This is unedited version published in Marin IJ January 18, 2000
Heavenly pictures and angel added by forlorn altar boy author.
Oh, God, have mercy on our failures
Slipping into cushy slippers on a billowy cloud, he called out, “Gabriel, update me on my blue, green gem.”
“Sir, globalization is beefing up the bigs, strengthening some middies, while your poor continue arduously climbing their hill of needs.”
“Are my beefies being generous and creative in their good times?” he asks, as he sprinkles light into a black hole.
“Bill Gates and Ted Turner have….”
“No, no, Gabe. I don’t need to know of their endowments, or Ted and Jane trading aerobic sessions. Give me an analysis of community actions addressing values extrinsic to mankind.”
“Extrinsic values, sir?
“Gabriel, you mastery of earthling jargon slips. For planet Earth that means clean and ample water, air, food, shelter and peoples’ actions that help children’s eyes and dreams gleam from birth and far into their sunset years. You remember, Gabe, it takes a village to raise a child?”
“Yes, sir, and extrapolations of that to raise a region and a world. Shall I focus the window of your upgraded Deep Universal Problem Evaluating (DUPE) computer on your Golden State, sir?”
“Yes. Zoom into my Garden of Eden County where they have set aside 301,314 of my 388,352 acres into open space, agriculture and park lands.”
“Zoomed, sir,” the archangel replies, as the 4-D panaview of Marin reels up over one of God’s universes. “Goodness, look at the brake lights on their ‘freeway’.”
“Hmmh, looks like Chicago Bulls parking lot in the Airness days I dished them… Gabriel, where are those wonderful, friendly trains we watched years ago from this view? They zoomed north into surrounding counties, west into small towns and red wooded mountains.”
“Sir, big oil and auto companies derailed those trains 4 or 5 decades back.”
“Tssk, tssk,” God said, shaking His head, “Right. My bigs sometimes think ‘Might makes right.’ But other parts of my Golden State are returning efficient, community enhancing trains. What is My Golden Gated County doing?”
“Sir, four times in the last 40 years some have tried to revive them but…
“Who opposed them?” God interjected.
“Groups referred to as ‘environmentalists’ in your blessed county.”
“Gabriel, are you forgetting your earthling vocabulary again?”
“Environmentalists oppose trains that move more people while putting less pollution in my skies? Trains that encourage friendly mingling and wondrous viewing of my open spaces?” God rhetorically asks.
“It is a little confusing, sir. You might blaze read the DUPE computer folder “St. Vincent’s Silveira Stakeholders Task Force.”
God blinks His version of Evelyn Wood’s speed reading through 8,769 pages of county documents, “It says the environmental groups want no building on the ‘view corridor, flood plain or near 101 and some environmentalists want 37 units allowed on 1240 acres. Where’s my colorful train that used to whisk people through this land and into Sonoma, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe?”
“Sir in the file titled, ‘Memo of Understanding’ the environmental stakeholders and politicians removed the train and station.”
“These ‘stakeholders’ are offering no alternatives for those stuck in traffic trying to get home to their loved ones?”
“Should we send them wings, sir?”
Hmmh, Gabriel, your jokes are far from divine… Wasn’t part of this stakeholders’ site owned by a Boys Town place?”
“Yes, sir. Now St. Vincent’s wants to use development there to endow their future work with troubled children.”
“But without being more creative, thoughtful and logical how will these ‘tempholders’ of my land get the highest and best land uses to endow that hallowed work? Provide enough housing for my middie and hard working strugglers? If they continue being self-centered and deplete the region’s air and people’s quality time with myopic land uses, they will rob my not so well off children elsewhere.”
“What would you like done, Lord?”
“They must consider the bigger picture.”
“Shall I put some of them in space, for a bigger view, sir?”
“Perhaps it would be easier to put some of them in my struggling African villages, where the experience would adjust their priorities.”
“That would greatly alter their comfortable lifestyles…Should I zap them there now, Lord?” as Gabriel reaches for God’s staff leaning against a comet.
“For now, let’s just plant this with that IJ staff and see if they get people thinking more about values extrinsic to mankind.”
While listening to the St Vincent’s Silveira Task force meeting of January 6th discuss “extrinsic values,” one-time forlorn altar boy Dwayne Hunn received this winged transcript from above.
- Developers need a new strategy
- Collected wisdoms on why Marin housing is so expensive:
- Federal bay refuge simply is too much
- A ’golden opportunity’ for whom?
- Preservation proposal is elitist
- St Vincent’s is a rare opportunity
- ‘Smart’ planning needed in Marin
- I see San Rafael in 2020, and it works
- 10 questions for San Rafael
- Oh, God, have mercy on our failures
- …but, from where I sit, they’re part of the problem
- Downzoning can punish community
- With no train can we really clean…
- All aboard! The future…
- Marin, why not think ‘regional’?
- Apathy never fixes anything
- Marin power/a closer look
- Pedestrian Pockets II
- Interviewing Angelo Siracusa — Bay Area Council boss
- Pedestrian pockets
- Lackey of the people
- Everyone wants transit?
- Joe SixPack returns — from the head
- The return of Joe SixPack, or false perceptions, laudable goals
- NEH, NBTMA, County letters on Hamilton Proposed Development
- Traffic reducing proposals
- Points in favor of Hamilton
- Building a better Marin
- Rail/Highway alternative best with development “pockets’
- East San Rafael’s needs
- Address our housing needs
- Visionary Leaders needed
- Innovations at Novato’s Skylark project