Friends Fest

It was a fine autumn Sunday afternoon September 24, 2023 at Roxx on Main where the supporters of Thousand Friends of Martinez gathered to renew old friendships, make new friends and just as importantly – keep working toward a better Martinez. With food, drink and music, the event was a great success.  125 people attended. We set several goals for the first annual event and exceeded all of them, including at least 100 guests and netting more than $5000 in our first time effort. Funds will support our efforts including to support good candidates for city council and other elected offices.

Air quality had been a little threatening, but the day was sunny and clear. There were short presentations by Mayor Brianne Zorn, East Bay Regional Park District Director Colin Coffey and Thousand Friends Co-Chair Seth Adams, who highlighted the focus of the group. 

We are here to promote open, transparent government and to support environmentally conscious leadership in the Martinez area.  Defending open space, wetlands, parks and historical elements are a key aim of our organization.

We would especially like to thank Steering Committee member Kay Cox for organizing the event and Pete Sabine for managing social media.

Our Event Committee: Kay Cox, Sherida Bush and Jane Moore

Volunteers: Ryan Aston, Lauren Cox, Kate Pearson, Brian Walker, Gigi Walker

Hosts: Seth Adams, Dan Barrows, Tina Batt and Sherida Bush, Kay Cox, Jennifer Pearson, Tim Platt, Pete Sabine, Harlan Strickland, Mark Thomson, Carol Wiley

Our Overwhelmingly Wonderful Venue Host : Leslie Stiles and Roxx on Main

The UnConcord and our own Mark Thomson for providing great music.

Our Wine donors – Tod Kilbourn and Nancy McMorrow, Jim & Bette Felton

Refinery Issues
Update from Mayor Brianne Zorn

At last week’s meeting, the City Council passed a resolution Urging the Martinez Refining Company (MRC) to Comply with Regional Air Emission Standards. This was prompted by the efforts of Healthy Martinez, a local activist group that formed following the spent catalyst release one year ago. The Martinez Refining Company attended the meeting with an update on plans to improve their process safety. They plan to update the Council every other month.

Click the button to read more about the plans going forward including community communications, monitoring stations and more.

Naming the new park at Pine Meadow

Choosing a recommended name for this new City park at Pine Meadow was the subject of the Park, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission (PRMCC) meeting on Tuesday, October 17.  Several names were discussed from the ones suggested by the public during the name application period.  The discussion was detailed and illuminating. 

Find out more details and proposed park names by clicking the buttons.

Who should make land use decisions – local or state government?

There is growing sentiment around the state, shared by city and county officials as well as average citizens, for a state initiative to take local land use decision making back from Sacramento. Passage of the initiative would be a major step with many consequences affecting cities and counties around the state far into the future, much like Prop 13 continues to affect us today. Thousand Friends has not taken a position on the idea, but Thousand Friends would very much like to hear your thoughts.

Briones Pilot Project

The East Bay Regional Park District has launched a two year pilot project at Briones Park to test trail management strategies. This project was created to better accommodate the increase in number of visitors at the park district.  The Briones Pilot Project establishes specific rules limiting trail use, such as hiking only, biking only, or biking/hiking only and direction of travel. Although the Park District is seeking to open new parks and provide more trails to reduce crowding on trails, the trail development process takes time. The pilot project will test some new ways to safely share trails and improve the trail experience for all users while protecting habitat, wildlife, and watersheds.

The Mission of Thousand Friends of Martinez is to provide a stable organization which will work with residents to elect informed, conscientious representatives; promote open government; enhance our quality of life by creating a livable city; defend our parks and open spaces, and; conserve natural areas and historic elements in the greater Martinez region.

Our Geographic Focus is: The greater Martinez region, including the city and unincorporated areas, the Briones Bioregion and significant watershed lands.

Our Objectives are to:

  • Endorse, support and fund responsible and environmentally supportive leaders
  • Promote transparent government
  • Promote better land use planning and the development of policies for the public benefit
  • Defend parks, creeks, wetlands, open space and historic elements
  • Support budgeting, ballot measures and funding for these purposes
  • Educate the public about these objectives and strategies