Friends Fest!
A Thousand Friends of Martinez Event

Music, Food & Fun
Roxx on Main
Sunday September 24th
3-5 pm

Help Martinez strive for more transparent government, enlightened land use concepts and to defend parks, creeks, wetlands, open space and historic elements. Funds raised from Friends Fest will help us with these goals. Be with us at this fun event as we work toward a great Martinez future.

This exciting event will take place on Sunday, September 24, 2023 at 627 Main Street, Martinez

Join Friends and neighbors for an afternoon of fun, food, wine and fundraising.

Roxx on Main is the perfect venue for this event, with its lively atmosphere and delicious menu. You’ll have the chance to mingle with locals and make new friends while enjoying live music and entertainment.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to give back to your community and make a difference.

Friends Fest is a great way to support local causes and meet like-minded individuals who share your passion for making a positive impact.

So mark your calendar and join us at Roxx on Main for an unforgettable afternoon!

We can’t wait to see you there.

$50 Admission
Click here to grab your spot!

Thousand Friends
HIKE Announcement

DATE: Sunday, July 16
MEETING TIME AND PLACE: 8:30 AM at Nejedly Staging Area, Carquinez Shoreline Drive
HIKE DESCRIPTION: We will do the Carquinez Loop—about 4.5 miles and an elevation gain of about 1000 ft.  There are stunning views of the Carquinez Straits and an oak-filled Canyon where we have seen Coyote pups.  
WHO CAN COME: This hike is open to anyone living in or near Martinez. If you’re 14 years old or younger, we ask that you be accompanied by a parent or an adult (21 or over) who knows you. Dogs on leash are welcome. 
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?:  We often talk to people who have lived in Martinez for a few years, love to hike, but haven’t managed to make it out to our spectacular trails.  Since an important part of our TF Mission is to improve quality of life in Martinez, we thought either introducing or giving people an opportunity to experience our open space would go well with our mission.

Update from Mayor Zorn
July 2023

Every time that I sit down to write another article to share with you, there is an environmental emergency that redirects my otherwise positive update (would you have ever expected an update on a mercury spill in our town?!?). So, I’m going to start on the positive and work my way down to a quick update on the release. 

  1. Alhambra Hills: Space still available on the Alhambra Hills hike on Saturday, July 15th! This is the last scheduled hike until September so please join us if you haven’t already had a chance to walk up there. Sign up at https://secure.rec1.com/CA/City-Martinez/catalog 
  2. City Council office hours: We are rolling out office hours and regular presence at the Farmers’ Market starting in July. .
    1. We will be hosting office hours from 11 am to 1 pm at the City Hall annex on the same Wednesdays that City Council holds their meetings and will rotate through the councilmembers. Our first Office hours will be on July 19 and I’ll host the first one. Please don’t hesitate to come down and say hello and voice your concerns. 
    2. We will be staffing a booth at the Farmers’ Market once a month. Our canopy will be set up in the plaza and will rotate through the councilmembers.
    3. If you are interested in stopping by to say hello, our schedule is posted on the city website here: https://www.cityofmartinez.org/Home/Components/News/News/204/15
  3. Upcoming Council Meeting and Waterfront Trust Lands Use Plan Special Meeting: Our next Council meetings will be on July 19 at 7 pm (the hybrid option Zoom link will be available on the agenda). Please note: There are NO Council meetings scheduled for August to give staff some time to catch up on projects. We will regroup in September.  The September date for the Waterfront Trust Lands Use Plan Special Meeting will be announced later.
  4. Martinez Alerts: Martinez has rolled out their own incident notification system. If you were already receiving our enewsletters, your email address has been added already (and you would have received the first notification on July 11). To opt in for texts, voice messages, or to add your email, you can sign up here: martinezalerts.com. The intention of this system is to fill the gaps in communication for incidents that would not elicit a push notification from the County Sheriff’s Community Warning System. 
  5. Coke Dust Release: Our most recent MRC release occurred Tuesday, July 11 at approximately 8:30 am. The release occurred for a few minutes. Reports came in of observations of dust and Contra Costa Health did mobilize staff to sample. The required 72-hour report by MRC will be released when received and the results of the sampling by CC Health are expected at the end of the week. We will continue to update our community as we receive information.

Brianne Zorn

Marina Plan is a step in the
right direction

Here’s some ideas on how
to make the most of it

The most recent Marina Plan included in the May 24, 2023, presentation and meeting is a good step forward.  It emphasizes ecological and environmental sensitivity and supports primarily maritime and shoreline recreation and education. 

The presentation can be found at this link:  https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/mysocialpinpoint/uploads/redactor_assets/documents/cbeea3ee5dcb8bda15efef461cbee175fa8a7498bb3b5f51af8d675c51f43d2f/80213/20230510_Martinez_Waterfront_Joint_Study_Session_Presentation.pdf

There are two critical areas that need further attention, we believe.

First, to accomplish the major goal of dramatically increasing public use of the restaurants, shops and event center, and to support any ferry service, a major overcrossing of the railroad tracks would probably be a requirement.

The overcrossing would have a significant cost, $15 million in one old estimate.  More important, the overcrossing would potentially use up a large amount of Waterfront Park and East Bay Regional Park District land.  Some have estimated that the overcrossing would extend to Eagle Marine to meet proper grade parameters. 

We believe these factors make an overcrossing a bad idea.  And that means a massive increase in usage of the marina would not be likely.

Second the ferry terminal has a direct impact on the amount of space that would have to be devoted to parking, land that could be better used for education and recreation purposes.  See Vallejo for an idea of the football fields of parking that would be required.

The ferry service is a big attraction to many of us, but without an overcrossing that would cover much of the park land, we would have to give up on that dream.

In addition to a profitable marina, we should be concentrating on the clear commercial winners, the restaurants and shops and an education center.  That would please the public and fit our budget without undermining the land we need for a great park.  

Our City has never done well with commercial ventures like the event center (witness the former marina restaurant, the arts theater, the first baseball team, and the amphitheater) and it would not bring a lot of money into City coffers under the best of circumstances.  We should stick with what we are good at, and not try to meet expectations that may be unrealistic and could be costly and risky in the face of our current unclear future.    

Our goal should be a great park that would reflect our values (which don’t include the hard-to-achieve goal of turning the marina into a profit center for the City) and be resilient in the face of dramatically changing circumstances that are only beginning to be seen from climate change.    

John Muir Historical Site releases
Mt. Wanda Planning Document

The National Park Service (NPS) has released it Mt. Wanda Site Planning Document for public review and comment. The acquisition of additional acreage to the site has lead to an evaluation of how to add to the visitor experience. You can read and review the document by clicking here.

Thousand Friends of Martinez has reviewed the plan and feels that it is a well thought out, comprehensive plan. There is one deficit that members of the community are working to rectify – there is no trail linking the Mt. Wanda area to the Alhambra Open Space that was acquired by the City of Martinez last year. While we believe the NPS is amenable to finding a workable solution to this, we would urge all to take the time to review the document and comment on the need for this trail to connect these two John Muir related areas as well as any other comments. Comment period is open through June 11, 2023. Click here to comment on the plan.

Thousand Friends May Hike

Join us on Sunday May 21st at Fernandez Ranch

DATE: Sunday, May 21
TIME: 9:00 AM
MEETING PLACE: Fernandez Ranch Parking Lot, 1081 Christie Road,
Martinez CA (Allow 15 minutes from the Martinez Post Office on
LEADER: Kay Cox (questions?—email Kay at coxkay@hotmail.com)
HIKE DESCRIPTION: We will hike to Paul’s Peak—4 miles RT and 1000
feet of elevation. From the top you will see lots of poppies, S.F. Bay,
Mt. Tam, Volmer Peak, Grizzly Peak, Rocky Ridge, and Mt. Diablo. No
promises, but we often see coyotes and their pups. The plan is to
return to Martinez around 11:30 AM.
WHO CAN COME: This hike is open to anyone living in or near
Martinez. If you 14 years old or younger, we ask that you be
accompanied by a parent or an adult (21 or over) who knows you.
Dogs on leash are welcome.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?: We often talk to people who have lived
in Martinez for a few years, love to hike, but haven’t managed to make
it out to many of our spectacular trails. Since an important part of our
TF Mission is to improve quality of life in Martinez, we thought either
introducing or giving people an opportunity to experience our open
space would go well with our mission.

Thousand Friends of Martinez Comments on the
“Housing Plan Background Report Public Review Draft

March 2023

Our city is undertaking a difficult job to fulfill the State mandates for new housing sites and agreeing to rezone the sites to higher density.  This is the major direction our attempt to meet the State mandate is taking.  This rezoning will change the face of our town, both the Downtown and the neighborhoods. 

This Housing Report also recommends multitudinous additional actions that will have major effects on our City budget and on the physical character of our town.  Many of these actions are at the discretion of the City Council.   

Following are some comments that we ask you to consider in the actions you take on the Housing Element.

Continue reading

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