Firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze Sunday night at the Sausalito-Marin City School District complex at 33 Buchanan St. Members of the Southern Marin Fire Protection District were assisted by firefighters from Corte Madera, Mill Valley, Ross, San Rafael and Tiburon. The fire was reported about 7:30 Sunday night, and firefighters took about 45 minutes to gain control of the flames. A 4,000 square-foot building that houses the offices of Willow Creek Academy sustained heavy damage, and will likely have to be torn down and rebuilt, but no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze. A spokesman for the Southern Marin Fire Protection District said the fire is still under investigation and declined to offer a guess as to whether arson is suspected.
Archive for the ‘Sausalito’Category
Waterfront homes in sunny Sausalito can be quite expensive, at least it is for those living on the shore and paying taxes. Officials called attention this week, however, to a growing number of so-called “water-squatters” living in boats anchored offshore. These Anchor Out residents enjoy the luxury of Pacific Coast living without paying the exorbitant taxes that most residents suffer. That’s because the waters near Sausalito‘s shoreline are designated anchorage, though boaters are subject to local rules and regulations. The problem, many onshore residents say, is that there’s confusion over what rules they must follow and whose jurisdiction it would be to enforce them.
The Anchor Out colony near Sausalito has been drawing boat dwellers for years, with some calling the sea home for as many as 15 years. Some of these Anchor Outs actually attend school or work, while others are simply enjoying life without bills while getting their food from the Pacific. A handful of Sausalito taxpayers actually like the floating colony, though most have become concerned with the environmental damage the Anchor Outs are causing. There is a Richardson Bay Regional District rule that requires boats to move on after being moored for three days, but it hasn’t been enforced because of the confusion over jurisdiction. The District is scheduled to meet tonight, May 14th, to discuss passing a rule that all boats in Richardson Bay be currently registered. The rule might pose a problem for the Anchor Outs, though it remains to be seen which agency would enforce the rule.
Officials from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said this week they have been overwhelmed in recent months by the number of aquatic mammals brought in for care. The majority of the influx are sea lions, elephant seals harbor seals and fur seals, many of them young pups found near the shore and suffering dehydration. Since the year began, the center has already seen 446 seals and sea lions, up from 302 during the same time frame last year. It’s also a record for the first four months of the year for the center, eclipsing the previous mark of 418 animals treated through April in 1998.
Particularly mysterious, officials noted, are the 144 sea lion pups that have been brought in, as they have been of an age during which they would usually be with their mothers still. Sea lion pups appear to be going out on their own several months earlier than normal, and scientists are not sure why. There is speculation that the change could have been caused by changes in fish populations and locations, but that premise has not been backed up by any studies at this point.
A San Rafael man was arrested last week on suspicion of downloading pornographic images of children at a friend’s house in Sausalito. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Novato and Sausalito police departments in cooperation with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children task force. According to a statement from Sausalito police, they were informed by the task force that child porn had been downloaded from a computer at a Sausalito address last September. Officers obtained a warrant and searched the residence, but found no evidence of the suspected activity. Residents were cooperative, however, and gave the officers a list of houseguests that would have had access to their Internet connection. Officers worked through the list and eventually tracked down 32 year-old Mark Magner of San Rafael, finding the files they were looking for on his computer. Magner was booked into the Marin County Jail and is out on bail awaiting trial.
The Marin County job market got a boost Monday when Glassdoor revealed it has secured $50 million in financing from investors. The cash infusion will allow the company to expand its reach to more global markets, but will also lead to new hires as the firm brings on staff to handle an expanded workload. Based in Sausalito, Glassdoor operates a website that gives workers a forum to evaluate employers. The new round of capital lends credence to the company’s business model, considering the company had only raised a total of $42 million in investments since opening up shop in 2008.
Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman noted in a press conference that the website is working very well in the US, so the focus for new capital will be to expand Glassdoor’s presence in Asia and Europe. But while the company may be shifting focus to overseas markets, there are currently no plans to open offices outside of Sausalito, and the company is looking to add about 100 new positions to its existing workforce of 200. Among the positions the company will need to fill in the coming months are software engineer, sales and marketing positions.
The Sausalito Marin City School District announced on Friday it has elected 50 year-old Steve Van Zant to serve as its new superintendent, replacing outgoing superintendent Valerie Pitts, who was asked to step down because she was also holding the same job with the Larkspur-Corte Madera district. Van Zant has been the superintendent for the Mountain Empire Unified School District for the last five years, and will start the new post on Friday, with Pitts sticking around for about a month to get him up to speed.
The Sausalito Marin City school board only interviewed three candidates for the superintendent opening, selecting them from a pool of 19 applicants for the position. Van Zant will work three days a week in his new post and be paid an annual salary of $165k. Van Zant is assuming the helm of the SMCSD during a time of drastic change for the district, as officials prepare to move Bayside Elementary from Sausalito to Marin City where it will be merged with Martin Luther King Jr Academy in the fall.
Steve Van Zant earned a master’s degree in educational administration from San Diego’s National University after procuring a bachelor’s degree in English from San Diego State. The Mountain Empire Unified district encompasses 660 square miles over seven communities. The district enrolled about 1,700 students in public schools and another 1,500 in seven charter schools.
An 82-foot yacht was stolen early Monday morning from the Sausalito Yacht Harbor. But the suspected thieves ran the vessel aground in a sand bar after a few hours of joy-riding and were taken into custody by Pacifica police close to Linda Mar Beach. 63 year-old Leslie Gardner, 56 year-old Lisa Modwell and 54 year-old Dario Mira were arrested when authorities found them on the stolen yacht along with empty beer bottles, pizza boxes and other trash. Of course, the three did not give up immediately when confronted by police, stalling for several hours before giving up by simply using cellphones and smoking cigarettes. The owner of the multi-million dollar yacht, which typically rents it out for a fee of $5,000 per day, told police he did not know the trio found on the boat. Authorities said that salvage plans are still being worked out, but that neither of the yacht’s 850-gallon fuel tanks appeared to have been damaged when the ship ran aground.
Housing Market Statistics for Sausalito
April 14 – June 14
- Avg Price per sq. foot: $624 (up 38% y-o-y)
- Homes Sold: 57 (up 33% y-o-y)
- Median Sales Price: $901,000 (up 32% y-o-y)
- Active Listings: 48
- Avg. Listing Price: $2.5 million
A pair of Marin County drivers narrowly escaped serious injury Thursday morning when a large eucalyptus tree alongside Highway 101 in Sausalito toppled, damaging the drivers’ cars and blocking the roadway. The tree reportedly fell from a steep hill beside the highway around 7:20 AM, destroying an electronic messaging sign before nearly crushing the two cars passing by. The two motorists reported no injuries, but their Honda Fit and Toyota Camry sustained significant damage. The tree blocked three of the four lanes of traffic on Highway 101 and was too heavy to pull off the roadway. Fire personnel responding to the scene had chainsaws, however, so the tree was cleared and traffic back to normal within an hour of the tree falling.
Sausalito officials announced this weekend that they are working on a way to regulate the public’s use of one of the mopst popular boat launches in Marin at Clipper Yacht Harbor. Currently, boaters need only to show up, park, pay a $20 fee and they can launch their craft. But sometime in the next week, officials will launch a new system requiring boaters to sign up as tenants and show proof of insurance. There will still be a fee due on launch, but users will have to be registered and carry insurance on their boats before using the harbor.
Clipper Yacht Harbor officials explained that the primary reason for the change is a liability issue if somebody launches a boat without insurance and an accident occurs. The move is also a response to boaters who rent space at the docks to park their boats, who have expressed concerns about parking at the facility as well as congestion at the boat launch. While the exact specifics of how the new registration system will work, officials have indicated that there may be a card key system used for registered boaters.
Originally opened in 1947, Clipper Yacht Harbor consists of more than 800 boat slips and dry storage spaces. City officials recently drew up cost estimates for upgrading the popular facility, but no plans to go ahead with any work have been made because the city does not have the money. Officials hoped that hosting an America’s Cup event would draw investment for a possible rehab project, but that has not happened. The city does want to keep public access open at the Clipper, and has worked with the facility to finalize a registration system.