A Man of the Future
GAME OF FLOODS Concepts are easier to grasp when they’re presented in a playful way, which is
exactly what County of Marin staffers were going for when they created a game to get residents thinking criti-
cally about sea level rise. Game of Floods is a small group activity, where four to six players are asked to develop
Marin Island 2050, a dystopian future landscape that is riddled with deteriorating homes, community facilities,
roads and more that were all ravaged by storms. The game was inspired by a local mapping activity developed
for Supervisor Kate Sears’ southern Marin sea
level rise project by Department of Public Works
engineer Roger Leventhal and CMG landscape
architects. It was originally introduced in May
2015, early in the project planning process, to
educate citizens. The game board, game pieces,
instructions and other supporting materials were
designed by the Community Development Agency
(CDA) and Department of Public Works (DPW)
staff and are available online. Let the games begin.
marinslr.org K. P.
In Marin, many place-names are
attributed to the Miwoks, from
Tamalpais to possibly Bolinas.
Other commonly seen titles are
also familiar as they pop up in
the names of area schools — we’re
looking at you, Sir Frances Drake.
But other monikers’ roots are a bit
more elusive. Here are some local
schools and information about
their namesakes. K. P.
• A. E. Kent Middle School is named after
Albert Emmett Kent, who moved to Marin
County in 1871 and bought the land that
would later become the town of Kentfield.
• The Dixie School District does not have
Confederate roots; it’s named after Mary
Dixie, a descendant of the Miwok Indian
tribe who used to live in Vallecito, California.
• Edna Maguire School in Mill Valley is so
called in tribute to the educator and historian
who was born in 1888 and inspired students
with tales of California’s gold country.
• James B. Davidson was the first superintendent of the San Rafael City Schools
district, which was established 155 years
ago. The middle school there is called
Davidson to honor him.
• San Rafael’s Mary E. Silveira Elementary
School commemorates the woman who was
an advocate for quality education in the
Dixie school district.
• Neil Cummins was a principal in the
Larkspur–Corte Madera School District;
the elementary school there was named
• Vallecito Elementary School in San Rafael
gets its designation because of its location;
it’s nestled in a valley, or vallecito in Spanish.
• Wade Thomas was a principal of Main
School in San Anselmo and the school
district’s supervisor starting in 1923.
He died unexpectedly while the school was
being retrofitted and it was rechristened
in his memory.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
In Marin / CURRENTS
From top: The CrowdOptic crew with developers at Skywalker
Ranch; Olga Khylkouskaya, Jon Fisher and Austin Markus.
Beyond family, Tiburon’s Jon Fisher has t wo great
loves: building game-changing tech companies
and Star Wars. In July, he combined the two when
his new company, CrowdOptic, held a developers’
conference at the legendary Sky walker Ranch in
San Rafael. “I’m 44 years old, so Star Wars had a
profound effect on me,” Fisher says of the rare opportunity to host a conference at Sky walker. “It was
great to showcase our product in the home of one of
the greatest entrepreneurs and inventors of all time.”
Fisher should know a thing or two about inventing something and being able to sell it. This is his
third such instance: he has already sold a company
called AutoReach to AutoNation and another, called
Bharosa, sold to Oracle in 2007 for a reported $50
million. Now Fisher and his regular startup team,
which this time includes investors John Elway and
Ronnie Lott, are back with a never-before-seen technology that utilizes smart glasses and video streams
from remote cameras to allow users to see through
walls or around corners. In some applications, the
augmented-reality technology, currently the only
patented solution for wearables like Google Glass
and Sony SmartEyeGlass, uses triangulation to give
wearers the best view possible. “This venture haunts
me,” Fisher says. “The understanding of where a
device is pointed will help us fight catastrophes
caused by things like bad weather and fire.” Indeed,
that’s already happening — the technology has been
picked up by a wide range of institutions (it is not
available to consumers) like the police in China,
the Denver Broncos, UCSF and the San Francisco
Zoo for its new wolf exhibit; cameras are even being
mounted on fire helmets, in ambulances and on
paramedics. The technology might just “make us all
superhuman,” Fisher says. DANIEL JE WE TT