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February 21, 2020

ELECTION 2020: TIBURON TOWN COUNCIL — Daniel Amir says it’s important to stay as connected as possible with Tiburon’s neighborhoods and the community at large. Kathleen Defever says she would work to make the town a leader in emergency preparedness, revitalize downtown without restricting the choices of business owners and protect the town’s open spaces. Jack Ryan says he wants to help connect the community to its government. The three are vying for a single vacant seat on the council in the March 3 Primary Election.

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February 21, 2020

ELECTION 2020: DISTRICT 3 SUPERVISOR — The three candidates running to replace retiring Southern Marin Supervisor Kate Sears include a longtime Mill Valley City Councilmember who says she’s ready to tackle a variety of critical county issues and two newcomers to government who have focused their bids around fiscal reform. Three-term Mill Valley Councilmember Stephanie Moulton-Peters (right), retired home builder Jack Kenney (center) of Tiburon and information systems analyst Bill Bailey of Sausalito are all running in the March 3 Primary Election to represent District 3 — which includes Tiburon, Belvedere and Strawberry — on the five-member Board of Supervisors.  

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February 21, 2020

ELECTION 2020: MEASURE B — The Tamalpais Union High School District is asking voters to approve a 10-year parcel-tax increase and renewal that would net $22.7 million annually — money officials say is necessary to keep the district’s budget balanced and its academic programs intact for at least the next several years. Measure B, as it will appear on the March 3 ballot, would raise the current tax by $190, to $645, in its first year. The proposed higher tax would supersede the existing tax, which is set to expire in June 2022, and run through June 2030. It would carry a 3-percent cost-of-living escalator, putting the tax at about $842 per parcel of land by its expiration. The tax needs to win the support of 66.7 percent of voters at the ballot box to pass.  

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February 21, 2020

Belvedere residents seized an opportunity last week to weigh in on a multimillion-dollar project to shore up the city’s seawalls before the design concept moves to the next phase, which city officials say could begin this spring. About 40 people attended a study session during a Feb. 10 Belvedere City Council meeting, which yielded more than an hour of discussion on a conceptual design that was unveiled in December and includes raised pathways, linear parks and short seawalls along San Rafael Avenue and Beach Road, as well as a flood barrier on a low-lying stretch of West Shore Road.   

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February 21, 2020

A 30-year-old Tiburon woman and her boyfriend have been identified as those found dead outside a Sleepy Hollow home Feb. 14, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office’s coroner’s division. Aidan Doyle McWhinney and 32-year-old Dylan Schwarz of Mill Valley died of apparent drug overdoses, according to preliminary findings. Authorities did not identify the substance and said a forensic examination and toxicology reports must still be completed to determine the specific cause of death, but they indicated no foul play is suspected and that the community is not in danger.  

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February 21, 2020

A Belvedere man who spent three decades working as an attorney for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has been tapped to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s San Francisco-based West Coast office after the previous leader was abruptly fired earlier this month. John W. Busterud, 65, was appointed Feb. 11 as the federal agency’s Region 9 administrator, overseeing environmental efforts in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii as well as U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean and some American Indian tribal lands.  

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February 13, 2020

The three locals vying for one interim seat on the Tiburon Town Council found themselves mostly in accord on key issues facing the town at a Feb. 4 candidate forum [watch the video] sponsored by The Ark and the League of Women Voters of Marin. Daniel Amir of Juno Road, Kathleen Defever of Sugarloaf Drive and Jack Ryan of Hawthorne Drive are running in the March 3 election for the seat vacated by Jim Fraser, who resigned last fall for undisclosed personal reasons. The winner will serve the remaining 2½ years of Fraser’s term, through November 2022. (Kevin Hessel photo / The Ark)

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February 13, 2020

Belvedere residents will vote next month on whether the city can continue spending a property tax to help fund the city’s contract for fire and emergency medical services. While the initiative, Measure E, is neither a new tax nor an increase, voters every four years are required to allow the city to adjust its budget appropriations limit to spend the tax. Meanwhile, voters in the Southern Marin Fire Protection District — which covers Strawberry and Tiburon west of Trestle Glen Boulevard — will help decide whether to support a new county wildfire-prevention tax. Voters in southern and unincorporated Tiburon, who are part of the Tiburon Fire Protection District, and in Belvedere, which contracts with the district, won’t see the initiative, Measure C, on their ballots after the city and fire board declined to participate in the joint-powers authority that would collect and distribute the tax.

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February 13, 2020

 

Siena Lester isn’t simply focused on shining in her creative arts classes, horseback-riding competitions and piano practice as might be expected of a typical 13-year-old. She’s also trying her hand at things like developing a stage presence, interviewing and public speaking — skills that will help the Del Mar Middle School eighth-grader when she competes in the Miss California’s Outstanding Teen contest in June. The Tiburon girl was named Miss Marin County’s Outstanding Teen at local preliminaries for the Miss America contest held in November. Now she will move on to compete in Fresno among more than a dozen other 13- to 17-year-olds from around the state. (Clara Lu photo / For The Ark)

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February 13, 2020

Planning commissioners have put off a decision whether to approve an extensive remodel at a Belvedere Lagoon home after the project met tough questions about whether the homeowners are attempting to dodge federal flood-zone rules. At its Jan. 21 meeting, the Belvedere Planning Commission voted 6-0 to continue discussion of the project at 4 Windward Road, which would remodel much of the interior and exterior of their 3,276-square-foot, 60-year-old home and would feature new landscaping and fences. The move came as commissioners questioned both the $400,000 estimated construction costs, which at $180 per square foot is roughly a quarter of going rates, and the $1.45 million appraisal of the home structure, roughly equivalent to the land value of the lagoon-front property.

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February 6, 2020

Belvedere is moving forward with a multimillion-dollar plan to shore up its seawalls, with city officials indicating a design concept may be approved as early as next month — though it appears to have abandoned a pledge to hold a series of public forums dedicated solely to collecting feedback on the proposed project and how to fund it. The City Council voted last June to accept a number of recommendations for further study, with officials saying a series of public forums would be held in fall. Those forums never happened, but, in the meantime, a firm has produced conceptual renderings, the draft plan has been revised twice, and the City Council is on target to approve the recommendations in a matter of weeks — at which point, officials say, the plans will then be hard to change. (Renderings via One Architecture)

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February 6, 2020

When a massive mudslide swept a house with a woman inside down a steep hill in Sausalito last February, first responders from the Southern Marin Fire Protection District had a hard time safely navigating the site and searching for additional victims — until another agency arrived and deployed a drone. Using the unmanned aircraft system, which was equipped with a camera, they were able to see where there was unstable debris in the slide site and avoid gasoline-soaked areas from cars that had tumbled down the hillside. Now, Southern Marin fire plans to deploy drones of its own in emergency situations. 

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February 6, 2020

A Marin judge has ruled against the town of Tiburon and a local open-space group in their challenge of the county’s certification of an environmental impact report for a proposed 43-lot home development on the Tiburon Ridge. In his ruling, issued Jan. 22, Superior Court Judge James T. Chou wrote that, having reviewed additional briefs filed since his tentative ruling last November, “the court is not persuaded by petitioners’ supplemental arguments that it is necessary to reverse or modify its tentative order.” Jerry Riessen, head of Tiburon Open Space, said his grassroots group was disappointed with the judge’s ruling and still believes the environmental impact report prepared for private landowner the Martha Co. did not properly address significant issues.

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February 6, 2020

The Reed Union School District board has filled its interim fifth seat with a district parent who heads her own digital marketing firm. Tiburon resident Liz Webb beat out two other candidates to win appointment to the seat by a 4-0 vote of the board at a special Jan. 27 meeting. She’ll replace Dana Linker Steele, who resigned in December with one year left on an extended five-year term. (Frank Fennema photo / For The Ark)

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February 6, 2020

Tiburon and Belvedere once again earned top marks on an annual American Lung Association evaluation of tobacco policies across the country, helping to make Marin the first county in California whose cities and unincorporated areas earned straight A’s across the board.

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