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Only in Marin

Marin Certainties: Downtown Novato Unrest, Lawyers and Taxes

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Oct, 2018 Issue

There is a reason that Novato is spelled as it is, with the city’s name beginning with the word No.

There is no downtown in Marin that is more filled with drama, controversy, and sometimes head-scratching silliness than Grant Avenue. Just ask the owners of Finnegan’s Marin, a family-style pub and restaurant that is now in the middle of a festering fight over a patio in front of its door.


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Train Pain, Hotel Hiccup, Hagar Off Note and RH as Goat?

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Sep, 2018 Issue

One day the SMART train will blow though San Rafael on the way to its southern stop point Larkspur, but for now that extension is nothing but heartache for a few businesses along Francisco Boulevard West. The city has closed the road to accommodate the construction that must take place, and the closure will stretch into 2019.

Marin loves it animals. Whether it’s a prized parakeet or a beloved basset hound, pets are treated not like family but more like members of the royals. Designer organic food abounds and water bowls overflow with filtered H2O.


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Trouble in Paradise?

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Aug, 2018 Issue

It’s summertime, and the living is uneasy, at least for 46 percent of Bay Area residents.

The annual poll from the Bay Area Council, a public-policy shop backed by business interests, shows that almost half of the folks who call the nine-county Bay Area home, are thinking of moving in the next few years; backing up the truck with all of their worldly possessions, except for that creepy painting by Uncle Earl of the horse with the eyes that follow you, and getting the hell out of here.


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Journalism on the Brink & the Farmers Market Shuffle

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Jul, 2018 Issue

People say change is hard. They also say change is good.

I say you go first.

Journalism in our country is transforming, and some of those adjustments can be seen at our local daily, the Marin Independent Journal.

The IJ has been around since 1948, the love child of a coupling between the Marin Journal and the San Rafael Daily Independent, though the Journal had been around since 1861.


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Rare Diseases, Rare Dog Beaches and Rare Spin

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Jun, 2018 Issue

Ultrgenyx Pharmaceutical, the Novato-based rare disease specialist is on fire. The company earned approvals for two different medications within six months from the Food and Drug Administration, a feat that Big Pharma companies four times the size of Ultragenyx can\\\'t boast.


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Goodbye Geoffrey

Columnist: Bill Meagher
May, 2018 Issue

“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid.” That, of course, is the jingle for the most well-known toy store in the country.

The ubiquitous toy retailer has finally called it quits, and will close its stores including the San Rafael outlet on West Francisco Boulevard alongside Highway 101.

The chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September and in January announced plans to close 200 stores.


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Of Marijuana, Painting the Town & the Rat Squad

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Apr, 2018 Issue

Marin is taking a cautious approach when it comes to the cannabis business. San Anselmo is a great example of how a slow the pace is and what the issues are.


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Sears Closes, Black Bear Growls, Sams Sells & Burgers Go Big

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Mar, 2018 Issue

 It was only a matter of time. Sears in Marin is toast. Anybody who spent time in the Sears store at San Rafael’s Northgate Center knew the retailer wasn’t long for the world, the Sears brand has been on the ropes for years. It was taken over by hedge funder Eddie Lampert in 2005, who failed to invest in the retailer allowing the stores to become outdated as retailers were going digital. Lambert controls ESL Investments, the hedge fun he founded. ESL and Lambert own close to 30 percent of Sears and Lambert is chief executive officer.


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Pink Slips Real Estate and Marin Economic Forum

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Feb, 2018 Issue

Pink Slips, Real Estate and the Marin Economic Forum 


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So Long Norm and Joni

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Jan, 2018 Issue

It was 2000 and I ran across the news that someone had purchased what was then known as Sonoma magazine. Since all things printed had already been declared DOA, I sent along a note of congratulations on the deal and wished them well. 


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Of Malls Mergers and Going to the Dogs

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Dec, 2017 Issue

Merlone Geir Partners, which owns the Northgate Mall in San Rafael, would like to know how you feel about the place?

More to the point, they would like it if you felt the shopping center was a place you could call your own, a place for everyone to hang out.

The investment firm that bought the mall in January did a survey to help them “elevate” the mall and since the mall is a neighbor and I am a neighborly type of person, I took the survey. It covered some standard areas, how often you visit, why and what do you buy.


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Of New Proposals, New Bikes, New Eats, New CEOs and Old Seaplanes

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Nov, 2017 Issue

North Coast Land Holdings, which bought the old 126-acre Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary site in Strawberry Point for $84 million in 2014, submitted plans to the county to put a grad school on the site, along with replacing 198 living units and building an additional 93 units.


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Cash Caches, Real Estate, Organics and Cow Dung

Oct, 2017 Issue

Community banks are something of an endangered species while the mega depositories grow larger, busting the rules along the way.


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Changes at Buck Make for an Interesting 2017

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Jan, 2017 Issue

Neither Gladstone nor the Buck have given specifics about the nature of the agreement that was discussed or why it was scrapped.


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Of Leaks, Pot, Movies, Start-Up Cash and More Movies

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Dec, 2016 Issue

A report by IBM this year said that, in 2015, there were more than 100 million medical records breached in the United States.


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It's All About the Real Estate, Baby

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Oct, 2016 Issue

Real estate here is about as far from normal as one should venture without adult supervision, smelling salts and a bank you think you can knock over.


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Mooving Out Staying Put and Heads in Bed

Author: Bill Meagher
Columnist: Bill Meagher
Sep, 2016 Issue

BioMarin’s share price has been jumping around thanks to rumors that Swiss pharma giant Roche was kicking the company’s tires.


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Point Reyes, Business Hub of the Universe, and Rules of the Rails

Author: Bill Meagher
Columnist: Bill Meagher
Jul, 2016 Issue

Officials have gone on record, saying each passenger will be limited to one bike.


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Target in Marin City, Booting the Homeless and It's Not Natural

Author: Bill Meagher
Columnist: Bill Meagher
Jun, 2016 Issue

While there are a number of ways for businesses to lose its following in Marin, one that's guaranteed would be to claim you're "all natural" when you aren't.


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Tam Ridge Woes, Comings and Goings, Friedman Gets Fiery

Author: Bill Meagher
Columnist: Bill Meagher
May, 2016 Issue

“We couldn’t hold onto our staff. Most of them were coming down from Sonoma or Napa in that traffic, and doing that twice a day took its toll.”


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Autodesk in Flux—Again

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Apr, 2016 Issue

Autodesk has a résumé filled with restructures and—wait for it—sackings.


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Marin Movie Fans in Mourning

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Mar, 2016 Issue

If you’re a movie fan in Marin, life keeps getting tougher.


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A Little Quid Pro Quo on the Side

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Feb, 2016 Issue

Marin is a special place for lots of reasons, not the least of which is its public meetings, where you can hear a non-lawyer resident ask for a little 'quid pro quo.'"

 


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Traffic Studies, Miller Time and Retail Monuments

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Jan, 2016 Issue

"I'm not a lawyer—though I always wanted to play one on TV."


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Who Gets What?

Columnist: Bill Meagher
Dec, 2015 Issue

"As for the county, give them a box full of clues."


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In this Issue

Uncorked

A gleaming bottle of fine wine with a perfect, natural cork has a special mystique. And while the wine within is the primary focus, the cork has a vital role, too. The distinctive pop that goes wi...

The Great Gravenstein

The drive to Walker Apples in Graton is as picturesque as Sonoma County gets. What were once miles of apple orchards along Graton Road are now seemingly endless views of vineyards. West County looks...

The Mondavi Legacy

The name Mondavi has been woven into the fabric of Napa Valley lore for as long as anyone can remember. The story begins more than 100 years ago, when Cesare and Rosa Mondavi moved to Minnesota from...

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