›› TRiViA CAFÉ
by Howard Rachelson
1. Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior officially recognized a cove on the Point Reyes Peninsula as the site where, in 1579, what happened? 2. In baseball there are how many outs in an inning? 3. The air we breathe is composed 99 percent of what two chemical elements? 4. What is the most populous U.S. state that does not have a major league team in baseball, football, basketball, hockey or soccer? Hint: It’s located on the eastern side of the country. 5. What two cities are the capital and the seat of government of the Netherlands? 6. 1n 1882, the Procter & Gamble Co. came up with a great advertising slogan, when they described Ivory soap as being what percent pure? 7. Pictured below: Identify these people named William
8. The name of what 3-foot tall bird, extinct since the 17th century, is spelled with alternating vowels and consonants? 9. Jack Nicholson played a 1930s Hollywood detective in what 1974 movie? 10. French author Jules Verne is best known for what two 1870s novels with numbers in the title?
BONUS QUESTION: Weighing 3 carats, the Strawn-Wagner Diamond, the only perfect diamond ever discovered, was located in 1990 in what U.S. state? Howard Rachelson welcomes you to live team trivia contests on Wednesdays at 7:30pm at the Broken Drum in San Rafael. If you have an intriguing question, send it along (including the answer, and your name and hometown) to email@example.com.
VEl Hogar de Los Niños, a San Rafael nonproﬁt agency, has served impoverished children in Nicaragua since 2001. Donating more than $300,000 over the years, the organization is solely responsible for the education of more than 200 students who live in a barrio dubbed by many as the worst in Managua. On Saturday, Nov. 3, El Hogar de Los Niños holds its annual A Taste of Nicaragua event at Unity in Marin Hall in Hamilton. Guests will enjoy an authentic Nicaraguan dinner, including slow simmered pork over yucca with shredded cabbage. There will also be a silent auction, rafﬂe, music and dancing. Support the children by purchasing your tickets to the event. For more information, contact board member Julie Keener at 415/883-2148.
Answers on page 24
Paul Fordham, deputy director at Homeward Bound. “We have seen that $500 or $600 is a realistic amount they can afford when they take their ﬁrst steps back to full employment.” In addition to the 14 houses on the site, Oma Village will include a community space and an outdoor kitchen. The design will cluster the buildings around a courtyard in a kind of inward-looking model. Residents can stroll down the courtyard, which is reminiscent of a central mall. Creating that sense of community is one of the attractions Sweeney and Fordham noticed when they researched Blu Homes. And the Blu Homes philosophy of building smaller to a higher standard intrigued Sweeney and Fordham, who made a strong impression on the company and on Maura McCarthy, co-founder and vice president of strategic development. A group from Homeward Bound, including board members, visited the Blu Homes factory. “I was just bowled over by their enthusiasm,” says McCarthy. “To be perfectly honest, I initially was worried that they wanted to do a super-inexpensive affordable-housing project, and I was concerned that the Blu Homes concept of high-quality and elegant design might not appeal to them.” McCarthy wondered if Homeward Bound would look for a “lower common denominator product.” She needn’t have worried. “They are totally not, which is so refreshing. I was excited to see that they are deeply committed to really high-quality housing.” This is the ﬁrst affordable-home project for Blu Homes. The modular building process allows Blu Homes to construct a complete home at its factory. That drastically reduces the noise and inconvenience that neighbors suffer during a conventional building project. The company uses green materials in the building process and in the ﬁnished homes. After construction at the factory, the walls of the modules fold in on themselves for truck transport to the project site. Because the walls fold for transport, Blu Homes can construct modules up to 20 feet long with ceilings up to 15 feet. Traditional modular construction restricts buildings to lengths of about 12 to 14 feet. “I describe it like it’s a Transformer,” says McCarthy. “Some people call it origami, but to me it’s like a Transformer because everything you need in the house is built in.” Like all Blu Home buildings, McCarthy adds, the homes in Oma Village will be constructed on a steel frame and will have efﬁcient insulation. “We are not cutting corners at Oma Village. The houses will have the same speciﬁcations that a normal [market-rate] buyer gets.” Blu Homes is contributing to Homeward Bound’s construction budget. McCarthy declined to give exact ﬁgures but said the company is giving Homeward Bound a kind of baker’s dozen deal that amounts to a “substantial reduction” in the ﬁnished development. 8 >
< 6 A patch of Blu is wrangling with Carpenters Union Local 180, which has accused the company of unfair labor practices. The union ﬁled 29 complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), including a serious charge that the company intimidated and ﬁred employees who wanted union representation. The NLRB has closed most of the cases, stating that the board found no evidence to support the union’s claim. But ﬁve cases remain open. The company says it doesn’t oppose formation of a union but wants to ensure that a vote to create one is conducted in a fair manner. The ﬁght with the union seems uncharacteristic of co-founder Haney, who has made a reputation as a progressive who supports unions. He made a documentary, The Price of Sugar, that supports unionization for workers in the Dominican Republic. In another ﬁlm, The Last Mountain, he roundly criticizes Massey Ferguson, the energy company, for wrecking the miners’ union. Although Blu Homes and the union still have their respective beefs, and those ﬁve cases still are pending, they don’t diminish the innovative design concept that could create a model for affordable housing in Marin, a model that could be replicated elsewhere in the county and country. In January 2011, Betty Pagett and Sweeney met to discuss Pagett’s idea for a new type of nongovernmental program that would provide permanent housing for low-income Marin families. It was an ambitious commitment to create Oma Village. In June 2012, Homeward Bound announced the purchase of three-quarters of an acre at 5394 Nave Drive, formerly owned by Ohlhoff Recovery Programs, which had operated a 30-bed residential program for people in substance abuse recovery. The purchase price was $790,000. The Marin Community Foundation contributed a $300,000 grant to buy the land. The county kicked in $250,000 from its general fund and the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael gave $85,000. In addition, several substantial private donations completed the fundraising for the property purchase. The whole idea behind Oma Village centers on creating a stable environment for families to move along a continuum that takes them out of homelessness. A particularly tough part of moving on that continuum is the high price and low availability of rental housing in Marin. After a homeless family is stabilized they often have nowhere to go after temporary housing ends. The 14 one- and two-bedroom Oma Village homes will feature stabilized rent—between $500 and $600 a month. “We set that amount because the people we see come in and get employment, but they need some stability while they develop job skills to move up and earn more than a lower-wage service job,” says
WSamuel Cutrufelli is a huge Zero with lotsa chutzpah. You may recall that Cutrufelli, 31, allegedly broke into 90-year-old Jay Leone’s home in Greenbrae earlier this year and allegedly shot the elderly gentleman in the head. Leone shot back, hitting Cutrufelli, who then ﬂed. Twin Cities police found the suspect bleeding in his car, not far from Leone’s home. Both men were hospitalized and recovered. It gets stranger. Cutrufelli, currently on trial for attempted murder, just ﬁled a lawsuit against Leone for bodily injury and ﬁnancial damages, even claiming Leone caused him to lose his home and wife. Talk about adding insult to injury. Mr. Leone, we sincerely wish you the best. Cutrufelli, we wish you the best you can do, which probably amounts to zero.—Nikki Silverstein
Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeros at ›› paciﬁcsun.com OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1, 2012 PACIFIC SUN 7
Published on Oct 24, 2012