Tag Archives: Joe Sixpack

Joe Sixpack Belches On NIMBYism

COASTAL POST –  SEPTEMBER 17, 1990

Joe Sixpack Belches On NIMBYism

As some of you know, Joe Sixpack re­cently took a job with OLTP (Office of Long Term Paining) in Sacramento. His job de­scription, outside of his after hours environ­mental responsibility for crushing his weekly average of 47 aluminum cans, in­cludes “Monitoring the Progress of Pain in the Capitol of NIMBYism.”

Aware of Maria through his advancing politics/law studies at the BAR (earned through seminar work at Smiley’s Schoo­ner, The Cantina, and the Alvarado Inn), Joe was miffed by his job description. In May he asked his boss, Ulysses Stephen Shirkit, this question:

“Sir, how does one monitor pain in the Capitol of NIMBYism when everyone

knows that everyone wants to live in that idyllic oasis. I mean, everyone knows that every 4th car in Marin is a BMer or Porsche, that every one either has a twin screw, 6 sleeper cabin cruiser or a hot tub, that even the torn and tattered Levis wearers are mil­lionaire rock stars or have cultivated millions through other magical habits…How can I monitor pain there?”

Mr. U.S. Shirkit explained to Joe that he had to get by the surface superficialities and into the basics of life, which Joe’s studies for the BAR should have made him aware.

Joe’s first assignment turned out to be study­ing the St. Vincent’s/Silveira (SVS) initia­tive launched by Robert Marx, obviously a cousin of Groucho Marx. The basic he stud­ied on SVS was land and the future of little kids’ lives.

The other basic his boss wanted to awaken him to was more down and dirty—politics. His computer analysis and tutoring from U.S. gave him his first lesson in illogical (termed “stupid” by BAR friends) land use planning. Joe’s computer monitor informed him that passage of the SVS initiative would cause an SOS to be floated by: low and moderate income households—Marin’s most endangered species; the Catholic Youth Organization—which is trying to continue generating finances to help troubled kids; the embryonic rail system—the long term answer to gridlocked 101, air pollution, and someone named Sadham Pastrami Who-sane.

Joe learned a lot in that assignment. So much so that he had to crash more than his normal after-work quota of six light, empty aluminum cans against his sweaty forehead. Today he thought he might have a similar post work need.

“Joe, find out what’s behind these stories from the Coastal Post saying that the Marin Conservation League, Sierra Club and Audubon Society are against the Marin Sales Tax, which will put 52 percent of its revenues into making railroads operational again in the North Bay,” U.S. said, as he handed Joe a stack of papers and a 1.44 megabyte computer disk.

Joe rubbed his bloodshot eyes, went to his 486 chip powered, LAN networked, laptop computer and asked his first question.

“Why are these environmental groups against the train? Isn’t the train more envi­ronmentally sound than a bunch of people driving around in cars?”

Against the liquid gel video came, “That is the same question former Mill Valley Mayor Ruth Schneider publicly asked a MCL spokesperson. MCL’s standard an­swer avoids the ‘environmental’ question by claiming a train would be growth induc­ing. Therefore, MCL says don’t let the train happen until there is ‘more’ growth con­trol.”

“Does Marin have a growth problem?” Joe input on the keyboard.

Red bold letters flashed on the screen: “I TOLD YOU THIS BEFORE, STUPID!…Marin’s population growth has average 4/l0ths of 1 percent per year for the last 15 years, equaling about 1,000 people per year. Only 4 percent of the total of 12 percent of developable land remains to be developed. 2 percent of that is flat land lying along the railroad right-of-way which these environmental groups and Groucho Marx’s cousin want to acquire for open space. This potential acquisition will bring 90 percent of Marin’s land into “sorely” needed open space.

Incidentally, California’s population grows about 2,000 persons per day. Most of them, however, don’t earn $90,000 a year and have $30,000 for a downpayment to allow them to purchase the median priced Marin home. Most of them are normal, hard working families who are only allowed to drive through Marin.”

A bit embarrassed by the computer, Joe read some of U.S.’s reports before inputting another question. One of the reports dealt with the National Sierra Club calling for housing and commercial development along lines. Joe input: “Why is the Marin Sierra Club against mixed use develop­ments at SVS and other suggested sites when their national chapter says that is how we must sensitively handle future growth throughout the nation?”

A gentle green filled the screen: “GLAD YOU ARE DOING SOME READING, JOE. IF MORE PEOPLE HAD TIME TO READ AND LOGICALLY ASSEMBLE THEIR THOUGHTS, INSTEAD OF BEING STUCK IN TRAFFIC AND GRINDING JOBS, I WOULDN’T NEED TO WASTE SO MANY PIXELS ON THE SCREEN. The Regional Sierra Club looks on the Marin Sierra Club as an anomaly in the environmental movement. In more basic BAR studies talk, of which you are more familiar, they would on this crucial 20th century issue of energy conservation, logi­cal land uses, and jobs/ housing balance be called an environmental hypocrite by any intelligent, logical, sober, poker player who knows how to call a spade a spade.”

Confused by so much information, and thirsty, Joe input “Does that mean the Sales Tax will win even with opposition from these recognized Mann environmental groups?”

“Joe, reread what I said earlier about what the National and Regional Sierra Club chapters say are the development patterns that can address out affordable housing, traffic and air pollution problems. Then, if you use environmental facts to draw logical conclu­sions, you will begin referring to these groups as “so-called” environmental groups.

‘To you question: If voters read in depth and understand the Marin Sales Tax Issues and use logic and common sense, they will pass the Marin Sales Tax. Politics, however, more often is determined by emotion and rhetoric rather than facts, real long term needs, logic, and common sense.”

Joe was thinking about that answer when he glanced at the clock. It was 5:05. Earlier the afternoon heat had him looking forward to his couch, a few beers, the Giants game and his favorite show, “Married With Chil­dren.”

“Enough of this serious stuff, I’m outta here.”

DWAYNE HUNN

(Dwayne sweats over affordable housing and traffic issues with Novato Ecumenical Housing. He sometimes studies and quenches his thirst with Joe. He recycles, too.)

Lackey of the people

Marinscope papers – Newspointer October 21-27, 1992

Meanderings

by Dwayne Hunn

Monday morning: Sacramento Office of Long Term Paining (OLTP). Joe wore his sunglasses, landed his shaky cup of black coffee aside his 486 bit Baby Blue, rubbed his temples, flicked on his monitor and checked for recent file events from the land of NIMBYs;

“Another lost weekend at Fourth Street Tavern, eh, Mr. Sixpack?” Melissa said, sashaying by in a tight, but shoulderless, dress. “By the way Shurkit wants to see you.”

“Huh?”

“The beer in your gut put wax in your ears?  The   boss, U.S. Shirkit, wants to S-E-E Y-O-U.”

“Heard you. Say, what’s wrong with Sally Army’s fashion rack? They run out of shoulder patches?”

“Sweet Joe… Go see if you’re a budget prune.”

 The blue lettering of Ulysses vs. Shirkit, Director stood out on the open door. As Ulysses saw Joe, he cupped his phone and motioned him in. Joe looked around the room as he. waited for the phone conversation to end.  Mr. Shirkit had his power blue suit coat hanging on a wall hook near the pictures of him with Reagan, Bush and Wayne Newton. As Joe began to peer at some of the other memorabilia, Mr. Shirkit’s phone conversation ended.

“Sit here, Joe. Joe. as you know, Governor Wilson has been fighting hard to chop the fat out of the bureaucracy. Trying to cut those 108 public information officers on the Assembly and Senate staffs is part of his battle. We too must do our part..

“You’ve done a job compiling information on issues affecting California’s North Bay! Such a good job that I want you to assume some of our released public information officer’s duties.

“You’ll be responsible for responding to constituent concerns… Any questions? Okay, check your mail bin.”    –

Sure enough. Joe returned to a filled mail tray. Joe put his 100% UVA protected Blue Lights back on, titled back and read.

 

Mazlo Routh

69Seabring Way

San Rafael, CA

Dear Governor Wilson:

Hope you’re having a good day! I figure that you could have a better day if you could save a few more bucks. So, as a citizen who’s concerned about grace, doing away with government waste and putting as much excellence in governing as Rush does in broadcasting, I’m offering some level headed big buck savings. The other day I was reading the newspaper (as lots more others should). After doing so. I went to my City’s Council meeting (also as lots more others should). You know why I went? Because one of our BIG government agencies want to cement away a BIG HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS of our hard earned tax dollars! Want to know what on? On widening our 101 freeway!

Now let me make one thing perfectly clear. I like freeways. Once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, but I still like them. Also liked it when they widened the 101 freeway a few years ago. Wasn’t so sure that I liked the big sound walls they put up, though.

Now, I got real concerns about wastes and short-sightedness. You see, Caltrans, this big agency that works for you, wants to knock down this big, expensive wall they just put up with my tax bucks, pick up the railroad tracks behind it (By the way, did you see the historical Roger Rabbit movie about how LA lost their rail line? If you were in Washington or San Diego working and missed it, you could rent it. Video Droid has it for $2.50) and promise to replace them on the other side of the freeway on some other day.

Problem is real people live in houses on the other side where Caltrans promises to relay the track. Of course, they don’t say when or how much it would cost to lay track where those houses now are. Sounds like this could Wound a bunch of Knees. (Get the point of my arrow, Chief?)

You could probably tell I’m pretty well read and traveled. Cosmopolitan like: Been to Europe too. Eurorailed everywhere (almost) on trains. So in addition to being a member of the Grace Commission vs. Government Waste, I also like trains (although I am not yet a Charter Member of any train commission).

You know, this cacamainey Caltrans plan seems like some resurrected Commie plot. Think about this. Tracks run throughout our great state. But take them out of a few communities and what happens to our interconnected American rail.system? (It’s like losing a couple pieces of a great. puzzle.) When we had the earthquake, freeways crumbled. What happened to rail? Rail track hardly got bent! Trains can’t work. when you hopscotch pieces of the track. We need them connected to handle disasters and, God forbid, combat an invasion..

I, for one, like you, for two, don’t like second best! I don’t like it that we have about the world’s 44th best rail system and I know that sooner or later — maybe right after we fix the budget we’ll start making our rail system the best! Please look into this. Don’t let those big government guys waste my money. Don’t let them steel the iron that Won the West! Don’t force east San Rafael folks to circle their Winnebagos against phony government taking

Please let me know you’ll be standing strongly on the tracks! I remain —

Your steadfastly environmentally aware constituent

  Mazlo Routh

Joe rolled his eyes, slid his sunglasses off his nose, picked, scratched and muttered, as he went off to the bathroom.

 

Joe SixPack returns — from the head

San Rafael Newspointer
Dwaye Hunn, unedited version 7-23-1991

Last week Joe started his long weekend at the Positvely 4th Street  bar  where he started talking with  two  idealistic  grad school  graduates,  Tommy Enthuse and Benny Design,  about  their desire to move to Marvelous Marin.  After a half-time trip to 4th Street’s  designer bathroom and the phone, he returns to his  bar stool.

“Did you get through to your friend?” chirpy Tommy asked.

“Got  his answering machine again.  It says he left an  hour ago  to meet me, which means he’s probably trying to be  environmental and ride his bike here from Mill Valley.”

“That’s neat.”

“Yeah, well, if he’s not here in about 20 minutes it  probably means someone ran him off of the bike pathless San Rafael hill and  the  ambuilance picking him up will polllute more  than  his little car would have.” Joe added, as he continued his  aluminnum recycling campaign.

“So what did you mean about us having to soon become  important  players with Lucas or Autodesk in order for people like  us to live here?”  Tommy asked, resuming their earlier discussion.

“Fellows, over the last ten years only 350 of you  outsiders a  year have been allowed to move into this county.  The  average single family detached house sells for about $390,000, the  average  condo for about $190,000.  The agenda calls for less of  you outsiders  to be allowed to move in, more expensive  housing  and more freeway commuting by workers coming into Marin.”

“Well,  someone  must be working on  changing  that.”  Tommy said, as he showed his first frown of the day.

“Most polls and elections indicate that Marinites like doing business as usual.  Most observers feel that the so-called  Marin environmentalists control the electoral process by  pontificating on  the merits of preserving mice rather than  air  quality  and people.   And most politicians prefer to follow the  polls,  lead the mice and remain elected.” Joe responded.

For  once the bubbly one did not have an instant  reply,  so Joe continued.  “Now if you guys were policy makers with Lucas or Autodesk  or their friends whose products train today’s  kids  so they can  fly F-15’s and plant the images in grown up  minds  of what  our world should be, then you could change that.   You  and those like you could have a chance to live around here.”

“Explain.” quiet Benny said.

“In  days of yore, people and particularly people of  impact probably  read a lot more than most people do today.  From  their readings, they generated their own pictures in their own shoulder mounted computer of how things could or should be.  They  probably walked in the park, in the fields or in their neighborhood  under that  thought-provoking  blue  sky to embellish  on  those  heady ideas.  Often they then took those ideas and made them happen for the benefit of the larger community. Today, after being stuck  in single occupant vehicle traffic, driving to the store, child care center, hither-and-yon, and working a hectic day trying to figure out how to get through their personal and work-life   bureaucracy; they want the picture of how things should or could be drawn  for them.  After it’s drawn for them, they want someone else to  take the time to implement it.”

“Are  you suggesting that image makers can provide  the  answers  to affordable housing, traffic and air quality  problems?” Tommy asked.

“Look, in a county where 88% of the land cannot be developed and  where  the neighboring county wants to move  toward  setting most of its land outside of development, there are two places for young bloods like you to live compatibly with the environment and without  being  indentured servants.  One is in the  already  developed  urban cities.  The other is in mixed-use,  village  settings along the rail line.”

“That’s  the obvious, logical and environmentally  sensitive answer  that we work on in grad school often. Why isn’t it  being done here?”  the quiet designer asked.

“When  implementing  such ideas are proposed, a  handful  of influenital  people distort what the results would be and  it  is killed.

Lucas, Autodesk and others could take the Northbay Rail Line and  envision  how sensitive, environmental planning  along  that corridor  could  provide  a rail oriented future  with  jobs  and housing balanced through a series of mixed-use villages linked to commercial,  retail and light idnustry developed along  the  rail line.   Clean,  partially solar powered trains linked  to  demand responsive vans and interconnected ground travel could be part of the electronic visioning.  Today’s traffic, unaffordable  housing mess could be envisioned  as tomorrow’s community planned for the environment  and  people. Electronic wizzardy is needed  to  get people  to understand and support the doability of  that  healthy future.”

“Then,”  Joe continued, “they could take almost any  section of  San Rafael — the Paul Street office park or the Albert  Park area — use those Autocad programs to show how it is now and then show how adding some 2nd and 3rd story living spaces could  provide  affordable housing and a community to the unused air  space above  and  community-less ground below.  Now that air  space  is just breathing  the fumes of those 101 commuters  who  could  be affordably  renting  and  owning and birthing a  community  in  a downtown within walking distance of shops, parks and jobs.”

“You  think Lucas, Autodesk, Industrial Light and Magic  and their  friends  are  interested in doing  something  like  that?”  Tommy Enthuse quietly asked.

“Somewhat interested.  But they need a couple hot shots like you  guys to get it going.  Why don’t you ask them  on  Monday?..  Excuse me, I’ve got to use my other head again and call to see if my friend is in some roadside ditch.”  Joe said as he carried his aluminum canteen to the back of the bar.

When not working on Northbay Ecumenical Housing (NEH), North  Bay Transportation Management Association (NBTMA) or trying to put  a solar  powered  train on the tracks, Dwayne sometimes  rides  his bike to help Joe recycle aluminum.

 

 

 

The return of Joe SixPack, or false perceptions, laudable goals

San Rafael Newspointer,

published July 17-23, 1991 (unedited version)

Joe  Sixpack ambled into  the Positively 4th Street Bar on Saturday  afternoon to start one of his long weekends  away  from his job in Sacramento at OLTP (Office of Long Term Paining).   He threw some darts, had a few beers and was chewing on some nuts at the bar when two young men pulled stools back next to his.

“You mind?” one asked, as they pointed at the chairs.

“Nah, get comfortable.” Joe responded.

“You live here?” the smiling one asked.

“Nah, I’d get tired of living in just one bar,” Joe said as he began playing with a couple bar nuts.

“I mean do you live in Marin?”

“Nah, not that rich.  It’s cheaper just to visit friends who live at the zoo than to try buying a cage.” Joe offered.

The quiet one smiled and the chirpy one laughed and continued. “It’s so nice here, I guess it’s pretty expensive.”

“You two could buy a 2 bedroom condo with closets to  match your preppy clothes for about $200,000 — if you hurry.” he said, as  he  tilted his head and Lite beer can to drain  its  contents into his mouth.

“It’ll  be awhile before we can do that.  We both just finished Master’s programs.  We both decided that Marin is where we want to live.  It’s just so beautiful.”

“Yeah, living in a park can be nice.  Your parents own a home here?”

“No.”

“Parents rich?”

“No.   Our parents are just regular hard working folks.  We both had to work through college.  Benny had a football scholarship.  He’s from the Midwest and I’m from the City of  Industry near Los Angeles.”  the chirpy one replied.

“I’m Tom Enthuse and this is Benny Design.  We called  him Bene because he designs everything so well.” the talker said,  as they  both reached over to shake hands and Joe mumbled his  first name.

“Tommy and Benny come to Marin… toting their hopes and masters degrees…  hoping to win… a field of dreams to live in…  So what are your degrees in?” Joe asked, as he rolled  his eyes into space and tried to catch the bartenders attention.

“Ben’s degree is in Urban Design with a BA in architecture.  I have a BA in Poly Sci with a Master’s in Video Production and Computer Graphics.”

“Ya wanna chew on some nuts,” Joe asked, as they nooded no.  “Let me guess, Bene wants to design some “tres bene,” livable communities that will reduce reliance on automobiles and  provide housing  affordable to people like you guys…  You want to work for George Lucas or Autodesk or one of their powerful  related companies and plant wonderful images in people’s heads.”

Rolling their heads while nodding and smiling, Tommy  said, “You just about hit it on the head.”

“Well, if  you want buddy Benny to have any  work  you  had better  assume an important policy making position with Lucas  or Autodesk very quickly.” Joe responded.

“What do you mean?” the quiet one said, proving he could speak.

“The creative heart of architects and designers starves  in this county.   A handful of comfortable people stiffles their creative ability to address housing, transit and true environmental needs by planting wacko seeds in the minds of the uninvolved voting public.”

“What does that have to do with Tom quickly getting an important position with Lucas or Autodesk?” Benny asked.

“The real world of local politics runs on these premises.  Voters who most need to: neither attend nor involve themselves enough in local affairs to know how they are being screwed.  Accurate, in-depth news coverage is abysmal.  The Brave New  World of 1984 arrived, and we are now controlled by images that emanate from electronic monitors.” Joe stopped to chew on some nuts and tried to assess whether he was getting through, then continued.

“NIMBYs (Not In My Backyard) will continue electing NIMTOs (Not  In  My Term of Office) who will only allow  DECME  (Density Erasers  Causing Million Dollar Estates) projects to be built  so guys  like you won’t be able to live here.  Although the  NIMBY’s will continue to say they are  for all the things you  idealistic college  educated types want to do, when “cruci..cnch” time comes  they will  find a means to kill what needs doing by planting  a  false perception of your laudable goals among the voters.”

“Political leadership comes in to correct that.”  Tommy opined.

“If you last 5 years around her and gain some real political experience, you won’t be able to fill half a hand with politicians who will step in front to lead a crowd. After the crowd is pointed and about to move in a direction, that’s when politians step  to the fore and say ‘Let’s go this away’.” Joe said, as he bent his empty beer can and asked the bartender,  “You recycle, don’t you?”

“So what role does Lucas Film and Autodesk play in all this?” Benny asked.

“I’ll explain that to you right after I commune with Mother Nature and call to see where my friendly fiend Dwayne the-Do-Hickey is.” Joe said as he stepped back and moved to get to the Men’s Room.

Joe  often  visits  Dwayne Hunn who works on projects for Northbay Ecumenical Housing (NEH)  and  North  Bay Transportation Management Association (NBTMA).

Joe Sixpack And The ESOPs

Coastal Post  April 23, 1991

 Joe Sixpack And The ESOPs

 BY DWAYNE HUNN

Recently Coastal Post reporter Patrick Holland ana­lyzed the potential benefits and pitfalls of the Marin City development. A couple of friends of mine actually read his pieces at Don Deane’s pub—probably because that was the only paper stocked both in and Out of the johns. After tipping quite a few at the bar, the fellow to my left, Nick Kelso, myself and my buddy Joe Sixpack started exchanging ideas.

       “So wha da ya do?” said Joe to Nick.

       “I do up ESOPs,” replied Nick.

       Joe stared hard at the guy, leaned over to me and asked, “Did dat punk say he’d do me up because I’m an SOB?”

       “No, Joe, he said he does ESOPS—Employee Stock Ownership Programs. It allows employees to invest in their companies and reap the benefits of being a stock holder.”

    “Yes, that’s what I do. My father Louis Kelso felt that every American should be a capitalist. Owning capital allows one to become a two-income household— from wages and from return on your ownership of capital.”

    “It was one of the means by which Mr. Kelso felt you could eradicate the need for poverty programs and get people to work better and harder at their jobs which then increases profits,” I added.

    “If you own part of where you work, you’ll take care of it, make it work better and doing so will allow you to accumulate capital just like rich people.”

    “Yeah, well dis guy in the Coastal Post says dees rich people are about to come to Marin City and in time they may drive the poor people out of their homes. Can you do an ESOP for dem?”

    “Come on, Joe. Think about what Northbay Ecumeni­cal Housing (NEH) does. Think about NEH’s CASA (Community Assisted Shared Appreciation) and how that’s like an ESOP.”

    “The reporter says after that spanking new Marin City development is built someone will come in and want to “condomize” those not so pretty apartments on the hillside. Then all the poor people won’t be able to afford dem and be moved out.”

“They won’t be able to own because they have never been capitalists—have never owned cai3ital and partici­pated in its appreciation and tax benefits and been able to accumulate wealth by doing so,” chimed in Nick. “Yeah, in other words, der poor,” clarified Joe. “And der ain’t many ways to get capital when yen poor.”

   “Your friend is right. If you don’t own capital, it is almost impossible to accumulate wealth,” said Nick. “Little disagreement, Nick. But Joe, when his forehead isn’t bleeding from crushing 13 beer cans against it and glugging its contents down his throat, knows there are other sources of capital other than one’s business. He knows our CASA program gets people out of welfare dependency by assisting people gain that capital foothold. Come on Joe, explain CASA to Nick.”

   After slapping the side of his head a couple time and washing his eyes with my glass of water, Joe said, “Dees guys at NEH raise, or maybe steal is the better word, money mostly from developers. Then they beg founda­tions and dis County, who some years ago gave them a few pennies and put it into der Affordable Housing Frust Tund. Dey den take dat money and fill the gap between what these low/moderate income households can afford to pay for a home.”

“What do you mean ‘fill the gap’?” Nick said.

       “Hey, ain’t you an economist type” Ain’t you ever heard of second mortgages? Silent or sleeping second mortgages? Dees guys at NEH have the poor come up with the largest down payment they can, get the highest first mortgage they can, and they pay the difference with their silent second money. Dey don’t even collect on the sleeping second until and unless dose folks sell da home. Den dey each share propotionately in da appreciation.”

   Well, in Marin I expect that if those families hold onto their unit for a few years it will appreciate substantially and they will become ‘capitalists.’ They will have accumulated wealth and never again need to depend on government assistance. That is a fine example of an ESOP for people shut out of home ownership! It must a wonderful, exciting program!”

       “Yeah, well if my friend were smarter, he’d work less hard at it and drink more wid me. Developers are the only ones who seem to understand it in a reasonably quick manner—and they can’t develop projects to do it in Marin. Ya know, like 65 percent of the units at Hamilton could’ve been CASA ESOPs. But some environmental lady said they didn’t want those low lifes out der. Foundations and the government say they have no money for helping poor own their homes, they prefer to give der money to keep them rentin’.

“And da poor people are so busy trying to make ends meet that they don’t have time to learn about the CASA program and raise hell to get it happening…  I keep tellin’ dem, get more people off that rental beast.  Drinking the yeast, barley, and hops ofownership is better than eating rental crow for ever. Too much crow ain’t good for anyone.”

       “Let’s get outta here before we have to pay for dis last round. I feel like the CASA second—I oughta (hiccup) be sleeping,” said Joe.

Computer analysis

Novato Advance October 31, 1990

Viewpoint

Computer analysis

By DWAYNE HUNN

Returning from a long, bleary-eyed weekend of field study at New George’s, Joe Sixpack slumped into his chair in the air-conditioned office of California’s Office of Long Term Paining (OLTP). Next to his computer was a note from his boss, Mr. Ulysses Stephen Shirkit. “Joe. give me an analysis of the Measure A and L campaigns in Marin County.”

Joe was starting to enjoy the in­creased field work he was doing in the Capitol of Nimbyism.

After opening a file containing news coverage and mailings on the campaign, Joe flipped on his brainy, 486-powered Oasis com­puter and input his first question:

“Opponents of Measure A refer to a federal study to state that ridership projections for the train are in­flated. Is this true?”

The computer flashed back.

Good morning, Joe. Looks like you had a tough weekend and received some bad information. Opponents rely on the Pickkrell study to claim train riders/zip is in­flated. Mr. Pickrell was an and-rail Reagan appointee. If you were sober during the Reagan era, you might recall that Reagan was not very concerned about reducing pol­lution, tried to close down Amtrak and did not believe in supporting intro or inter-city rail networks. Mr. Pickrell often used early draft studies from which to draw his ridership conclusions even when more recent actual riders/zip num­bers presented a supportive case for rail.”

“But Reagan was a good presi­dent for letting the private sector work. So maybe he was right in op­posing rail development,” Joe responded.

“In that case, the system is prov­ing Reagan and the opponents of Measure A wrong. Amtrak has been at its ridership capacity of 21 million for a number of years and could increase its system by four times and still fill it. Thirty-seven cities are expanding or developing rail lines, many even without federal assistance. Rail riders/tip is up 214 percent, while diesel bus riders hip is down 1 percent from 1979 to 1986.”

“Well, the environmental opponents of Measure A say we should pave over  the tracks and make it a busway or toll road. Wouldn’t that be better for serving suburbia, then later on we could put a train in?”

“Joe, you’ve studied in Los An­geles. They are spending about $1 billion per mile to put the train back on land they covered with freeway years ago. Joe, go see the movie ‘Roger Rabbit,’ maybe that will be understandable to you. Read the newspapers about Sadham Pastrami Whosesane, and ask yourself whether trains or buses/toll roads are more resource efficient.”

“But some of the environmen­talists say the train will cause beautiful Marin to be overrun with development”

“Come on Joe. We have done these numbers before. Eighty-eight percent of Marin cannot be developed. Only 4 percent remains to be developed. Two of that 4 per­cent lies along the rail line where clustered developments which leave lots of surrounding open space could provide affordable housing from which people could walk to tide the train. Even if all the waits projected as needed to be built in Marin were built over the next 15 years, Marin’s population growth rate would be a whopping 1/2 of I percent per year. After housing build out, Marin’s average housing density would jump from .29 units per acre to .32 per acre.”

Suddenly Joe’s thoughts were in­terrupted by the intercom, “Joe, Mr. Shrikit would like you to bring the information he wanted to his office.

Some Sonoma, Solano and Napa elected representatives are meeting with him to discuss their disgust about having to put more of their farm and wine land into develop­ment to satisfy Marin’s affordable housing needs.”

Yeah, so what’s new.. .Tell U.S. I’ll be right there.

Dwayue Hunn worked in Sacramento, likes and rides trains, spends time doing a few arm curls with Joe Sixpack and will vote Yes on Measure A

Joe Sixpack On The Measure A Wagon

Coastal Post   October 22, 1990

Guest Editorials

 Joe Sixpack On The Measure A Wagon

 BY DWAYNE HUNN

 Returning from a long, bleary eyed weekend of field study at New George’s, Joe Sixpack slumped into his chair in the air-conditioned office of California’s OLTP (Office of Long Term Paining). Next to his computer was a note from his boss, Mr. Ulysses Stephen Shirkit. “Joe, give me an analysis of the Measure A and L Campaigns in Marin County.”

Joe was starting to enjoy the increased field work he was doing in the Capitol of NIMBYism. In fact, as tiring as the weekend research he had been doing at centers of learning such as Marin’s New George’s, Smiley’s Schooner, etc., he often found work before his computer more difficult and sobering.

After opening a file containing new­s coverage and mailings on the campaign, Joe flipped on his brainy, 486 powered Oasis computer and input his first. question. “Opponents of Measure A refer. to a federal study to state that ridership projections for the train are inflated. Is this true?”

The computer flashed back. “Good morning, Joe. Looks like you had a tough weekend and received some bad informa­tion. Opponents rely on the Pickrell study to claim train ridership is inflated. Mr. Pickrell was an anti-rail, Reagan ap­pointee. If you were sober during the Reagan era, you might recall that Reagan was not very concerned about reducing pollution, tried to close down Amtrak and did not believe in supporting intra or inter-city rail networks. Mr. Pickrell often used early draft studies from which to draw his ridership conclusions even when more recent actual ridership numbers presented a supportive case for rail.”

“But Reagan was a good president for letting the private sector work. So maybe he was right in opposing rail develop­ment,” Joe responded.

“In that case, the system is proving Re­agan and the opponents of Measure A wrong. Amtrak has been at its ridership capacity of 21 million for a number of years and could increase its system by four times and still fill it. Thirty seven cities are expanding or developing rail lines, many even without federal assis­tance. Rail ridership is up to 214 percent. while diesel bus ridership is down 1 percent from 1979—1986.”

“Well, the environmental opponents of Measure A say we should pave over the tracks and make it a busway or toll road. Wouldn’t that be better for serving subur­bia, then later on we could put a train in?”

“Joe, you’ve studied in Los Angeles. They arc spending about $1 billion dollars per mile to put the train back on land they covered with freeways years ago. Joe, go see the movie “Roger Rabbit,” maybe that will be understandable to you. Read the newspapers about Sadham Pastrami Whosesane, and ask yourself whether trains or buses/toll roads are more resource efficient.”

“But some of tue environmentalists say the train will cause beautiful Marin to be overrun with development.”

“Come on, Joe. We have done these numbers before. Eighty-eight percent of Marin can not be developed. Only 4 percent remains to be developed. Two of that 4 percent lies along the rail line where clustered developments which leave lots of surrounding open space could provide affordable housing from which people could walk to ride the train. Even if all the units projected as needed to be built in Marin were built over the next 15 years, Marin’s population growth rate would be a whopping 1/2 of 1 percent per year. After housing build-out, Marin’s average housing density would jump from .29 units per acre to .32 units per acre.”

Suddenly Joe’s thoughts were inter­rupted by the intercom, “Joe, Mr. Shirkit would like you to bring the information he wanted to his office. Some Sonoma, Solano and Napa elected representatives are meeting with him to discuss their disgust about having to put more of their farm and wine land into development to satisfy Marin’s affordable housing needs.”

“Yeah, so what’s new…Tell U.S. I’ll be right there.”

 

                                                       DWAYNE HUNN

 

(Dwayne Hunn worked in Sacramento, likes and rides trains, spends time doing a few arm curls with Joe Sixpack and will vote Yes on Measure A and No on Measure L)