Entries tagged with “West Marin Disaster Council”.


“What sort of day was it?” the late CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite used to ask at the end of each installment of You Are There, a reenactment-of-history series that aired from 1953 to 1957. Then answering his own question, Cronkite would add, “A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times… and you were there.”

And I was there, but rather than try to reenact events, I’ll just show you the pictures. Yesterday at the foot of Tomales Bay, the neighboring small towns of Inverness and Point Reyes Station were filled with events that alter and illuminate our times in West Marin.

The biggest event Saturday, the Inverness Fair, as always offered a mix of music, fundraising for local civic groups, people selling arts and crafts, and good food.

The fair is held each year along Inverness Way between the firehouse and the library. On Saturday, Latinas sold Mexican food beside the firehouse to raise money for Tomales Bay Waterdogs, which teaches children living around the bay the crucial skill of swimming.

The women’s aprons all said, “Thank You, Maidee Moore.” Maidee, who founded the Waterdogs almost 45 years ago, died last month at the age of 101.

A display that attracted crowds throughout the fair was this Planned Feralhood cage where young people played with kittens that were up for adoption. Kathy Runnion of Inverness Park, who heads the program, was able to find new homes for five of the nine available.

Because the kittens are in the midst of spay, neuter, and vaccination routines, the new owners could not take their cats immediately home from the fair. The delay will at least give them a few days to prepare for the kittens.

Inverness Garden Club again this year sold plants to raise funds for its civic programs. The club maintains plantings on the median of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through downtown, at Inverness’ aptly named Plant Park, at the Gables (which houses the Jack Mason Museum and Inverness Library), at the Point Reyes Station Post Office, and at the Point Reyes Station Library.

The KWMR radio van, which also provides communications for the West Marin Disaster Council, was on hand to raise funds for the community-radio station and recruit volunteers for the Disaster Council. Here Point Reyes Station Disaster Council coordinator Lynn Axelrod talks about communications with Richard Dillman as he sits inside the van.

Dillman is the communications engineer for the Disaster Council and the “transmitter wrangler” for KWMR. He spent 30 years as a special-services officer for Greenpeace, and in 2011, the environmental group donated the van to the nonprofit radio station.

Inverness Yacht Club Youth Sailing program sold grilled hotdogs as a fundraiser for its classes that have taught many young people how to sail. As a former sailboat owner, I didn’t want to be tacky, so I bought a hotdog. Yummy.

Outside the Inverness Library, used books were sold as a benefit for the library system. By the end of the fair, the sellers were offering: “All the books you can put in a shopping bag — $5!”

Tables displaying a variety of arts and crafts for sale attracted fairgoers arriving and leaving on Inverness Way.

Meanwhile in Point Reyes Station, Gallery Route One is in the midst of its annual fundraising “Box Show.”

The show is both an exhibit and a silent auction, featuring three-dimensional works that at least in part take their shape from a box. This box created by Jane Santucci is called Sail A-Weigh.

I’m Feeling Beachy is the title of the box at left, which was created by artist Geraldine Lia Braaten. The box at right, Searching for Water, is the work of artist Ellen Gray.  ______________________________________________________________________

An eerie Society’s Child box by Sandra Audfang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meanwhile, five blocks away at the other end of Point Reyes Station yesterday….

Gathered below Ralph Stein’s painting Negative Spin.

Friends, relatives, and admirers of artist Ralph Stein of Point Reyes Station gathered at the Dance Palace Community Center for a memorial showing of his paintings. Stein, who was born in Milwaukee in 1928, died Feb. 24 in Sausalito surrounded by his family. An intermittent resident of Sausalito, Stein had moved to Point Reyes Station in 2012. _____________________________________________________________

Stein (right), an abstract expressionist like Jackson Pollock, had studied art in New York City.

While hanging around with other “Bohemians,” as they were called, he got to know such art-world luminaries as Pollock, William de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell.

He became a personal friend of poet Grace Paley. ___________________________________________________________________

During a reception for the memorial exhibit, Bruce Fox performed surprisingly melodic music on this steel drum from Switzerland. The UFO-shaped instrument is called a hang (pronounced hawn). By tapping on different parts of the hang, Fox was able create an impressive range of resonant notes.

Stein’s determination to become an abstract expressionist painter intensified after he suffered a stroke in 1962, which affected his language center. As a painter, he would not need to use words, he told himself. Fortunately, he was able over time to regain his ability to speak normally.

The artist’s paintings will remain on display in the lobby of the Dance Palace until Sept. 14.

At first glance, it may seem inappropriate to talk about natural disasters during the holidays, but unfortunately that’s often when some of the worst weather-related crises have occurred in West Marin.

Moreover, I’ve been asked by Anne Sands, the new West Marin Disaster Council coordinator, to publish her letter to the community. So I’m doing so below.

On New Year’s Eve in 2005, a rainstorm caused Papermill/Lagunitas Creek to flood. The Point Reyes-Petaluma Road was inundated in several locations, and one was at the now-closed Rich Readimix plant near Platform Bridge. Even before the flood crested, the car of a passing San Francisco Chronicle delivery driver got caught in the current and overturned near the plant.

Downstream, low-lying areas of Point Reyes Station were also flooded that New Year’s Eve and Day. ________________________________________________________________

On Jan. 4, 1982, a ferocious storm caused floods and landslides which destroyed homes in Inverness and left a San Geronimo Valley resident permanently paralyzed. _______________________________________________________________

Not all the disasters that periodically hit West Marin are related to the weather, of course. With the San Andreas Fault running under Bolinas Lagoon, up the Olema Valley, and the length of Tomales Bay, major earthquakes can be expected from time to time. The April 18, 1906, earthquake along the fault killed 3,000 people around the Bay Area and overturned this train in Point Reyes Station. _______________________________________________________________

And when the weather is dry and windy — as it unseasonably is now — wildfires are a continual threat. In July 1929, the Great Mill Valley Fire (above) charred Mount Tamalpais from Mill Valley to the peak and destroyed 117 homes. ________________________________________________________________

The Inverness Ridge Fire in October 1995 was also exacerbated by high winds and dry weather.

The “Mount Vision Fire,” as it is alternately known, destroyed 45 homes and blackened 15 percent of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

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Because the chance of more such disasters in the future is real, I will now let West Marin Disaster Council coordinator Anne Sands of Dogtown use this space to present a strong case for being prepared.

Anne, by the way, is a former president of the Bolinas Fire Protection District’s board of directors.

She’s also an equestrian and told me, “I am rarely away from a horse at any given time.” Here she rides in the Western Weekend Parade a couple of years ago.

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Dear West Marin residents, It’s New Year’s Resolution time again! What about that disaster-preparedness class you have been meaning to take?

A major earthquake can hit anywhere around the infamous Pacific Ring of Fire, the great circle of tectonic activity created by the Pacific plate [of the earth’s crust] rubbing against its neighboring plates.

And we in West Marin are right on that Ring of Fire.

One of the best things we can do as a community to survive the next earthquake, tsunami, winter storm or wildfire is to increase the number of us who have learned basic disaster-preparedness and response skills.

A series of Pacific storms caused widespread damage in Stinson Beach during January and March of 1983. This is Calle del Ribera. (Point Reyes Light photo)

These skills include first aid, triage, communications, team building, and search and rescue. Immediately after a disaster, it will be impossible for our firefighters, EMTs, and other qualified medical people to take care of everyone who needs immediate help. We must be prepared to extend the capacity of our local emergency responders by becoming trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members.

The fire departments of West Marin are offering a two-day CERT course on Saturday, Jan. 11, and Saturday, Jan. 18., at the Nicasio Corporation Yard. Many West Marin residents have taken these classes and are already involved in local disaster preparedness.

Paul Gallagher’s dog appropriately carries a buoy as Mesa Road floods in Point Reyes Station during the New Year’s Eve storm of 2005.

You can join your neighbors and friends to make our communities more self-reliant and able to cope with disasters. There are no pre-qualifications for this training , and you do not have to be in “great shape.” In a widespread emergency, there are many ways to contribute your newly learned skills.

For 18 hours and $45 you can learn how to prepare yourself, your family, and your community to respond effectively. CERT class graduates receive a certificate and an Emergency Response daypack. There are scholarships available for those needing financial assistance in order to register.

Be prepared! Join CERT, the Community Emergency Response Team. To register go to www.marincountycert.org or call Maggie Lang at 415 485-3409.

Thank you for taking CERT.

Anne Sands, West Marin Disaster Council Coordinator <annewmdc@gmail.com> 415 868-1618.