Rebuilding Together At COTS!

Saturday, June 24, 2017 was a special Rebuilding Together Petaluma  (RTP) workday at Petaluma’s COTS  generously funded by Wells Fargo. Sixty Wells Fargo employees joined to serve as volunteers during the workday with 10 volunteers from COTS.

Wells Fargo Volunteers (Photo Credit: RTP)

I  managed to capture some of their efforts in the photo gallery below.

Click on any image to open…

The team also included a special group of volunteers…

 

 

The Smart Train Is Not As Smart As Our Roomba!!

We had our first encounter with The Smart Train intersection control lights in December 2012–See the Press Democrat Article–Railroad crossing arms close on Petaluma couple’s car at green light

We were assured that they were aware of the situation and it would be fixed.

But then in September 2016 we encountered another intersection light control issue at a different location in Petaluma and discussed it in two blog posts…

TODAY at 3:25 PM we were returning home from Point Reyes and found ourselves again at the intersection of D and Lakeville–THE SCENE OF THE FIRST SMART ATTACK ON US in December 2012 (see above)

TODAY AT 3:25 PM

  1. The Smart Train pulled up and stopped by the train depot by the Petaluma Arts Center.
  2. The traffic lights were working normally controlling the heavy traffic.
  3. My wife was driving.
  4. Fortunately there was plenty of sunlight so I could see the train and keep my eye on it–unlike in December 2012.
  5. We were first in line and the traffic light turned green and my wife started forward and I yelled at her to stop as I could see the train starting to move and then the gates started to come down. Fortunately we able to stop before getting hit–Unlike in December 2012
  6. I was able to capture a photo as the light changed to yellow and the gates were already down or coming down…

D St & Lakeville Petaluma CA

SMART does not seem to understand that drivers are focused on their control lights.  Traffic lights should be red long before the crossing gate arms are activated!

  • AT LEAST OUR HOUSE ROOMBA “Bob” FOLLOWS INSTRUCTIONS IF PROPERLY PROGRAMMED.
  • SMART seems unable to get it right and safe. If SMART cannot program the crossings to operate correctly and  safely, then they should not be running the trains.
  • Perhaps they would like to practice with our Roomba before running any more trains!

UPDATE April 29, 2017

I sent this  article to every agency and elected official I could think of plus the two papers. 

I clearly expect no answers or actions—Past promises have been repeatedly made and nothing changes.  Whatever they say now I will not believe.

SMART is beyond shame or even ridicule…

UPDATE May 4, 2017

Received the following E-Mail from SMART at 8:27 am…

“Thanks for the link. I have forwarded it to our ops team.

 Matt


Matt Stevens | Community Outreach & Education

Direct: 707.794.3074| Mobile: 707.328.3046

SMART | Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit

5401 Old Redwood Hwy., Suite 200, Petaluma, CA  94954″

 

Project Linus 2016 Holiday Craft Bazaar…

On Saturday, November 12, 2016 The North Bay Chapter of Project Linus “opens the doors” for its Annual Holiday Craft Bazaar…project-linus-craft-faire-2016

I offer a few images from last year’s event to tempt and entice you to stop by.  Click on any image to start the photo gallery…

The North Bay Chapter in Petaluma has created and delivered 12,954 blankets since the chapter was founded.

The mission of Project Linus is “..to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. We do this by giving them gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created for Project Linus by volunteer blanketeers. The Blanketeers are part of our mission, as well: we seek to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.”

DISCLAIMER: Any advertisements that appear at the end of this post (or anywhere else on the page) are included by the WordPress Blog Site and not by me.

 

Petaluma Railroad Crossings Are Still Out Of Control!

Frankly, I CANNOT believe I am having to tell this story…Again! Fortunately, this time we avoided damage to our vehicle.

I was foolish to believe that any serious corrective action would be taken after the close call we had with the total lack of coordination of the railroad signals and traffic lights on Lakeville & D Streets in December 2012.  For details of that event, go to Railroad crossing arms close on Petaluma couple’s car at green light.

Today, I observed that the Same Dangerous Lack of Coordination is still manifest–this time at Lakeville and East Washington.

  • We were headed downtown this morning and stopped at the red light on Lakeville and East Washington. As in December 2012, I was the passenger in the vehicle.
  • Our light turned green for East Washington traffic and within a few seconds the railroad lights started flashing and the arms came down.
  • At least two cars continued through the intersection driving past the arms as they were lowering.
  • The traffic light stayed green throughout the event.

Fortunately, I caught a few photos through the windshield to document this lack of coordination between the two signal systems.

Photo Notes

About 5 seconds passed before I took the first photo of the scene…

9:37:22am

9:37:22am

Here is another…eleven seconds later…

9:37:33am

9:37:33am

A minute later these railroad cars appeared…stopped at this location…then reversed and left the scene without crossing East Washington.

The arms went up and the traffic light finally went from green to red!

9:38:09am

9:38:09am

Fortunately there were no vehicles in the intersection at the time the arms finished closing–how the two that did pass through made it was pure foolish luck on their part.

Given the overall incompetence displayed here in failing to coordinate the lights, it will only be a matter of time before there are serious injuries or worse.

I dare anyone in authority to explain this kind of screwup…much less defend it!

DISCLAIMER: Any advertisements that appear at the end of this post (or anywhere else on the page) are included by the WordPress Blog Site and not by me.

Petaluma Street Lights–ONE person does it all!!!

Several years ago I noticed that some street lights were on all the time and decided to be a “good citizen” and report them. I was advised that they only had one person for this task and it would take some time.

I did not follow-up on any of this but remembered it when a street light problem recently developed on our street–half the lights were out. So I reported it last March via the City web page. Here is their prompt response…

“Thank you for your submission…we will make every effort to address your request in a timely manner…Please note that at this time, because of reduced staffing, the Public Works Department has fewer personnel available to work on street light outages. We have one full time Street Light Technician working to eliminate the backlog of requests.”

AND HERE HE IS!

Changing Street Lamp 1910a1

 Sigh…

Shopping Carts DON’T Float…at least not in the Petaluma River!

Long ago in a galaxy far far away I used to rant and rave about all the abandoned shopping carts around town.  I seem to remember addressing the City Council at least once. But I found it tiresome and vowed to

  • Never pick up or push another cart out of the ‘Hood.
  • Never take another photo of a cart unless it had a body in it. *

I do remember working with others in our ‘Hood to pick carts up and haul them back to the stores.  Loading them in the pick-up was a chore and took two of us to pull it off. And this brings us to this morning when I spotted two freshly deposited carts in the Petaluma River off the Water Street Promenade.

I was genuinely impressed with the effort.  Based on my experience hauling carts it had to take at least two people to lift the carts over the railing and into the river…

Water Street Promenade Petaluma River

Water Street Promenade Petaluma River Abandoned Carts tossed in the river

And as you can see, one of them was a perfect nose dive…

Water St Petaluma River

Water St Petaluma River Abandoned Cart Nose Dive

I had forgotten how interesting some of the abandoned cart images can be in terms of photo post processing.

It is possible to create some very interesting art images, particularly of carts that are just beneath the surface–.I may even enter one of them in a photo contest–Working Title: Petaluma River Art Objects

I offer a brief slideshow for your consideration and opinion.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*By the bye, the photos I took years ago are still the first ones you see if you enter  “abandoned shopping carts Petaluma” in Google or Bing images. I guess this post may add some more. So be it.