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July 9, 2020

JULY 6 — Less than a week after being given the green light to reopen, restaurants across the Tiburon Peninsula and the rest of Marin have again been forced to shut down indoor dining. 

The California Department of Public Health mandate, which went into effect at 11:59 p.m. July 5, will last at least three weeks and was triggered when Marin spent its third consecutive day on a state watch list of counties seeing spikes in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. While outdoor dining and takeout service is allowed to continue, Gov. Gavin Newsom says “strike teams” will be targeting restaurants and bars statewide that have refused to comply with health orders.

“Marin County Public Health is urging renewed diligence by everyone on adhering to the shelter-in-place order first established March 17,” public-health officials said in a July 5 press release. “Wearing facial coverings in public, washing hands often, adhering to social bubble guidelines and practicing social distancing are among pra...

July 9, 2020

Tiburon’s Main Street was transformed into a car-free outdoor dining space over the weekend, the first in the town’s summer-long “slow street” initiative. There were lines for both the gelato counter at Servino Ristorante and the ice cream line at The Candy Shoppe and, at times, lines to get into Sam’s Anchor Cafe, where people wanted to get an outside table on the back deck. The street closed down between Fountain Plaza and the traffic circle near the entrance to the Main Street Parking Lot starting Friday afternoon through 8 p.m. Sunday. Throughout the weekend, diners enjoyed meals outside the street’s restaurants, including at Luna Blu, Waypoint Pizza, Caffe Acri and Salt & Pepper. (Elliot Karlan photo / For The Ark)

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July 9, 2020

Belvedere’s multimillion-dollar project to shore up its seawalls — previously on track to move to the next phase this summer, with financing discussions and technical analysis — remains in a holding pattern due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced city meetings online and hampered public study sessions on the design concepts. The delay has also nixed a push to get a taxpayer-funding initiative on the November election ballot.

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July 9, 2020

Marin County’s civil grand jury is calling for local governments to double-down on efforts to protect against cyberattacks, like the breach that disabled the town of Tiburon’s computer system for more than three days last year. Cybersecurity experts say it’s more important than ever to watch out for internet attacks while many people are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. When employees connect to office networks remotely, they are more vulnerable to cyberattacks — particularly when using virtual private networks, or VPNs, which allow employees to access files remotely.

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June 24, 2020

Amid a strong showing of support from the community, Tiburon’s lower Main Street will be closed to cars on weekends this summer to encourage physically distant outdoor dining and retail during the coronavirus pandemic. The Town Council voted unanimously at its June 17 teleconference meeting to approve the one-block closure of Main Street between Fountain Plaza and the traffic circle near the entrance to the Main Street Parking Lot from Friday afternoons to 8 p.m. Sundays beginning July 3, the first day of a long holiday weekend. The “slow street” weekends, as such programs have been dubbed around the nation, would run through Labor Day, Sept. 7.

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June 24, 2020

As the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police sparked nationwide protests to reform and defund police departments, Tiburon and Belvedere officials are examining first-step changes to their own use-of-force policies under the guidelines of the growing “8 Can’t Wait” movement. But even after issuing updates, in several cases where the guidelines ask departments to “require” or “ban” actions, Tiburon’s and Belvedere’s policies still leave considerable room for officer discretion — including the use of carotid restraints, a “sleeper hold” that cuts off blood flow to the brain and is being banned across California and the nation. (BREAKING: Tiburon police on June 24 announced the department has now banned carotid holds.)

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June 24, 2020

JUNE 23 — Marin public-health officials have announced residents can now join 12-person “social bubbles” and added that indoor dining, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons, hotels, motels and short-term rentals can resume operation this month, alongside gyms and fitness studios.

The indoor activities firing up June 29 will coincide with the reopening of additional outdoor activities as part of Marin’s sector-by-sector reopening of the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. The guidelines to be issued this week will include the use of picnic areas and barbecues at public parks, as well as campgrounds, RV parks and other outdoor vehicle-based activities like drive-in movies, officials said.

The county has also announced guidelines for reopening schools in the fall, with kids in class five days a week.

Meanwhile, Tiburon saw at least two new COVID-19 cases, registering the town for the first time on the county’s geographic case maps, and Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide mask order th...

June 17, 2020

Retail shops on the Tiburon Peninsula can once again welcome customers inside under the latest changes to the county’s shelter-in-place order, as long as they follow new distancing and safety rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Yema, an athletic-wear boutique at 10 Main St. on Tiburon’s Fountain Plaza, planned to open over the weekend, but store owner Yema Khalif said he would be taking things slow. “We’re going to start off by opening four hours a day,” Khalif said. “If business is good, we’ll extend it to next weekend.” (Elliot Karlan photo / For The Ark)

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June 16, 2020

Holding handmade signs reading “Silence equals violence,” “Equal justice under the law” and “Racism is a pandemic too,” more than 50 people lined Tiburon Boulevard near Tom Price Park June 11 to rally against racial injustice and police brutality and show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The local event came amid the third week of similar gatherings across the country prompted by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year old black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police office knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes. Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down in the street at the time. The official and independent autopsy reports ruled the death a homicide, and all four officers who took part in the arrest have since been fired, arrested and charged. (Elliot Karlan photo / For The Ark)

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June 16, 2020

Belvedere will seek an interim appointment to fill an impending vacancy on the City Council, rather than hold a special election, after longtime Councilmember and Mayor Marty Winter steps down effective June 30. Winter announced last month he would be resigning as he and wife Barbara plan to move outside the city’s limits to Paradise Drive in unincorporated Tiburon. Their Belvedere Lagoon home of more than 30 years is up for sale.

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June 16, 2020

Despite a surge in the rate of new COVID-19 infections across Marin that’s outpacing the county’s increase in testing, health officials last week continued to reopen the economy by issuing new public-health guidelines that allow for indoor retail, automotive sales and household cleaning services. 

Health officials are also looking ahead, saying they hope to restart indoor dining service and reopen hair salons, gyms and hotels in Marin by June 29 — even if it requires petitioning the state for permission to move forward. 

California and 18 other states saw a rise in new cases last week as states stepped up testing, but also as economies reopened and new infections from Memorial Day weekend activities and early Black Lives Matter protests began to register in county health departments. Marin continues to have the highest rate of new infections in the Bay Area at 82.4 cases per 100,000 residents, ranking it eighth worst among California’s 58 counties, according to an Ark survey of counties....

June 16, 2020

Richardson Bay homeowners found their blue-water views turned slimy green last week as a large algae bloom choked harbors, lagoons and miles of shoreline along Strawberry Point. The lime-green algae appeared early last week, carpeting shallow waterways and shorelines from Sausalito to Aramburu Island and Strawberry Cove and as far afield as Paradise Cay on the northeast shores of the Tiburon Peninsula. (Elliot Karlan photo / For The Ark)

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June 16, 2020

After an extensive power shutdown last October left nearly 3 million Californians — including residents of Tiburon, Belvedere and Strawberry — in the dark for several days, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it’s devising ways to lessen the impacts of outages this fire season, especially in areas deemed low fire risk like the Tiburon Peninsula. During a June 10 webinar for residents in Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties, PG&E officials detailed plans to make this year’s so-called public-safety power shutoffs “smaller in size, shorter in length and smarter for customers” by implementing new technology like microgrids and sectionalizing devices, as well as increasing line-inspection capabilities so electricity can be restored more quickly. 

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June 16, 2020

The Richardson Bay Regional Agency will move forward with its transition plan to clear the bay of unseaworthy vessels, despite complaints from stakeholders the plan lacks specifics and warnings from the anchor-out community they won’t go along. The agency’s board of directors voted unanimously at its June 11 teleconference meeting to approve a five-point plan meant to ensure vessels between Belvedere and Sausalito conform to state and local seaworthiness standards by October 2021. Of the 90 vessels on the anchorage in 2019, only about 20 meet the criteria so far.

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June 12, 2020

Prominent land-developer Javier A. Burillo of Belvedere has been charged with manslaughter, child endangerment and drunken driving in a September boating accident near Angel Island that killed his 11-year-old son and severely injured the boy’s older brother. 

According to a criminal complaint filed June 11 by the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, Burillo, 58, is facing three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, operation of a watercraft while under the influence and child endangerment, as well as a misdemeanor count of operating a watercraft with a blood-alcohol level above the state legal limit of .08 percent. 

If found guilty on all counts, Burillo could face up to nine years in state prison. 

He is set to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. July 17 in Marin County Superior Court. 

Marin County District Attorney Lori Frugoli declined to comment on the charges, which come some nine months after Burillo was initially arrested. 

Authorities say Burillo was operating...

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