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October 18, 2019

Following a contentious vote by its governing board, the Tiburon Fire Protection District will not be joining a new countywide agency that plans to collect $21 million annually in taxpayer money for wildfire-prevention efforts across Marin. So far, 11 other fire agencies and jurisdictions have joined the countywide effort, including the Southern Marin Fire Protection District, whose jurisdiction includes Strawberry and parts of northern Tiburon. Marin’s remaining seven fire authorities have until Oct. 25 to decide whether to take part in a joint powers authority on wildfire prevention that would be funded by a 10-cent-per-square-foot parcel tax that will go before local voters on March 3. They can also decide to opt out altogether. 

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October 18, 2019

Before Maggie Mason started playing pickleball, she had some preconceived notions about the sport, which combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. But after playing semi-regularly for the past two months — including taking a three-session introduction class to the sport at the Strawberry Recreation District — her perspective has changed. With more than 3 million current players of all ages in the U.S., pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country — and now Strawberry is getting in the game. (Frank Fennema photo / For The Ark)

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October 18, 2019

The Reed Union School District’s 2019 standardized test scores ticked up slightly in English and held steady in math, with the district’s students continuing to outperform their peers across the county and the state by some 20-40 percentage points. About 84 percent of Reed district students met or exceeded standards in English, 79 percent in math, according to exam results released Oct. 9 by the California Department of Education. On the 2018 test, about 81 percent of the district’s students met or exceeded English standards and 79 percent met or exceeded math standards. 

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October 9, 2019

Marine ecologists from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center convened at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center at the Romberg Tiburon Campus last week to conduct their yearly survey of underwater marine life in San Francisco Bay. For the 20th year in a row, scientists from Maryland and Tiburon sampled marine life from 15 different bay and delta locations, including Sausalito and Richardson Bay, to study how bay conditions, water temperature and salinity are affecting the underwater sea community. (Clara Lu photo / For The Ark)

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October 9, 2019

A second permanent pump has been installed in the Belvedere Lagoon that will double pumping capacity during extreme weather and high tide, better protecting the hundreds of lagoon homes from flooding. The new $54,000 equipment, which was paid for by the Belvedere Lagoon Property Owners Association and installed along San Rafael Avenue last week, can pump up to 20,000 gallons of water per minute from the lagoon. (Frank Fennema photo / For The Ark)

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October 9, 2019

Caltrans is planning to test out new timing at three traffic lights on Tiburon Boulevard, a move prompted by seemingly inexplicable backups experienced by drivers heading out of town during the evening commute hour over the past month or so. Between 5 and 6 p.m. on several weekdays in the last month, traffic on outbound Tiburon Boulevard has slowed to a crawl approaching Trestle Glen Boulevard, with the backups sometimes stretching as far as the intersection with Ned’s Way or the intersection with Mar West Street, just after the Belvedere-Tiburon Library. 

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October 3, 2019

At least a half-dozen boats broke free of their Sausalito anchorage amid gusting winds Sept. 26 and drifted across Richardson Bay toward West Shore Road in Belvedere, prompting a local resident to hop on his jet ski to try to tow the boats away from the shoreline and his neighbors’ homes. Jaime Burnes, who lives on West Shore Road, said he saw the boats and realized help was not going to arrive in time, so he took to his jet ski and spent a couple of hours that afternoon battling whitecaps and accelerating winds as he dragged the unoccupied boats away from shore. 

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October 2, 2019

This year’s Mill Valley Film Festival will showcase 215 films from 52 countries, including the world premiere of “Team Marco,” a family feature executive produced by Tiburon’s Steve Malley. “Team Marco” is one of 13 films that will have their world premiere at the festival, which runs Oct. 3-13 and brings A-list actors and famed directors to venues through Southern Marin for film screenings, tributes, workshops and parties. 

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October 2, 2019

The Belvedere-Tiburon Library Agency board of trustees has awarded the construction contract for the Belvedere-Tiburon Library expansion project to Richmond-based Alten Construction, marking a milestone in the years-long effort to add on to the current facility. The six-member board at its Sept. 25 meeting voted unanimously to award the contract to Alten, which had submitted the lowest of four bids for the project at $12.63 million.

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October 2, 2019

A bathroom break at a pivotal moment in a thrilling Tiburon Challenger finals match Sept. 29 led to a controversial penalty that helped first-seeded American Tommy Paul take home the top tournament prize. Australian finalist and eighth seed Thanasi Kokkinakis was penalized a full game for taking a long bathroom break between the second and third set of the final singles match. Paul then seized on the momentum, hitting a number of high-speed aces in the third set to dispatch the Australian and win the Challenger tournament 7-5, 6-7 (7-3) and 6-4. (Frank Fennema photo / For The Ark)

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September 25, 2019

One of the first projects students tackled this year in Nate MacDonald’s Del Mar Middle School design lab was building self-moving Lego cars with the help of electronic building blocks called Circuit Cubes. The small cubes — a motor, a battery, an LED, a switch and more — can be combined magnetically or with wires to create simple circuits that power gadgets. Backed by more than $2 million in venture capital, MacDonald, 45, and his former coworker John Schuster co-founded Tenka Labs in 2015. They developed the cubes, which are sold individually as well as part of simple kits that enable kids to build a variety of projects, from a flashlight to a self-powered car to a motor-powered machine that draws with a pen or marker. The cubes can also be snapped onto Legos — they’re exactly two Lego bricks thick — so kids can power their own creations. (Clara Lu photo / For The Ark)

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September 25, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — A Tiburon babysitter convicted of producing child pornography and trading it with another man online has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison followed by a 20-year supervised release — a significantly lighter punishment than his co-defendant for nearly identical charges. Bryan Petersen, a 26-year-old Red Hill Circle resident, was sentenced Sept. 18 in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court on five felony charges after he admitted to producing, distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography, as well as conspiring to distribute and receive thousands of images and videos of child pornography, some of which depicted children he babysat in the Tiburon area. 

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September 25, 2019

Police officials say they’re still investigating the boating death of the 11-year-old son of a high-profile land developer and media heir who was arrested in the incident, but the Marin District Attorney’s Office says it has not yet determined whether the father will be charged. Tiburon police say Javier A. Burillo, 58, who lives on the Belvedere side of Corinthian Island, was operating his boat while drunk on Sept. 15 when his two sons, 27 and 11, were thrown off and severely cut by the propellers of the twin engines, killing the 11-year-old and injuring the other.

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September 25, 2019

Three drinking fountains at Bel Aire Elementary School are getting new pipes and fixtures after testing revealed the water contained traces of lead — but the county’s top public-health official said the levels hover right around the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold for taking corrective action and are not a cause for alarm. In a Sept. 16 email to parents, Reed Union School District Superintendent Nancy Lynch said water tested in the drinking fountains located in the E-building hallway, classroom C3 and near the backstop of the school’s playfield showed lead levels of 17.4 parts per billion, 14.7 parts per billion and 12.3 parts per billion, respectively. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends homeowners and municipalities take steps to reduce lead when levels climb past 15 parts per billion. Water has been shut off in drinking fountains and classroom sinks at Bel Aire since Aug. 30.

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September 25, 2019

The lowest of four submitted bids for construction of the Belvedere-Tiburon Library’s planned expansion has come in at $12.63 million, leaving library officials cautiously optimistic the $18 million in funding they’ve already secured will be enough to cover the entire cost of the project. Richmond-based Alten Construction was declared the apparent low bidder in the field. Other offers included a $16.11-million bid from Petaluma-based Midstate Construction, a $14.34-million bid from Concord-based Sausal Corporation and a $12.92-million bid from Novato-based Thompson Builders. Alten won’t be declared the official low bidder and awarded the contract until its bid and supporting documents are thoroughly vetted by the project architects, BRA Architects of San Francisco, said Glenn Isaacson, the expansion project manager. The vetting process offers opportunities to find areas where costs can be further trimmed.

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