first phase of the study and a public participation process carried out in 2012 and early 2013, the District recognized differences in wastewater flow between these three residential customer classes. As a result, the District decreased its annual charges for multi-unit residential customers by 3% per year and for floating homes by 6% per year. The second part of the study further evaluates differences in customer wastewater flow. Also the study looks to make sure the proposed sewer rates keep pace with the District’s operation and capital construction costs.

We urge you to consider attending our meeting about this important community issue. If you have questions, or would like further information, please call Rebecca Vaughn, District Secretary, at (415) 332-5815 or email her at: . Your questions, comments and ideas are important to us and we hope to have the opportunity to hear them.


(subject to cancellation)


Apr 11 7:00 pm  Sausalito Library People Series - Terri Thomas  see above
Apr 14 6:30 pm  Trees and Views Committee Meeting  Council Chambers
Apr 14 7:00 pm  Sausalito Library Speaker Series  see above
Apr 15  8:30 am   Legislative Review Committee Meeting  Conference Room
Apr 16  9:00 am  Finance Committee Meeting  Conference Room
Apr 16 9:40 & 10:40  StoryTime for Toddlers  Council Chambers
Apr 16   10:30 am  OMIT Committee Meeting  Conference Room
Apr 16 6:30 pm  Planning Commission Meeting  Council Chambers
Apr 17 8:00 am  Business Advisory Committee  Conference Room
 Apr 17 3:30 pm StoryTime with Phil Council Chambers 
 Apr 17 6:00 pm Sustainability Commission Conference Room



Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden - Spring Plant Sale - April 12 & 13 - 10am to 3pm

The Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden is holding their spring plant sale on April 12 and 13.  In addition to selling certified organic vegetable starts, culinary and tea herbs, annual and perennial flowers, berries, fruit trees and native plants, there will be live music, farm tours, bouquet making, tastings, face painting, free mini workshops (including Reducing Water Use in your Edible Garden, Growing Tomatoes, Choice Varieties for your Summer Garden.  The Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden is locted at 1800 Ignacio Blvd, Novato (take the Ignacio Blvd. exit and go west to IVC College, parking lot 6, the farm is adjacent to the athletic fields)


In honor of National Poetry Month, the Sausalito Woman’s Club will celebrate its annual Poetry Night at the clubhouse, 120 Central Avenue, on Wednesday, April 23 from 6:30-9:00 P.M.  The poetry readings this year will honor Marin poets and will, as always, feature poems that explore the wide and varied spectrum of human experience.

No-host champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served until 7 PM, when the gala evening of poetry will commence with readings by Woman’s Club members, poets, and invited guests. An open reading will then follow, with attendees encouraged to bring favorite poems of their own, or written by other poets, to share with the always enthusiastic audience.

The event is open to the public, free of charge. Call 332-4179, or 383-5037 for further information.


Marin Host Families Sought for Japanese Teenagers this Summer
The Sausalito Sakaide Sister City Program is seeking families from Marin County who are interested in being host families for Japanese teenagers (aged 15 through 17 years), from July 24th through August 3rd, 2014.

This year’s student delegation from the City of Sakaide, Japan, will continue the tradition, now in its 26th year, of a cultural and educational exchange between the Cities of Sausalito and Sakaide. Every alternate summer students from Marin County have travelled to Sakaide, Japan and in the intervening years, students from the City of Sakaide have come to Marin County. During their 10-day stay, students are treated to a wide variety of experiences and activities, teaching them about life in the respective countries and making life-long connections and friends.

Anyone with a spare or shared bedroom can be a host family. Having children of any age in the home is always a plus, though not required. Japanese language skills are not necessary, as the students generally have a basic grasp of English. The primary responsibilities and expectations of a host family are transportation to and from Sausalito’s City Hall each day, provision of breakfast and dinner with the family, participation in the welcome and farewell parties and in the host families’ pot luck, and at least one full family day with the host student that illustrates our bay area family life. In addition, host families can participate in some of the program activities with the delegation should they choose to. If the past is any indicator, students become a part of their host family’s lives forever; both the students and host families cherish the memory of this experience.

For further information and for an application to be a host family, please contact EV Gilbreath at: or call her at: 415 332-2282.


For the 13th year, the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation (SAFF) will be granting art scholarships to Bay Area students. A total of $20,000 in scholarship funding will be awarded to a minimum of four students who are graduating high school seniors or currently enrolled in college.

In addition to the supporting documents required (transcripts, proof of enrollment, etc.) candidates will be asked to submit two written essays, including one on “How art has affected my life”. Ann Arnott, SAFF board member who chairs the scholarship committee said: “We’re looking for students with financial need, but also those who are inspired by art and have a vision of what it can do for others.” For applications, eligibility requirements and other details go to, call 415.332.3555, or email
Applications are due May 16th and will be evaluated by the SAFF Scholarship Committee. Winners will be notified June 6st.

The SAFF Scholarship Program supports the mission of the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation which is to encourage, promote and support the arts within the community. Funding for the scholarships is provided by proceeds from the Art Festival Gala and Silent Auction. Over $150,000 in scholarships has been gifted in the past 13 years and numerous recipients have gone on to have successful careers in art thanks to this valuable educational support.



from your Tree Committee:

How to Plant a Tree for a Healthy Start
If you're excited about getting some trees in the ground, here's how to start them off right 

            • Plant in early spring or early fall to avoid heat stress. 
            • Dig a hole in good soil that's twice as wide as the root ball's diameter and about 2 inches shallower than the root ball's depth. 
            • Stake trees unable to stand on their own, setting supports on the trunk as low as possible to keep the trunk upright. 
            • Create a berm of loose soil around the outer edge of the planting hole to retain and direct water to the root ball. Water consistently until tree is established. 
            • After planting, mulch to suppress weed growth around the tree. Keep mulch several inches away from the trunk itself to avoid disease problems.


from your Disaster Preparedness Committee

Preparing for and responding to a disaster begins with first preparing yourself and your family. However, there are limits to what an individual or family can do. When a large disaster strikes and the City of Sausalito’s emergency services workers are overwhelmed by calls for service, the first people you will turn to for help will be your neighbors. It is of vital importance that you build good relationships with your neighbors and help each other prepare before a disaster strikes. Here are some hints to help guide you and you neighbors in your preparedness efforts: 
            1) Introduce yourself and get to know your neighbors individually. 
            2) Set up a meeting with your neighbors to discuss the importance of working together to prepare for emergencies. 
            3) Share information with your neighbors such as earthquake preparedness tips and recommended supply lists, 
            4) Discuss and develop emergency plans with your neighbors for meeting places, methods of communication, and ways to work together in the event of a disaster. Share resource ideas for food storage items, water, first aid kits, and 72-Hour portable emergency kits. If your neighbors are willing to share personal information, collect and distribute a list with your names, addresses, phone numbers and any special needs. If possible, inventory and include on this list the skills and equipment of neighbors that could be useful in an emergency (e.g. those with medical training, those with experience regarding electrical systems, and those who own chain saws, axes, crow bars, ropes, water purifiers etc.). 
            5) Encourage your neighbors to join you in obtaining emergency training such as CPR, First Aid or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. You and your neighbors can obtain such training from organizations such as the Red Cross and the Southern Marin Fire Protection District.

The City of Sausalito and the Disaster Preparedness Committee encourages neighbors to work together in order to prepare for disasters. The City of Sausalito’s Emergency Services Manager is available to meet with you and your neighbors to discuss the importance of disaster preparation and give advice during your organizational efforts. We further encourage you to obtain information from the following websites in order to better help you prepare:

City of Sausalito: Emergency Preparedness
Southern Marin Fire Protection District
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Wouldn’t you be more at ease by knowing that you and your neighbors have a shared plan to guide your actions and are familiar with each other’s needs and properties so you can assist each other during times of disasters or emergencies? By working together with your neighbors, you will be able to make your, your families, and your neighborhoods response to a disaster a safer and more organized one.