Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fairfax Festival Update

Here is an overview of the upcoming Fairfax Festival, June 9-10, from Richard Pedemonte, Festival Chairman. There's always an excuse for a party if you live in Fairfax. Last year's festival was a grand celebration of the 75th anniversary of this great town. This year, we're determined to make the 30th anniversary of the festival an even bigger extravaganza.

Starting with the best parade in Marin, the festival kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday and features a stellar music lineup featuring incomparable Tasmanian Devils on Saturday and a rock opera, Bonnie Hayes and her band, and an all-star salute to Chuck Day on Sunday.

History tells us that Fairfaxians have been creating Fairfax festivals in various ways, shapes, and forms since at least 1911. In 1912 Tina Pastori was queen of the Fairfax Moonlight Festival and back in 1929 the volunteer fire department hosted a festival that drew "tens of thousands" of people and featured a "Hose Reel Race" with entries from fire departments from throughout the state. The 1969 Festival was a raucous affair with three stages of rock and roll, huge crowds, and lots of litter. At a subsequent Council meeting the police chief warned that if the festival continues "there's going to be big trouble in Fairfax" and one citizen recommended "outlawing stores such as antique shops and health food markets which attract the wrong element." Subsequently the committee resigned en masse and the festival ceased to exist until 1977. Hence 2007 is the 30th anniversary of the festival... as we know it.

Today the Fairfax Festival has grown into a wonderful community event that expresses the diverse interests and tastes of our great town. While the vibrant music scene that the town is known for is always the big draw, the Festival Committee makes a priority of keeping to our motto of providing "something for everyone" with a colorful flea market, arts and crafts, children’s area, great local food and microbrew, and the ever popular Ecofest. New this year is a teen stage in the Women's Club building. Be sure to check it out.

We are proud to say that that the festival is run totally by volunteers, a dedicated group of a dozen or so dynamic people, including local business owners, professionals, town employees, a council member, and two of our Parks and Recreation Commissioners. The modest profit we hope to make will be used exclusively for improvements to the festival and the grounds.

The Festival will kick-off on Friday, June 8th with Film Night in the Park, featuring the March of the Penguins at 8:30 p.m. at the Fairfax Ballfield. The EcoFest at the Pavilion will once again feature organic wine and beer tasting, Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10 from 1-6 p.m. A lively collection of musical and art talent will also be featured at the EcoFest. Over 50 eco-friendly organizations and businesses will demonstrate and discuss eco-friendly living at the Pavilion. New this year is a Speakers’ Forum which will be held throughout the event, with speakers on various sustainability issues and ecological topics.

Festival Volunteers are still needed. A face painter is needed for the kids area - contact Yvonne at 847-7691. Volunteers are needed to fill various spots – contact Chris at

Please check out for more information, a marvelous and comprehensive site created by Steve Wyrostok.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Community Office hours coming your way

I am holding my next session of community office hours in the afternoon this time.

Thursday, May 24th 3 - 5 p.m. at BookBeat, 28 Bolinas Road

Please come by if there are any issues you wish to speak with me about regarding Town business. One of my goals is to help make your Town government open, accessible, and responsive, so I am not one to stay holed up in my office if I can help it. Although, there is enough work to keep me there 24/7! I may not be able to solve all of the problems you bring to me, but I will listen and help in any way that I can.

Special Meeting - BPAC and Waste

The special meeting for tomorrow night, Wed. May 23rd, looks like this:

6:30 p.m. - Interviews and appointments to newly-formed Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commitee (BPAC)

7:00 p.m. Workshop on Waste and Recycling Issues

Here is the agenda

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Want to talk trash?

The Council will be holding a special public workshop on waste and recycling with a presentation by our waste hauler, Marin Sanitary, on Wednesday, May 23rd at 7 p.m. in the Women’s Club. We will hear all about recycling, how we can increase our recycling, e-waste, and the future of waste management in Marin County. Learn how we can help save our planet and extend the life of our landfills. This will be a an opportunity to gain a practical understanding of the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (compost).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Coffee Roasters changes hands

You may have noticed that our beloved Coffee Roasters closed today. The business was sold to new, local Fairfax based owners. The sign in the window says that within a few weeks the business will re-open, still as a coffee house.

Please don't give up on having your cup of morning java in Fairfax!!! Please visit Java Hut, Fairfix, BookBeat, Fat Angel Bakery, Barefoot Cafe, Amsterdam Cafe and Koffee Klatch. If I left anyone out, it was not intentional.

Please keep caffeining up in Fairfax! Our local businesses need your patronage.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kick the Plastic Water Bottle Habit

Our waste hauler, Marin Sanitary, recently printed the following reminder in their newsletter regarding the need to reduce the number of water bottles in our waste stream. It is something we all might easily overlook in our desire to reduce waste, so I thought I'd share it here to get the word out.

A movement to eradicate plastic water bottles is making its way around the Bay Area. The City of San Francisco recently decided to eliminate bottled water in all county offices, electing to purchase water filters instead. Other cities are considering similar action to reduce plastic pollution.

You too can join the movement. Stop buying bottled water and consider a water filter for your home or office. Local Marin retailers want to help you. If you mention the Marin Sanitary newsletter article at Green Fusion Design Center in San Anselmo or at U.S. Pure Water-The Water Store in Greenbrae, they will give you a 10% discount on any drinking water system. The Water Store will also give you 10% off of a stainless steel Kleen Kanteen.

Kicking the plastic bottle habit will benefit your health, the environment, and save you money in the long run.

Welcome Sgt. Stuart Baker

Police Sergeant Stuart Baker started with the Town last week. He began his career in public safety in 1986 as a volunteer firefighter serving as an engineer and EMT in Sebastopol.He later received his Associate of Science Degree from Santa Rosa Junior College. In 1996 Stuart began his law enforcement career with the San Anselmo Police Department, where he served as a Field Training Officer, Detective and ultimately was promoted to Corporal. In 2004 Stuart was hired by the Novato Police Department where he has served until coming to Fairfax.

Sergeant Baker is happy to be back in the Ross Valley. Please join me in welcoming him to the Town!

Fat Tire Festival a great event!

Fairfax's celebration of the mountain bike was a success, thanks to the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and Velo Club Fairfax! Here are photos of one of the awesome bands, vintage bikes, and the free bike parking provided by MCBC.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Help BookBeat

I am providing this as a public service to help one of the last independent bookstores in Marin, and a Fairfax cultural landmark, BookBeat. We need to do all we can to help our locally-owned stores. Owner Gary Kleiman wrote the following:




Everybody seems to believe that BookBeat is successful. Thriving, and growing richer every day. In some ways it is. It is rich in community. It is rich in it's music scene. It still holds it's own as an independent bookstore and cafe. Financially, however, BookBeat, is not doing well at all. I began BookBeat 8 years ago with the community in mind. I envisioned a place that would be vital to the social, artistic, and literary world in which we reside. A place that would support a 90 year old artist who had lost his memory, or a child with only one parent who could find help when in need. A place to showcase school aged poets and musicians. A place to meet and discuss how we can best live our lives. A place that could become emergency headquarters when we had a devastating flood. A place to show independent films. A place for kids to safely study after school while they wait for their parents. A place for us to meet and get to know the community in which we live. BookBeat has become all of this and more. And there has been much reward for me in this.

However......I still have to feed myself and my 2 kids.

As BookBeat has become busier, I have had to face the additional cost of more employees and also the rising cost of most goods. I have rarely been able to pay myself anything these past 8 years and in fact have borrowed a great deal of money to keep open the doors.

And now I ask for your help.

I am so thankful for everybody who already supports BookBeat. If you would like to see BookBeat remain open, here are some things you can do to help.

1. Shop as often as you can at the store. Do you have gifts to buy for others? We have books, hats, ceramics, shirts and sweatshirts, journals, gift certificates, and more. Meet friends there and have breakfast or lunch. Come out to our evening music events and enjoy food and drink.

2. Please, please, please, forward this email to anyone you know in driving distance to BookBeat. Spread the word that one of the last Independent Bookstore/Café/Music Venues is in great need of support. Not many of us want to see this building turned into a nail salon.

3. Sign up for the BookBeat email list so you can know what is happening.

4. Sign up to be on a list of volunteers who could help do things for the store when there isn't money available. (Such as hanging up flyers for upcoming events, painting walls, or even waiting tables during a busy evening). You can email me your contact information and let me know what things you could be called upon to help with.

I love BookBeat and I know many of us in this community do also. Please help me keep the doors of BookBeat open. I can't do it without you.

Thanks, gary

gary Kleiman


phone: 415-256-9060

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Farmer's Market Open!

Today is the Fairfax Farmer's Market opening day! The Market will be open in Fairfax Park on Bolinas Road, each Wednesday 4-8 pm, through October. Come out and enjoy!!!

Manor Bridge ribbon-cutting

Today we held the official ribbon-cutting for the new bicycle and pedestrian bridge at Manor and Sir Francis Drake. The photos include Mayor Larry Bragman cutting the ribbon, and Safe Routes to School Director Wendi Kallins encouraging youngsters to bicycle safely to and from school.

Sustainable Fairfax Launches “Green Wednesday” with Reusable Bag Project

Message from Sustainable Fairfax:

Look for the Green Wednesday poster at the Fairfax Farmer’s Market

On May 16th, at the Fairfax Farmers Market, Sustainable Fairfax will be collaborating with The Inconvenient Group in an effort to eliminate plastic bags at the market. The two groups have joined efforts to produce reusable cloth bags that they will be handing out for free to people shopping at the market. Paints will be available for kids and adults to decorate the bags along with a demonstration on how to avoid using plastic bags at the market and in their daily lives.

This event is a kick off for our promotion of Green Wednesday. We will be celebrating the notion that every day is Earth Day by providing local residents with tips on ways they can reduce their environmental footprint throughout the year.

The motivation for the reusable bag project comes from research shared by Green Sangha that shows that plastic has become a monumental source of litter with 86% of ocean debris being plastic. Plastic is endangering wildlife and some studies show it could take up to 1,500 years to break down in a landfill. The EPA declared it a reproductive toxin in California Prop 65.

The Marin farmer’s market is currently working on providing non-plastic bags for all markets. Sustainable Fairfax and The Inconvenient Group are encouraging Marin County to pass an ordinance similar to San Francisco banning plastic bags at all Marin grocery stores.

For more information and to learn more about Sustainable Fairfax, visit

Saturday, May 05, 2007

MMWD Weed Tour

This afternoon, I participated in a 3-hour invasive species "weed tour" of the Marin Municipal Water District's lands around Lake Lagunitas. We learned about the different ways that MMWD has tried over the years to control the growth and spread of non-native species, specifically scotch and french broom. Mike Swezy of MMWD took the small group of 6 of us - including individuals from Corte Madera, Kentfield, San Rafael and Fairfax - on an informative show and tell tour of the watershed with respect to weed-control methods used, some more successful than others.

The following information was provided by MMWD: The District is preparing to update the Vegetation Management Program for the Mt. Tamalpais, Nicasio, and Soulajule Watersheds and is undertaking a study of all available weed control options, including the limited use of specific low-toxicity herbicides. This is a controversial issue, with implications that extend far beyond the limits of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed or the MMWD service area.

The decision to include the potential use of herbicides in the study has already sparked considerable controversy. MMWD will soon publicize a schedule of public meetings and workshops where Marin residents can contribute to the direction of the study, voice their concerns, and get their questions answered by independent experts in weed management, wild fire risk reduction, environmental toxicology, water quality, organics, integrated pest management and toxics reduction.

MMWD also hosting a series of Mt. Tamalpais Watershed weed tours. The goal is to give community and environmental leaders an opportunity to see first hand the challenge posed by weeds and to learn how MMWD has strived to meet it. The 3 hour tour will depart the from the Sky Oaks Watershed Headquarters, just outside of Fairfax, and will visit a number of experimental weed control sites as well as part of the fuel break system designed to protect homes along the urban wildland interface. Each tour is limited to 9 attendees.

If you are interested in reserving space on one of the tours , please contact Janet Klein at 945-1192 or .

Friday, May 04, 2007

3rd Annual Fairfax Fat Tire Festival

The 3rd Annual Fairfax Fat Tire Festival will be held on Saturday & Sunday, May 12-13, and is being co-sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and Velo Club Fairfax. The Festival is held to promote cycling and celebrate Fairfax as the birthplace of the mountain bike. On Saturday, May 12th, the events will be held in and around the Fairfax Women's Club on Park Road. View the Festival events at

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Bridge in Place!

Today, a new foot and bike bridge was installed at Manor Circle and Sir Francis Drake, next to the present vehicular bridge. The prefabricated bridge was delivered and craned into place, an exciting event for the Town! A collaborative effort provided funding for the project. The bridge is a Safe Routes to School (SR2S) project and was paid for through a state grant of $430,000, Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) funding of $160,000 and Town funds of $50,000. The entire project, once completed, will encompass new and improved Golden Gate Transit bus stop shelters on either side of Sir Francis Drake near the bridge, adjacent sidewalks for walkers and bicyclists to access the bridge, new sidewalks from Marin Road to Olema Road which were installed earlier this year, and will include cross-walks and pedestrian activated signals. The goal of the Safe Routes to Schools program is to reduce local congestion around schools by increasing the number of children walking and biking to school. Fairfax was the first community in Marin County to adopt the SR2S program, but the program’s popularity and adoption around the state is growing. The recommendation for the pedestrian/bicycle bridge emerged from community meetings about improving the Town of Fairfax. The SR2S project has organized families and neighbors to walk to school together and has developed educational programs to teach kids to do it safely. Councilmember David Weinsoff is the Town's liaison to the Safe Routes to Schools program.

Congratulations to Public Works Director Debra Sue Johnson for successfully coordinating this exciting project!

Applicants wanted for new Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

Press Release - May 1, 2007

The Town of Fairfax is forming an ad-hoc Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). The BPAC’s charge will be to assist with coordinating the County-wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Update with respect to Fairfax. In addition, the BPAC will work collaboratively with San Anselmo and San Rafael to ensure a seamless and coordinated East-West corridor plan for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The time commitment to the BPAC will run concurrent with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Update, anticipated through December 2007. It is expected that one meeting would be held per month, for approximately two hours in duration.

The BPAC shall consist of five members of the Fairfax community. Applicants should be residents of the Town of Fairfax, registered to vote, and self-identified cyclists and/or pedestrians. Application should be made by completing at Town Commission and Committee application form (available on the Town’s website on the Boards and Commissions page at and from the Town Clerk, 458-2343, and submitting it to the Town of Fairfax no later than Friday, May 18, 2007. Appointments will be made by the Town Council on May 23, 2007.

For more information, please contact Debra Sue Johnson, Public Works Director, at 453-0291 or Linda Kelly, Town Manager, at 458-2345.