The Coastal Post - January 2000

News By Submission


Keyes A Real Contender

Conservative Bob Novak, host of CNN's Crossfire, on a recent program agreed with Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes that the media has made a concerted effort to ignore his candidacy and his message because he does not fit the stereotype they have of a black man.

"The more I think about it," Novak said, "I think he's got a point. He is terrifically articulate, he's excellent on conservative issues, and I think it offends the liberal media to have a black man taking those positions. They say that is not playing the game."

Novak defended Ambassador Keyes from co-host Bill Press who labeled Keyes' positions as "outrageous," particularly his views on the United States' involvement in Kosovo.

"Most of the Republican activists think that Kosovo was a phony propaganda war and a disgrace for the country. So that's not an outrageous position. A national sales tax is not an outrageous position. And his campaign finance reform, what do you find wrong with that?" Novak asked.

Novak, like so many Americans, is coming to realize that Ambassador Keyes' credentials and the combination of his thorough understanding and effective articulation of today's most important issues prove that Keyes is a real contender for the Republican nomination.

Keyes was asked to appear on Crossfire primarily because of his consistent and, for the most part, overwhelming victories in post-debate online viewer polls conducted by MSNBC, Fox News, Vote.com, CNN, and others, after each of the presidential forums.

For more information, visit www.Keyes2000.org.

The Plight Of Rockfish

On Friday, December 3rd, State regulators adopted the most stringent rockfish sportfishing limits in California history in an attempt to halt the decline of many rockfish species. Unfortunately, while doing this, the state is neglecting the nearshore habitat area which is their primary area of responsibility. The nearshore is defined as that area which extends from shore to one mile out. A narrow band of kelp extends the length of the state. This kelp marks a fragile habitat area for many species of rockfish that, like the abalone, are endemic to it. Also like the abalone, most of the fish in this area are extremely slow-growing, long lived, and residential. Fish in this area don't move around much, are easily caught by fishermen and highly susceptible to overfishing.

In July, 1989, a Fish and Game-sponsored analysis of the California coast found that kelp covered an amazingly small area of 74 square miles, about one-third the size of Lake Tahoe. One thing has been clearly shown by the state's complete mismanagement of the commercial abalone fishery south of San Francisco: This unique habitat area combined with such a residential population of fish cannot sustain a commercial fishery.

The nearshore area is the main focus of a commercial fishing industry called the live fish industry. They supply specialty fish markets and restaurants with fish at premium wholesale prices; the fish are then sold live on the retail market or prepared fresh in restaurants. The fish must be caught in the shallower nearshore waters because this is where most of them are found. In addition, they do not survive the pressure changes when brought up from depth, so must be fished from the same area the kelp is found.

New federal commercial regulations will serve to cut general levels of rockfish harvest, but they will also serve to drive even more commercial fishermen into the more lucrative nearshore.

According to Fish and Game data, the live fish landings in Monterey increased 513% from 1997-1998. As the supply becomes scarce, the prices will go up, driving the industry to pursue this increasingly scarce resource until it collapses. This is exactly what happened to the abalone fishery, and it is already happening with the nearshore rockfish population.

Many recreational fishermen have testified to this decimation of the nearshore resource and have proposed many worthwhile short-term solutions, but their testimony has fallen on deaf ears.

The state is merely considering limiting the number of licensees into this area. This will only serve to allocate the same fish to fewer fishers. This is the same thing that happened with the abalone fishery until it collapsed a few years ago. Prepare to see the collapse of yet another fishery as the California Department of Fish and Game stands by and does too little too late.

Please contact the Fish and Game Commission and let them know how you feel: California Fish and Game Commission , 1416 9th St. Room 1320, Sacramento, CA 95814. You may also contact Rob Collins, Ecosystems coordinator at the Department of Fish and Game at 831-649-2870, or DeWayne Johnston, Marine Region, Manager at [email protected]

If you would like to take part in further discussion of this issue, sign on to our mailing list at: http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/oceancoalition. Stand with our coalition of ocean lovers!
-Bob Humphrey
Central California Council of Dive Clubs
Underwater Society of America
Recreational Fishing Alliance

Hemp Legalized In Hawaii

Hawaii makes American history as the first industrial hemp seeds are planted in U.S. soil since the crop was banned after World War II.

Hawaiian Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano hosted the historical hemp seed planting ceremony at the Alterna Hemp Research Project agricultural plot in Whitmore Village on Oahu on December 14. Hawaiian hemp's political history

After three years, the dedication and tenacity of Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen paid off last May when Governor Cayetano signed the industrial hemp bill into law.

"The project was made possible by a $200,000 grant from hemp shampoo maker Alterna's Professional Hair Care Products," explained Thielen.

Built to strict requirements set forth by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the one-quarter acre is surrounded by chain length fencing with a razor-wire top, and is guarded by a 24-hour infrared security system.

Cayetano said, "My administration supports stimulating Hawaii's economy and keeping our agricultural lands productive. Industrial hemp could meet both of these objectives." Plight of American farmers

Hemp farming is of integral importance to Hawaii as the state's economy is still suffering from the loss of its main export, sugar cane. Hawaii also has the dubious national distinction of 17.6 percent unemployment rates on one of its islands. Thousands of farmers across the nation are also suffering from the declining profitability of crops they produce.

Farmers have a dearth of options. The dilemma of the American farmer is aggravating for Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative president Andrew Graves, who spearheaded the lawsuit filed against the DEA last year in an effort to allow Kentucky tobacco farmers the right to grow industrial hemp in lieu of their diminishing tobacco crops. "It makes no sense that the same government that encouraged and paid my father good money to grow hemp 40 years ago during WWII is restricting me from saving my ailing tobacco business by forbidding me to grow the same plant."

Despite the domestic demand for hemp products, American businesses are still forced to import hemp from any one of the 29 industrialized nations that grow the crop. All members of the Group of Seven Industrialized Nations permit hemp cultivation except one-the United States. Which state is next?

During the past three years, 22 states have approved some form of legislation or resolution supporting industrial hemp. North Dakota and Minnesota legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp in spring of 1999 and aim to plant seeds in spring of 2000.

Due to the dedicated efforts of Campaign for Agricultural and Industrial Renewal (CAIR), California is making great strides for the hemp cause. The California Democratic National Party adopted a resolution supporting hemp at its state convention in March of 1999, which is the first time in history that a major political party has embraced industrial hemp. In addition, the California State Assembly approved a resolution supporting industrial hemp in September. Industrial hemp research

Although this small one-quarter acre test crop will not reap economic benefit for Hawaii immediately, it will give scientists an opportunity to prove that large-scale hemp crops will be a financial boon to the struggling Hawaiian economy in many ways.

Esteemed plant geneticist David West, Ph.D., one of very few plant breeders in the United States actively involved in reestablishing industrial hemp, directs Alterna's hemp seed variety trial research in Hawaii.

"This is a huge step for Hawaii and the U.S. as a whole. Once the DEA removes its restrictions on growing industrial hemp freely outside of the test plot trials, the vast economic and ecological benefits of this plant will be made known to American farmers."

Why industrial hemp?

Industrial hemp is more versatile than the precious soybean, the mainstay cotton plant, and the reliable Douglas fir combined. There are more than 25,000 different uses for this non-drug wonder plant. Hemp thrives in any climate, grows rapidly and, being resistant to disease and insects, has no need for pesticides or herbicides.

Due to no chemical use during cultivation, the soil and groundwater is untainted, making hemp an excellent rotation crop. Harvest time is a mere 60 to 90 days after seed planting, allowing for several crops to be grown in a season.

Dollars speak the loudest, however, and the exceptional global resurgence of hemp bears witness to the powerful commercial potential of this crop. As permitted by GATT and NAFTA, millions of dollars worth of industrial hemp material is imported every year, regardless of the fact that American farmers are fighting to diversify the ailing farm industry with it.

Worldwide hemp sales figures were only a few million dollars in 1993 but in 1997 sales surpassed $75 million, and sales for year 2000 are projected to be in the billions.

About Alterna

Since incorporating hemp seed oil into its products as of January, 1998, Alterna Professional Hair Care Products has undertaken an aggressive national hemp education campaign, called Learn More, which is designed to dispel myths and misinformation about the marked differences between hemp and marijuana.

Proactive in its approach to educate the nation of hemp's many environmental, economic and cosmetic benefits, Alterna holds fast to two proven facts: hemp is not marijuana, and hemp is not a drug.

A consummate education advocate, Alterna conducts industrial hemp essay contests in high schools across the nation, awarding college scholarship funds. The sponsorship of the historical hemp test plot in Hawaii is a demonstration of the company's continued commitment to the hemp movement.

"Alterna feels a responsibility to help support America's farmers, and affording them the opportunity to grow industrial hemp for American-made products is our ultimate goal," said Mike Brady, president of Alterna's Professional Hair Care Products. "Funding the test plots in Hawaii is an honor for us and we urge other hemp industrialists to be pro-active, and to offer private funding for hemp test plots in states that will follow Hawaii's precedent-setting lead."

A Hemp Seed of Hope

A seed of hope has been planted in Hawaii, hope that our children will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink; that our grandchildren will have tall redwoods and giant sequoias to admire; that the greatest source of protein on this planet may someday soon be available on supermarket shelves throughout the nation; that all farmers in America will soon be able to harvest hemp and, in so doing, preserve their families, homes, lifestyles and businesses.

This is truly a watermark day for environmentalists, economists, farmers, industrial hemp businesses, and especially for all those selfless, dedicated individuals who continue working, sometimes in the face of great adversity, to renew the legal status of industrial hemp.

It is our faith, and the faith of our forefathers who grew industrial hemp for millennia before us, that this seed of hope shall mature into a harvest of goodwill, good fortune, good diet, and good sense for all humanity.

As this Holiday Season approaches, we have great reason to be thankful. Thank you, Representative Cynthia Thielen, thank you, Alterna, thank you, Hawaii!
-Sam H. Clauder II
[email protected]

Schools Need Moral Vision

Random violence in our schools is stampeding concerned parties towards quick-fix solutions that do not remotely address the root of the crisis.

The posting of the Ten Commandments, armed police, tightened security, harsher measures against misbehaving students, dress codes, increased homework, smaller classes, facility repairs and more classrooms, even increasing the paltry wages of teachers-how do any of these measures address the current nightmare?

Our youth are sending us a message; if we don't change what has been clearly demonstrated not to work, we can only expect more of the same.

Teachers must be freed from absurd expectations and requirements that only hobble an overworked, underpaid, disrespected, dedicated professional work force. It is a wonder so many have managed to remain within the ranks of teaching.

Our schools are resembling our prison system; they must not become fortresses of learning, rather they must become invitations to learning, and recapture their venerated place within American society, by the old-fashioned method of teaching and instruction, one class period at a time.

First period every morning K-8 teachers should present for dialog, engagement and reflection the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This Declaration is premised in our Bill of Rights, is half a century old, evolved from WWII and the Nuremberg Trials, and is signed by all members of the United Nations. It is a statement of common civic norms and will present options for our youth to balance their base instincts with some degree of resolve and internalized restraint.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 29:8)
[Edited version of article submitted by Gershon Mitchel, Woodacre]

Alzheimer's Support Group

The North Bay chapter of the Alzheimer's Association offers a free information group for husbands who are taking care of their wives with memory loss.

The sessions are held the first Wednesday of every month from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the San Rafael offices, 4340 Redwood Hwy., Ste. 23. The next meeting is set for January 5.

"It is very difficult for a husband to step into the role of caregiver," said Elise Meyers, executive director of the local chapter. "When a wife experiences memory loss, the husband frequently takes on the responsibilities traditionally carried on by the spouse, like shopping, cooking and cleaning." These responsibilities come at a time when the husband is experiencing the loss of friends and social activities maintained by his wife. "This can be a very isolating time for a husband."

The support group allows men to discover they are not alone. The group aids in the acceptance of a new role in the marriage as well the rewards of learning from other group members.

Call 472-4340 for more information.

1998 State Tax Letters Out

Beginning this month and continuing through February, more than half a million Californians will receive a letter asking for their overdue 1998 state income tax return. The Franchise Tax Board just completed a match of more than 220 million income records received from employers, banks, the IRS and other sources to its record of returns filed. The result was a lot of missing returns.

Individuals with incomes above $10,623 ($21,246 for married couples) in 1998 are required a file a tax return. Call 800-852-5711 for more information about the letter, or 800-338-0505 for tax questions, or access www.ftb.ca.gov.

Brower Endorses Egger

Veteran environmentalist David R. Brower, 87, known as the Archdruid for his revered place as a father of the American environmental movement, endorsed Fairfax Mayor Frank Egger as the Democratic candidate for the California State Assembly's 6th District in the following statement:

"It is not often I endorse a candidate for State Assembly outside of my own district, but in this case I have endorsed Frank Egger. My decision is based on his support of rewriting California's Forest Practices Act to protect our old-growth redwood forests, his long held anti-nuclear positions, and decades of fighting to save and restore California's rivers. His unwavering position to remove salmon killing dams that have been built on our magnificent rivers, including the Eel, is what we need in Sacramento.

While we see many Democratic candidates claiming to be environmentalists at election time, most are unwilling to tackle the really tough issues; it's wonderful to have a bonafide environmentalist running in the 6th Assembly District. Frank Egger knows we have to invest in, not speculate about, our future. Dam removal and river restoration will bring increased prosperity to our state by creating good-paying jobs in both commercial and sport fishing, reforestation, and visitor-oriented services. In a world where we see not only corporate but also political green washing, the 6th Assembly District is fortunate to have Frank Egger, a candidate with such proven environmental credentials. We are working to elect Frank in March, 2000."

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