Removing your old wood stove and making your house more energy efficient might save you some cash
The Marin County Sustainability Team works in tandem with city and state agencies to find ways to help Marin County residents save money while making our air cleaner and our homes more energy efficient. Currently, Gerstle Park residents are eligible for several rebate programs.
Spare our Air, and Remove Your Wood Stove.
In Marin, communities that reside in valleys tend to collect more particulate matter (PM) pollution from residential wood smoke burning during the winter than hillside and coastal communities. The San Geronimo Valley is a famous case where the geographical characteristics lend to higher concentrations of PM pollution than San Jose, West Oakland, and Livermore, despite having a small population. High concentrations of PM can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate other lung diseases, and negatively impact hearth healthy, ultimately leading to increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
If your home is too cold in the winter, look into improving the insulation and air sealing first and foremost. An insulation and air sealing project is the most cost-effective project you can do to improve your home’s comfort. The Bay Area Regional Energy Network provides rebates for insulation, air sealing, furnace upgrades, hot water heating upgrades, and other energy efficiency improvements for single family homes. Learn more at www.bayrenresidential.org or call a Home Energy Advisor at (866) 878-6008.
A quick summary:
Thanks to all who renewed their membership and showed up to our annual meeting last night (for those that still need to renew, you can do it here ;-)). It was a success! The GPNA board gave an update on all our past activities, outlined what to expect in 2019, and debuted our 2018 slideshow. Thanks to Mayor Phillips, the SRPD and SRFD for spending your evening with us.
Above is the full presentation, but if you want the highlights, here you go:
After what happened in Paradise, fire safety is top of mind for everyone. The Mayor mentioned the City is considering a parcel tax to increase funds to ensure we can do EVERYTHING recommended to keep us safe. Quinn Gardner, Emergency Planner, walked through what the San Rafael Fire Department does daily to keep our community safe from fires, and she outlined the city's "Wildfire Action Plan," sharing what elements of the plan currently have funding/resources and what don't. As we all know, nothing is fireproof, but there is a lot we all can do to make us safer --- visit cityofsanrafael.org/wildfire-action-plan to learn more.
Mayor Phillips gave a quick overview about the 2040 plan and how the city is doing tackling the homeless problem. The good news: homelessness was down the past couple years, and they anticipate the trend to continue this year. And, Captain McElderry from the SRPD spoke about how crime stats in our neighborhood are down, and highlighted some of the great work our police officers do day-to-day.
Thanks for all those who came! See you around the neighborhood.
The GPNA wants to thank our community for rallying together to put on this event. It took dozens of volunteers, porch hosts and musicians to make the event a success, and without this community’s amazing cooperation, it couldn’t have happened.
Marin County has been the stomping ground of many prominent musicians who created the revolutionary “San Francisco Sound,” making San Rafael a natural fit to continue its musical tradition by hosting Marin County’s first PorchFest.
Spearheaded by Gerstle Park resident, Tom Obletz and the Gerstle Park Neighborhood Assoc. (GPNA), with tremendous support from local musicians Jenny Kerr & Phil Milner, the first Annual San Rafael PorchFest took place on September 23rd, and was a massive success. It was a day of community, music and fun enjoyed by (we estimate) more than 1,000 people!
San Rafael Mayor, Gary Phillips, spent the afternoon at the event, applauding the inaugural team, saying they "pulled it off beautifully." We were even featured in the Marin Independent Journal.
In total we had more than 50 musical acts playing on 18+  porches throughout the neighborhood.
Originally conceived in Ithaca, NY, in 2007, PorchFest in [is] a nationwide phenomenon. An all-volunteer, family-friendly, free event brings communities together to celebrate music and creativity. There are more than 60 other Porchfests in the U.S. and Canada. More than two dozen of those had their first Porchfest in 2016.
We also want to give a special shout-out to the events amazing sponsors: Zephyr Real Estate, The Naughty Dawg, Sandra Luna Real Estate, and Jeans to a T.
Join your neighbors, local police and firefighters for the evening in Gerstle Park. Bring a dish to share, and enjoy some ice cream, compliments of the GPNA!
Join GPNA on Saturday night, June 30th, for a night of Baseball and Beatles! The Paciﬁcs will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of the Beatles “White Album”. Beatles Tribute Band “Nigel & Clive and the British Invasion” will play.
For a neighborhood discount, enter promo code “gerstle” for $5 oﬀ General Admission at www.paciﬁcsbaseball.com. First 250 fans get free commemorative white t-shirt.
All Fans encouraged to WEAR WHITE!
It's that time of the year again! The GPNA is hosting its annual neighborhood garage sale on Saturday June 16th from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Hundreds of people come to Gerstle Park to shop at dozens of different garage sales to find something new (for them).
Want to sell stuff you no longer need? Support the GPNA and register your house ($20) to ensure it's listed on the official Garage Sale Map. Alternatively, if you live in the hills (e.g. on Clorinda or Alvina) and don't expect much foot traffic, you can register for a slot to sell your stuff in Gerstle Park ($30). Being on the map ensures that avid garage sellers will swing by your house to see what you have to offer.
All money raised goes to a great cause. This is the GPNA's only fundraiser, and the money raised is used to host our neighborhood events, like theSpring Fling, Fall Picnic, and Halloween House Contest. Hope to see you there!
Applications for Sidewalk Repair Program open March 20 - April 24, 2018
In conjunction with the adoption of San Rafael Municipal Code Chapter 11.60, the City Council called for the development of a pilot Sidewalk Repair Program which attempts to share the financial burden associated with sidewalk maintenance between the City and property owners, and streamlines and consolidates sidewalk repairs throughout the City. Under the new program, the City will split the cost of sidewalk replacement 50-50 (up to a maximum of $1,000 in City contribution), and cover 100% of the cost of curb and gutter replacement (up to a maximum of $4,000 City contribution). Additionally, tree work including removal will be done by the City based on review by a City Arborist. It is important to note that driveway aprons are not eligible for cost share in the program.
The primary purpose of the program is to assist property owners with the following costs associated with sidewalk repairs:
Applications will be accepted March 20—April 24. Shortly after 4/24 deadline, a “lottery,” with funds allocated for 20 low income property owners, will take place to determine who will be admitted into the program this fiscal year. It is anticipated that roughly 150 properties citywide will be accepted into this year’s program. See application for further details.
For more information on the program, visit the city's webpage that's dedicated to the program.
By Alicia diVittorio
By Gina Silvestri
GPNA Board Member and President for more than six years.
We’re starting off 2018 great with two new GPNA board members. They’ll be instrumental in helping us accomplish all that needs to get done to continue making Gerstle Park a great place to live.
By Gina Silvestri
President of the GPNA
On January 25, 2018 the GPNA held its annual meeting where the entire neighborhood was invited to learn about all the great things done in 2017, and what to look forward to in 2018. Attendance was great --nearly 100 people from the neighborhood came! Thank you to everyone who came, it’s with our collective participation that we make change happen.
The meeting started by covering our usual business, including the treasurer’s report, approving last year’s meeting minutes, and our membership numbers.
We had some amazing guests, including San Rafael Mayor, Gary Phillips, who discussed everything from the 2040 city planning, homelessness and upcoming district elections that will impact how neighborhoods will be represented with the city. He gave an update on the SMART train; daily, it has 2500 riders! I encourage you to take a ride on the train if you haven’t yet. It’s a beautiful ride, and if you get off in Petaluma you can easily walk downtown to Brewsters for a bite to eat!
Bill Guerin of Public Works stopped by to discuss how our sidewalk initiative is moving forward, and many projects should start in March. Knowing that the new LED lights on D street is a big issue for the community, he also addressed this issue, explaining the department will be putting shields on some of the lights that shine directly into houses.
After the devastating fires in Santa Rosa, we asked Chris Gray from the San Rafael Fire Department to swing by the meeting to give residents a few tips on how to “harden their properties”. Clearing brush and cleaning gutters are two things that will go a long way. He also recommended that people sign up for Alert Marin, our local emergency alert system.
Katy Rice, our county Supervisor also encouraged homeowners to take steps to safeguard their homes from fires. Stay tuned for details on a community meeting Katy intends to plan where fire safety will be discussed.
Diana Bishop, the San Rafael Police Chief brought along, Phil Melodia, Gerstle Park’s designated evening police officer (READ: if you call the police at night, Phil will most likely be the officer on duty). She advocates for reporting any crime so they can keep a thorough record of all criminal activity. She also asks that any homeowners with a surveillance camera register it. Police will not have access to the camera systems, but will be aware that a camera exists when investigating a crime in or around their neighborhood.
You can register your camera by visiting the San Rafael Police Department website.
Overall it was a great meeting, with a wonderful turnout. Continue to subscribe to our blog to get regular updates on what's happening in the neighborhood!