News Around the Valley
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It's that time again . . .
Sun April 28, 2:00pm
Fri May 3, 7:30pm
Sat May 4, 7:30pm
Fri May 10, 7:30pm
Sat May 11, 7:30pm
Where: Tamalpais Valley Community Center
203 Marin Avenue
By mail or Paypal
Hello to you all,
This is Membership Month for the TVIC and we have special news for you Tam Valley residents!
This is a rendering of the proposed History Room that the Tamalpais Valley Historical Guild [TVHG] and Tamalpais Valley Improvement Club [TVIC] are hoping to have built on the
Tamalpais Valley Community Center [TVCC] property. Its location is just past the TVCC building itself toward the end of the parking area. It is small at 12X20 feet but will fill our needs.
Tam Valley has a very long, active, colorful history as you can see on the enclosed sheet of TVIC accomplishments. We are fortunate to have Nancy McDonald, the Founder of the TVHG, as one of the leaders of this endeavor. Nancy’s family roots go back several generations and her Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and parents have all lived here in Tam Valley. Nancy and her family still live here. Others on the TVIC Board are also longtime residents of 50 years plus each.
The TVHG and the TVIC decided a year or so ago that we need a History Room for all the documents and memorabilia we have collected over the decades. Nancy has many, many pictures from a century ago as well as throughout the 1900’s. We have copies of all The Progress’ which was the newsletter the TVIC mailed to all residents starting in 1941 and continuing for several decades. These newsletters are fascinating to read and give you a real picture of Tam Valley and it’s residents “back in the day”. The official TVIC Minutes from 1925 forward also give a look at the Club and the activism it took to bring about their many accomplishments History is a wonderful thing and our beautiful valley is teeming with it!
Currently the TVHG has many pictures on display in the Lobby of our Southern Marin Fire District fire house on Poplar Street. We plan to continue this display even after the History Room is completed and open to the public.
You may be wondering why now. Well, it is about time someone started this project but also many of us involved in this are not “spring-chickens” and we very much want to get all of the documents and memorabilia safely placed in the History Room, archived ready for current and future generations to enjoy.
The Marin County Community Development Department has said that since we already have a Use Permit on the TVCC we don’t need another Use Permit and because the building is less than 500 square feet only a small scale Design Review will be needed. With these hurdles behind us all we need now is to raise the remaining funds.
We hope you will renew your TVIC membership or become a new member. All of these monies and that of our Rhubarb Revue Show go toward the building of this History Room.
We would also be very grateful for any donations. We still need approximately $20,000.00 and any amount would be helpful.
Unfortunately the TVIC is a non-profit 501[c] but not a 501[c]  which means your contribution is not tax deductible.
Thank you for your support. TVIC has always been the Watchdog for the Community and we continue to be.
I should also mention that organizing the Neighborhood Watch for the entire of Tam Valley is a TVIC accomplishment completed in 2008. It is not listed on the enclosed sheet.
It looks like it is going to be a beautiful Spring—enjoy our beautiful special place on Earth!
Curry & TVIC
New Tam Valley housing information web page from Kate Sears & the County Planning Staff:
THE HOUSING ELEMENT AND TAM VALLEY
Dear Friends in Tam Valley, Almonte and our Gateway communities:
Thank you for the honor of serving as your District 3 County Supervisor, representing southern Marin.
Having grown up in Mill Valley and Sausalito, I am keenly aware of what makes Tam Valley and our other local communities special.
For several months now, there has been ongoing discussion and concern about housing in Tam Valley. While some of the dialogue is helpful,
some of the information being shared is inaccurate or incomplete.
It’s important to have reliable information in order to understand basic concepts in planning and housing law and how they affect Tam Valley,
Almonte and our Gateway communities. I want to reassure you that, contrary to what you may have heard or read, there is no current application
to build “high density housing” in Tam Valley.
Planning is an ongoing responsibility of our county government. It is a continuous, day to day and year round task that is
part of the legal responsibility of local government (representatives in consultation with the local communities) to determine
how land is used and for what purposes. As your representative at the County of Marin, I take this responsibility seriously
and want you to know that preserving and protecting community character and upholding our environmental values are my primary concerns in land use.
I hear and share your concerns. Housing is a complex issue that deserves to be understood by us all.
Identification of housing sites is for planning purposes; it does not mean that development proposals for these sites are
currently under review or will be submitted in the future. Property owners are free to choose if and when they want to further
develop their sites in conformance with the County's zoning rules and other development regulations.
To provide a clearer understanding of planning, housing and the entire breadth of issues under discussion, I have asked our
County planning staff to develop a Tam Valley housing information webpage. It is called The Housing Element and Tam Valley.
It answers the basic questions that I have heard asked and lets you know how to be constructively involved in this important community dialogue.
The goal here is to let you know:
• what is going on with housing and ongoing planning at the county and regional levels,
• the big issues (traffic, environmental impacts, flooding and sea level rise) being examined and considered, and
• how to stay informed and be constructively involved and heard.
Here is the link to The Housing Element and Tam Valley
Please read it carefully and take the time to fully understand the information provided. Feel free to share this information with friends, neighbors and others who you know would benefit from it.
Thank you for taking the time to study this issue with me and to let me know your thoughts and suggestions going forward.
To stay in touch, I have listed below several ways to communicate with me and to keep yourself informed about this and other issues.
I look forward to working with you!
Supervisor, Southern Marin
Stay In Touch with Kate Sears and Keep Yourself Up To Date About Marin County News and Information
Here are several ways to stay in touch with Kate.
1) Sign Up for Kate Sears News and Information Updates:
You can sign up at this link
to receive direct email updates on important events, meetings and issues.
2) Follow Kate Sears’ news and information postings on Facebook:
Kate Sears on Facebook
3) Call or write me at my office:
Please feel free to call me or my Aides Maureen Parton and Leslie Alden at 415-473-7331, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
|We've got a new look
Thanks, Thom Chiaramonte
Third Rail Design Lab
This is TVIC's new, beautiful logo. We have wanted a fresh, vibrant new logo
for quite a while so I went online to Next Door Tamalpais Valley (see the next article for more info on Next Door) and asked who
might like to design a logo for TVIC that reflects some of what we love about Tam Valley.Thom
Chiaramonte whose business is Third Rail Design Lab
responded and within days he designed our logo and provided it to us in : b/w, color and gradients of gray. This is a very generous gift as Thom
designed it for us pro bono!
THANK YOU, THOM!
You may be wondering why we asked Thom to make a coyote so prevalent in our logo. Until 1908 our valley was
called Coyote Valley or Coyote Hollow and the creek that goes through the center of our valley is Coyote Creek.
So coyotes are part of our history - we still have them in our environs and hear them at night.
Check out Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamalpais_Valley.
Very interesting. Not complete, but what is there is interesting.
|New Neighborhood website
||There's a great new neighborhood website just recently started for Tam Valley - https://tamvalley.nextdoor.com. Many Tam Valley residents have already signed
up on the site, but if you haven't yet, go take a look and join in the fun and conversation.
|Transportation Committee of the Tam Valley Vision Group
||Just posted: a matrix of studied and proposed improvements for biking and walking on Shoreline Highway from Tam Junction to Loring. This is a summary document
of ongoing issues with current status and comments.
|New article posted under "Development"
||The Development page has a new article by Stan Barbarich about the Almonte Marsh being revitalized near Tam High School.
While you're on the Development page, reread the article from 09/04/07 by Dick Spotswood about what might have been our community if the powers-that-be had
had their way back in the 50's, 60's and 70's! Super highway thru Tiburon, Marine World in Mill Valley, Marincello in the Marin Headlands. Yikes!
Kathrin "Kate" Sears
Kathrin, or Kate as she is called, is the seventh County Supervisor for District 3 whom I have had the pleasure of working with in my 41 years of involvement in the Tam Planning Area. We all supported the late Supervisor, Charles McGlashan, as he understood what was/is important to us here in Tam Valley and Almonte.
I think we are very fortunate Kate was selected and appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to complete his term. Her values are much the same as Charles' and she is very supportive of programs started previously, at Charles' behest, here in Tam Valley.
Maureen Parton and Leslie Alden who were Charles' Aides, and quite wonderful, are now Kate's Aides. This continuity has helped bring Kate up to speed very quickly.
To be in touch with Kate's office call: 473-7331.
|Membership Drive 2013
Join the TVIC for 2013 and support the 92 year old club that is the Watchdog of your Community.
Your donation also supports the Tamalpais Valley Historical Guild which holds all the memorabilia for Tam Valley history going back over 100 years.
Family--$25.00 Single--$15.00 Senior--$10.00
You can now join by PayPal or by mail-- RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!.
|If you see flooding
After hours and weekends: 415-473-7513
Reminder : These are the two phone numbers to call if you see flooding in Tam Valley caused
by overflowing catch basins, creeks and/or gutters etc. Your phone call goes directly to the County garage
where personnel and trucks will be dispatched immediately to Tam Valley.
||What's happening at Tam Community Center
||Check it out!
|Tam Valley "For Sale" in 1900
||Tam Valley was prime real estate in 1900 when lots went on sale. Take a look at this fascinating brochure from 1900.
|Here's the link
|Tennessee Valley/Manzanita Walk/Bike Path
||Construction started in Oct. 2011
|Read the details here
|Shoreline Master Plan
Bicycling and pedestrian safety are being studied and planned in the Unincorporated Area of Southern Marin.
Much of the Almonte and Tam Valley area is identified in the Non-Motorized Plan document.
You will find the latest revision of the Non-Motorized Plan here.
Your comments and suggestions are necessary for community input.
Use the new TVIC message board to comment, or e-mail Kathy at email@example.com
|Marin IJ Article
||Eucalyptus tree removal . . .
The subject of the Eucalyptus trees is a controversial one with the residents in Tam Valley. There is a
poll on the page with the article and when I just voted the vote was 72% to cut the trees down. There will
be a community meeting here in Tam Valley in the coming months where you can express your thoughts.
I will let you know when.
November 2007 Charles McGlashan
Final adoption of the Countywide Plan
There has been a lot of interest lately in the Tamalpais Area Community Plan
and development in Tam Valley. We'll try to keep this site updated with letters to/from Curry (President, TVIC) and other relevant correspondence
and links to relevant documents.
What's Up With That??
Have a question about something you've seen or heard around the Valley?
Ask it here
and we'll get an answer posted for everyone to see . . .
April 21, 2008: Bones found beneath the Fireside!!
The big, white landmark called the Fireside has stood as a gateway to Mill Valley for 92 years,
a symbol of a rough, rollicking era when the Bay Area was awash in rum running.
But the celebrants who caroused inside the former speakeasy never knew they were dancing on Indian graves.
Read the story by Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, 2008
Oct 5, 2007: Safety issues on Shoreline Hwy 1 and Pine Hill Road
Hung Q Tran wrote:
Dear Ms. Cohn,
I was asked to respond to your note, reporting that the previous efforts
for the crosswalk on Shoreline highway and Pine Hill Road have improved
the conditions there. We have also reviewed your additional suggestions and
are pleased to inform that we will request our highway maintenance crew to
trim some of the foliage in the vicinity to help improve the visibility of
the warning signs. Please allow six to eight weeks for this work to be
incorporated in our workload. Additionally, within the next few months,
we will also further evaluate replacing existing pedestrian warning signs
with fluorescent yellow green background in each direction, and add
supplement plate indicating distance (e.g. xxx FEET AHEAD).
Speed bumps, pavement markers, or rumble strips are not typically approved
for use on State highways as traffic calming measures (or for reducing
speeds). Enforcement would be very effective measure. As for the
in-pavement pedestrian warning lights, they are visible to the first
couple of approaching vehicles, and may not be seen by the following cars if the
drivers do not pay attention to stopped traffic ahead. In our last field
review, when the school was in session, we observed only nine pedestrians
crossing from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and much fewer in the afternoon.
One of the criteria used for installation of in-pavement pedestrian
warning lights is 40 pedestrians per hour for 2 hours each day.
As you are probably aware, for these types of engineering solutions to be
effective, they must be accompanied with an appropriate balance of
enforcement and driver education. We appreciate the help you are affording
us by highlighting this location in the community forums, and we will
further coordinate with the CHP for enhanced enforcement. You're also
encouraged to contact the enforcement agencies directly.
Thank you for your concerns of the operation of the State highways.
Hung Q. Tran
Office of Traffic
Click to read Original emails from Linda & Curry
Deputy District Director, Traffic Operations
Dear Linda and Curry,
Thank you for your note. In March this year, we received the same concerns
from another resident in your neighborhood. We have investigated the
matter, including examining the accident history and performing field
observations of traffic operations at the intersection. Accident history
indicates there were eight accidents at or near the intersection during the
last five years. There was one rear-end accident that involved a stopped
car which had yielded to a pedestrian but did not involve any pedestrian
injury. None of the other accidents involved pedestrians.
Based on our observations between 7:30 - 8:30 AM, on a Thursday, while the
school traffic was at its peak, there were nine pedestrians crossing the
highway. Traffic flow on the highway was smooth at average speed of about
35-40 MPH. There were adequate gaps on the highway for pedestrians to
cross, and on-coming traffic did stop for the pedestrians, as needed. We
also re-visited the intersection after school dismissal time, at 2:50 PM,
and there was less pedestrians crossing than in the morning (only three
during the hour). Traffic volumes on the highway were also much less than
the morning period.
The existing advance school crossing warning signs, the advance "Slow
School Xing" pavement markings, and school crossing signs at the crosswalk
in both directions are in good condition and visible to traffic. However,
we decided to re-stripe the centerline (double yellow line) to narrow down
the travelway as a measure to slow down traffic, and install "In-Street
Pedestrian" signs (State Law - Yield To Ped Within Crosswalk). Re-striping
has been completed. We have oredered the "yield to pedestrian" signs on
expedite basis and expect to have them installed by the end of this month.
We will request our maintenance crew to re-visit the site again to perform
any tree trimming needed. We did inform the local CHP office about your
concerns who will do their best for increased enfrocement.
If you have any questions or wish further information, please feel free to
call me, Phillipe Van at 510-286-4589, or Hung Q Tran 510-286-4585.
S. Sean Nozzari
Deputy District Director, Traffic Operations
Is the 1992 version of the Tamalpais Area Community Plan the most current?
Date: Sept. 7, 2007
Yes, the 1992 version of the Tamalpais Area Community Plan is the current one and the one the
County refers to when developments are proposed. Supervisor McGlashan is hoping to get the funding in the County's 2008-2009
budget for a revision of the Plan. It is an expensive undertaking as a planner from the County works with
the committee from the community and the committee meets 2X a month. This was the procedure for the 1992 Plan
and Charles says it will be done formally this time too.
What is causing the construction delays on Shoreline?
Last year during the heavy rains a hillside washed away on Shoreline,
just this side of Loring Ave. They will be digging out that area and building a retaining wall
to hold the road up and create a shoulder. They need to go to one lane to accomodate their
truck and activity. I'm told it shouldn't take too long.
Cars parked in front of the mailbox across from DeLanos Market
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Drat!!! Have you noticed the cars parking in front of the white painted curb blocking access
to our precious mail boxes?? Everyday!! They must be commuters. They obviously don't know
what a white painted curb means. I am afraid that this is even more of a safety hazard than
the PO thought we had across the street when people would jump out at the curb to mail their letters.
I am also afraid that if we don't nip this in the bud we will wake up one morning and ZAPP!
our mail boxes are gone! I have printed out a flyer to put on their windshields ( here it is )
if any of you also feel inclined to do so.
Don't you just hate going two steps forward and one step back???
Gads it is frustrating!!!
There's a car alarm going off on Marin Drive . . .More info
Anyone know anything about this one? Please let us know.
Are there any community gardens in the Tam Valley area?
Not at this point. There is discussion of it and if anything comes of it I'll let you know.
What will we be able to put in the new gray recycle can? Different from the blue can?
Put the same 'stuff' in the new gray can that you previously put in the blue can. More info
How can I get a copy of your design guidelines?
Tam Valley guidelines are in the Tamalpais Area Community Plan. . . .Read More
What's happening with the other low income housing project in place of Videodroid?
There is only one project going on at this point. . . UPDATED
What's happening with the Chevron station on the corner of Flamingo and Shoreline?
It's gone! Read More
What's that pile of dirt in front of Frantoio?
I'm sure many of you are wondering what the pile of dirt is in front of Frantoio's.
Caltrans is using it for the spoils, tree trunks and dirt . . . Read More
What's all the construction on Almonte Blvd?
It is a water district project to replace the water mains . . . Read More
What's happening to the Fireside?
Architects rendering of the Fireside project
The old Fireside motel will become 50 units of affordable housing . . . Read More
This is the original email from Linda Cohn and Curry's response.
I live up Pine Hill too and know exactly what you are talking about with trying to cross Shoreline.
We were fortunate to have CalTrans stripe the highway,finally,and paint a cross walk but it is not enough.
One reason for these problems is people are impatient and pass on the right with no regard to who or what may
be on that side. Your ideas are good for lessening the problem. I will contact CalTrans tomorrow with
your problems and possible solutions. I will contact CHP also.
Another problem I have noticed is the people flying down Pine Hill from the top in a type of "free fall"
and by the time they get to the bottom they are really moving---pity the child or adult who may be coming
from their driveway to cross the street.
I'll be back in touch...
----- Original Message -----
From: Linda Cohn
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 5:06 PM
Subject: Tam Valley Question
If this is not the correct address to send this communication to, will you please let me know to whom I should address this?
As I am sure you are aware, the crosswalk at Pine Hill Road and Shoreline Highway is an accident waiting to happen
- the sign for the crosswalk for cars driving west on Shoreline is mostly
hidden by trees
- the cars consistently fail to stop for people in the crosswalk (eg
yesterday we were half way across Shoreline with the car going west
stopped and several cars going east on Shoreline kept going)
- because of the speed and number of cars on Shoreline, drivers may be
afraid to stop for fear of getting rear-ended (as the other cars may not
notice the crosswalk far enough in advance to stop safely)
- cars going east on Shoreline will typically pull up on the "sidewalk" and
pass on the right cars that are stopped - a dangerous situation for
people on the sidewalk or in the cross walk
(this is often done without much reduction in speed)
I am sure there are plans to improve this situation - but I am wondering by when?
I request some combination of the following:
- better signage
- trimming the trees so the signs are easier to see
- a pedestrian sign in the middle of the road (you know the ones that
stick up in the middle of the road and say something like "State Law -
Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk")
- And/or blinking lights around the crosswalk that can be activated by
- little round metal bumps on Shoreline (whatever they are called)
that warn drivers before they get to the crosswalk that then need to slow
- something to discourage drivers from passing stopped cars on
the right at this intersection
- police presence to deter law breakers and to catch and ticket people
who fail to stop for pedestrians - this could be a great source of
Please let me know what the plan is for this intersection and by when we can expect it to be implemented.
366 Pine Hill Road
New program to help alleviate flooding problems
After hours & weekends: 415-473-7513
Local members of the Flood Control Board, the Marin Flood Control District Staff
and the County Department of Public Works have worked out a program to help our
residents who have flooding problems during storms and high tide. The Flood Control
Board voted unanimously to fund cleanings of our catch basins, creeks and gutters on
a regular basis in hopes of alleviating some of the damage flooding can bring. They are
also working to development and implement other projects and programs that will
help to alleviate flood damage.
As a resident you can help by reporting any on-street flooding
as soon as
possible to the County of Marin dispatch:
After hours & weekends: 415-473-7513
These phone numbers go from the dispatch directly to the County garage where personnel
and trucks will be immediately dispatched to Tam Valley. This is a very special
program and is only done in one other community in Marin. Post these phone numbers
in a conspicuous place by the phone in your home.
Would you be interested in becoming a TVIC Board member? We need you on the
Board for your input and discussion on Valley issues.
We meet once a month on the first Thursday
of the month. We sponsor the Annual Rhubarb Revue variety show every Spring for
three weekends and this is our main social event. The TVIC is the watchdog
group of the Valley and always has been. We are the sounding board of what's
going on in our community. You can be as active as your time will allow.
For more information contact Curry Eckelhoff, TVIC President, at 388-7247
or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
815 Marin Drive
Mill Valley, Ca 94904
Sept 20, 2005
Several years ago I wandered into the Fernwood Cemetery to see what it was about, as I have always loved walking in cemeteries. I have only lived in Tam Junction for 5 years and I was curious about this little corner of my new world. Immediately at the entrance on Tennessee Valley Road, I was met by a monolithic stone wall; it imparts a serious tone before you come upon a typical Tam Junction landscape of bay trees and interior live oak. It turns out that the wall is the northwest wall of the building that houses the business offices and facilities for memorial services. It was a Sunday and everything was locked except for the front gate. I followed the steep, paved road up to the right and I found that all was quiet. At the top it seemed to be a deserted, old, Western cemetery with weathered headstones containing fascinating bits of information. The headstones were in disrepair; many of them tipped over and lying upside down where they had fallen. I thought that the charm of the place was in the fact that it was a nearly abandoned cemetery with very old gravesites most with Hispanic and Asian surnames. There was no fertile ground, no fresh flowers (only plastic), and no order. It was intriguing and I vowed to come back in the winter months after the rains had restored the grass, ferns, and wildflowers and also had brought moss and lichen to the trees.
Then I read in AARP magazine and in a local newspaper that the cemetery was being bought by a national corporation that had a unique idea to turn cemeteries into hiking and meditative places. They also had taken the casket out of "burial" in by allowing families to choose a "green burial" (see web links below). I also heard dark rumblings about how "outsiders" were coming in and taking over "our cemetery". Well they have arrived and from what I can see they are doing an outstanding job. Last fall I saw that they had done some hillside work cleaning debris and pulling out uncountable loads of scotch broom; then they sprayed in the wildflower seeds and fertilizer onto the steep banks. It looks artificial until the spring brings vibrant California wildflowers and all is forgotten.
I returned again the other day after watching increasing activity taking place in the hills. Life is returning to our cemetery. Now in September 2005, heavy equipment is being used to make new trails and solitary workers with rakes and hoes are restoring old trails. There are rows of plants (festuca and mountain mahogany), and potted trees lined up for planting. Hundreds of feet of broken waterlines are being repaired; and in such a vast, steep space there is a need for plenty of water! Some of the old gravesites have plants and flowers in bloom as though someone cared instead of the benign neglect of the past years. There are California native plants- California poppies, lupine, sage - lining pathways to the gravesites. There are trails that lead off into the woods and old gravesites restored that were toppled and buried by leaves and downed branches. The headstones have been righted in the Fernwood Section and the Tiered Family Estates. They follow no typical pattern of the traditional cemeteries of the East Coast in which all is orderly, precise and predictable; ours is random, surprising and engaging as you pass rows of marked graves and a few headstones off by themselves on a hillside. Beautiful new retaining walls wander through the hillside making steps and seating in quiet places facing out towards Tennessee Valley or Coyote Creek. The mausoleum that is built into the hillside has been cleaned and a tasteful, living sculpture hangs from the back wall. From the very top of the hill one of the best views of Tam Valley can be found and the climb is well worth it as you pass interesting sites and guess a little bit of history.
"Maria Daughter of J.S. and Rose Nunes. Died September 29th, 1902. Age 5 years. 3 months and 28 days. "
"Denh Su Phung 1908-1990" with a photo of him as a young man.
One head stone with three disparate names and lifespans: "Joseph A Avilla 1920-1936,
Edward W. Bettencourt 1907-1947, Mary Knight 1881 -1950"
"Florence Nightengale Worley 1861-1934 Native of England"
And a small white stone bleached by the sun and the characters worn by the elements
"Anton M. Beloved son of Miguel M and Anna Terra 2 mo 1892"
To read about green burials:
To read about Fernwood Cemetery: