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November 2000

Letters to the Editor


The Rich Versus The Poor

Intelligent Americans who have a good understanding of our political process appreciate that the question before the American people in November is whether the conservatives will remain in control of Congress and the liberals of the White House, or whether either will be in full control of both branches of the government.

They also understand that it is a power play between the poor and the rich. A vote for Vice President Al Gore is a vote for the poor, while a vote for Governor George W. Bush is a vote for the rich. Anyone who does not understand this has no right to be involved in the process. Notwithstanding the rhetoric from both gentlemen, alluding to what is good for the country, the real issue is whether money controls the people or people will control money. Consequently there is no position in between. All third parties joining the fray are merely spoilers, wittingly or unwittingly, in the service of big money. Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Nader, for instance, are two very intelligent men. Could any sensible individual truly believe that either of them has a chance of winning? And that they do not know it? Yet they are asking for your vote. If you should vote for either of them, you should at least know who will benefit from your vote-Bush or Gore. If you feel like not voting at all because of all this confusion, fine. This is a free country. But just remember that the rich are paying a lot of people like you for not voting. And here you are-throwing away your vote for free.

Wise up. If you are poor or for the poor, vote so. If you are rich, let your money vote for you. There are still a lot of those among us who are either ignorant of the process or are downright willing and ready to sell our inalienable rights as Americans to the highest bidder. Antonio R. Serna

Impressed by Just Four Pages

Just finished reading your July 1 edition and was impressed with the four pages given to me.

Is it possible to send a full copy so finishing Edward W. Miller's column can be savored by us in San Francisco! The Mr. Stewart item was hysterical. And the helicopters spraying was priceless. Who knew such a great little paper was so near and yet so far?

Congratulations to all of you!

A. Hunter
San Francisco

To Louis Nuyens

Appreciate your articles on MMWD and Kinsey. The Point Reyes Light, as you know, is useless on these subjects. Kinsey is their boy. But don't think there aren't plenty of people here disgusted with The Light. Make sure the Post continues to be available (as at the Palace Market).

Dick Fitzgerald
Point Reyes Station

Tenants Finally Organizing

At last tenants are organizing to stop rent increases and unjust evictions.

I met with a number of tenants, residents of the city of San Rafael, who are ready to demand of the City Council to do something about this.

I'm sure that you would like to cover this story, as affordable housing and protection against rent increases is a very important issue.

The tenants and some other representatives of non-profit organizations will be at the City of San Rafael requesting an ordinance to protect the tenants of San Rafael: According to your statistics, tenants make up 40 percent of the San Rafael population.

We hope you will report this and help us get the support needed. Thanks.

Coleman Persily
San Rafael

California Judiciary Infested

The LAPD's Rampart corruption scandal came to light not as the result of a fair and conscientious reviewing of the judicial process but, rather, because the average crooked cop broke the "police code of silence" making a deal for leniency in his own criminal case. Now, hundreds of convictions are supposedly being scrutinized as they should have been, by unbiased judges, in the first place. Also, the City of Los Angeles is exposed to financial liability that has already reached into many millions of dollars. Why?

The California judiciary is infested with judges who were appointed during 16 years of Republican gubernatorial rule (Deukmejian/Wilson). Most of them are ex-prosecutors themselves and collectively lack the courage and integrity to use judicial power as a deterrent against wrongdoing by law enforcement personnel, their former colleagues. Judges allowing a systematic disregard for the Constitution's protections wink and nod as they give an inch but see a mile taken where police and prosecutorial misconduct is involved. This has brought about a widespread unreliability of convictions throughout the state. The Rampart scandal is barely the tip of the iceberg, but it does accurately reflect what happens when judges abdicate their solemn duty to hold police and prosecutors accountable. They grow to have no fear of sanctions for abusing power and the scope of their wrongdoing escalates.

The judges are the worst part of the problem. Having sworn to provide diligent oversight, the buck is supposed to stop under their gavels as real proof that the rule of law applies to all; even to those who've sworn solemn oaths to uphold it. Imagine that. But don't hold your breath waiting for judges to be honorable enough to admit any responsibility. Like the police, they too have their own code of silence to adhere to and their expertly practiced deniability to hide behind.

Psalm 94.20 "You have nothing to do with corrupt judges, who make injustice legal."

James Kor
Calipatria

One Unhappy Pac Bell Customer

I have utilized a business line and listing with the Pacific Bell Telephone Company for over 20 years here in Marin. About a year and a half ago, my long distance phone carrier began to send me billing that included calls not made from my home/office in Mill Valley. There were 900 toll calls and later, calls to overseas locations. Looking at the time the calls were listed as completed, I found that most would have been made while I was at home where I work as an architect. This was strange. If I didn't make them, who did? There wasn't anyone else with access to the phone. I figured it was some sort of line mix-up that could be easily corrected. After I contacted my carriers, a service technician from Pac Bell came to my home, ran a "line check," and informed me that all was fine.

Well, the billings for "mystery" calls continued. Switching to another long distance carrier did not change the situation. More calls listed to faraway places with strange sounding names. One call was to Uganda! I had a 900-code block installed, then an overseas block.

Problem solved? No such luck. About this time, I noticed billing on my local telephone service also began to include toll calls I had not made.

More contacts with Pacific Bell's service department brought another visit from a service technician who performed another "check" and informed me that my line was problem free and specifically that no other lines "crossed" with mine.

In the many months to follow, every statement I received contained more calls not made from my home. Often the monetary total of the calls was not substantial, but the annoyance of it all was.

In calling Pacific Bell to try and resolve the problem, I was often put on hold for up to 15 minutes only to be told by a company representative that their records indicated my line had been checked thoroughly and found to be trouble free. All the Pac Bell personnel I spoke to were located in distant locations such as Riverside and San Diego.

Eventually, after many months and many calls to Pacific Bell for help with my still unsolved problem, I was told that they would not be checking "my problem" out further, implying that they believed the calls in question did indeed come from my residence. "Case closed." When I politely requested to speak with a manager, I would be told that he or she was "too busy" or "not there." Apparently I had become listed on Pac Bell's computer system as a "malcontent," and was to be treated accordingly. Out of desperation, I asked if there was somewhere I could to go talk with someone at a Pac Bell office to explain my situation in person. The answer was "no," that option was not available.

I was beginning to believe that there was indeed no recourse but to continue paying for those "mystery" calls. Many valuable hours away from my design practice had been wasted on trying to resolve the problem. Now, if only I had a clone of Erin Brockovich as a friend. Hmmmm.

But wait! There was one other possible remedy. I remembered an old friend from college days was currently working as a cable splicer/service technician for Pacific Bell in San Francisco. Perhaps he could help solve my dilemma.

I contacted my friend and after telling him of my rude treatment by Pac Bell, he agreed to try and help me on his own time.

A couple of days later, after his long work shift, there he was with his pole climbing and other gear, ready to offer his assistance. What a pal! He climbed the nearby utility pole to have a look, made an adjustment, then drove to a neighborhood terminal box where he separated my line from "B" and connected it to "G".

Now all we needed to do was wait for my next billing statement from Pac Bell.

Hooray! Problem solved after well over a year. Now, when I look back on the valuable time I wasted, money paid for someone else's mischief, and most of all, the rude treatment and lack of respect for a good 20 year business customer, it seems there should have been a better way for Pacific Bell to have dealt with my situation. Ultimately, I had to rely on a good friend to solve my problem.

Now, if I only had a good friend on the PUC.

Ray Zerbe
Mill Valley

Requests CP's Endorsement

I am writing to request endorsement in my race for re-election to the Marin Healthcare district Board. I am running for re-election in order to complete the work that my board began three years ago. I have been on the Healthcare District Board for eight years and have been chair for the last five years. I was the top vote-getter in my previous elections.

I have been a strong advocate on the Board for quality patient care, doctors and nurses. Marin General Hospital should be operated solely for the benefit of the people it serves, not to fill corporate coffers. MGH's affiliation with Sutter's "obligated group" allows fro all money in excess of two weeks' operating capital to flow to Sutter's corporate headquarters in Sacramento. Additionally, it makes Marin General liable for Sutter's debt, now in excess of $1.2 billion.

During my service on the board, I have consistently supported: 1) local control of MGH whereby it is operated solely for the benefit of Marin resident; 2) the District Board's lawsuit to determine the legality of the Lease; 3) reversal of the severe cuts in nurse-staffing ratios; 4) a Level II Trauma Center at MGH mandating uninterrupted neurosurgical coverage; 5) maintenance of a MGH psychiatric unit that cares for all residents including the indigent and adolescents who are currently transported out of the county; 6) a stroke center at MGH.

This election will decide whether the lawsuit to determine the legality of the badly flawed lease of Marin General Hospital to the private Corporation is allowed to proceed. Both Sutter/MGH and the District Board agreed three years ago that only the Courts could resolve this issue, however, since Marin General is one of Sutter's most profitable hospitals, they are doing everything possible to change the current Board majority. Marin General Hospital's profitability accounted for almost 100 percent of Sutter's net operating profits from its 27 hospitals in 1998, the last year for which figures are available.

Last year we settled the Lease breach issues for cash and an increase in future payments by Sutter Corporation amounting to over $3.35 million. The Sacramento Superior Court ruled that the statue of limitations applied, meaning that we would have had to take action within four years after the making of the Lease in order to void the Lease. They also said that if the facts we allege are true, and the facts are not disputed, then an illegal conflict of interest occurred in the making of the Lease.

Since that decision, the Appeals Court in San Diego has ruled that there is no statute of limitations when public entities are illegally (due to conflicts of interest) turned over to private third parties, upholding more than a century of California Supreme Court decisions involving public entities. The Supreme Court will soon rule on this issue.

The District Board has become a player in healthcare n our community. Due to outcries of the District Board supported by the public when a young woman with head trauma died after being turned away from our emergency room; a trauma system is presently being implemented in Marin County. Marin General Hospital will soon be a trauma center and the Corporation has also promised continuous neurosurgical coverage. There is no longer talk of closing the psychiatry unit at MGH.

Thank you very much for any support you can provide to me.

Diana Parnell, M.D.
Ross

Americans Blame Victims

I am here alone again in my apartment on a weeknight, alone because I find myself better company than the vast majority of Americans. Alone, because my feels of hurt, anger and sadness inherited from being mistreated as a child by my parents and American society's subsequent pathologization of these feelings as an adult ("clinical depression") have made me distrustful and leery of people.

Americans are in the habit of blaming victims, calling them sick, even demonizing them for expressing the pain of their emotional wounds. We're expected to merely be production and consumption units and any emotions like hurt, anger or sadness that get in the way of these functions are considered sick or unseemly: "You need help;" "Maybe you need a psychiatrist;" "Just go exercise a lot."

The worst part of being a victim is being marginalized by a society that does not like its members to admit to any emotional pain. And in society's view, the worst type of victim of emotional pain is a man, because a man is supposed to accept and endure pain and not complain, or else inflict it on others. When's the last time you saw a man cry in public? Some of you would consider that sight as unseemly as a man taking a crap in public.

Victims make good business for people: there's plenty of doctors, therapists, ministers, bodyworkers and other healing professionals who can profit from your pain, especially in a wealthy county like Marin! Or there are laypeople, including your family, friends or colleagues who can feel empowered by giving you their advice or even patronizing or trying to shame you.

The only good that's come from my experience of being a victim of mistreatment as a child and subsequently being pathologized for that fact as an adult, is that I've had to become my #1 personal advocate. I never liked asking for help anyway, and if I could accomplish healing without professionals or medication or a 12-step group, I certainly would!

Mr. Pseudonym
Marin County

Israel: It All Becomes Clear

Sir -- I would like to congratulate the Post for the great article by Karen Nakamura in the latest issue on the background of the flap in Israel. I don't read the NY Times, so I am no expert on the media, but Nakamura's article gives the best explanation for why its happening again over there that I have seen. When you put her article together with the fact that it was Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount that started it off again, it all becomes clear.

Stan Salthe
Deposit, NY

Why No Article On Sobel?

It was with great shock that I recently learned of the death of Dave Sobel. It was also a shock to me to see that your newspaper does not appear to have made any note of the passing of this man. (I have done internet searches and Coastal Post searches for Sobel and have found no mention of him on your site.)

I lived in Bolinas for in 1989, 1992-1993 and worked at the Bakery for part of that time. I know some people loved Dave, some liked him and some hated him. Regardless, he was an important figure in the town.

I know it is not possible for The Coastal Post to acknowledge all those who die in Bolinas and Marin county each month. However, I think that Dave Sobel deserved a little more recognition than every Bolinian. I am well aware of the animosity that existed between you and Dave. However, I do not think it is acceptable editorial policy to overlook the contributions that Dave made to Bolinas and the greater community. His passing marks a significant change in Bolinas, especially as it seems the Gibson House is now being considered for acquisition by the Land Trust for affordable housing.

I don't really have much else to say other than I am saddened by Dave's passing and by your newspaper's apparent neglect of this event.

ty Russell
Aiken, SC
Editor's Note: There was a short article about David Sobel's passing in the CP. It focused on a memorial fund for the children and briefly discussed his contributions to the community. A month earlier the Pt. Reyes Light, the Chronicle and the Independent Journal carried large stories on his death. Fill me in on the animosity. I wasn't aware of it.

Wood Fires A Problem For Breathers

I reside in Forest Knolls and each winter many Valley residents use firewood to heat their homes. This method, however, has a negative affect on the entire Valley because of the smoke from these fires. The thick smoke from these fires settles in the Valley and makes it difficult to breathe when one steps outside. Imagine opening your door in the morning to go to work and getting a blast of acrid smoke from your neighbors smoky fireplace in your face. Think of how difficult it must be for people with respiratory ailments or asthma. I think an informative and consistent series of newspaper articles addressing the negative effects of using firewood as well as the proper way to tend a fire to produce less smoke could benefit the Valley and West Marin.

What do you think? Is there a problem which has been overlooked or doesn't anybody care about the negative effects of burning firewood all the time.

I truly hope you would consider this topic newsworthy and beneficial to our West Marin communities.

is and Mercedes Poggio
Forest Knolls

The Bushman

The bushman cometh. George W. says, California is still his for the taking... and Santa Claus wears nylons. Bushmaster W. wants to bring his concealed gun mandate to California. He is trying to push his school voucher program on unsuspecting parents, children and schools. And he is trying to take away freedom of choice from wives, daughters and granddaughters. No, California will not be bushwacked by George W. Bush.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City, CA

Gore's New Technology Saves SS Into 2100

I'm for Gore and Lieberman because the Vice Presidential Candidate found the answer to lowering taxes and saving Social Security into the year 2100 AD. In an answer to the question concerning drilling for oil in Wyoming Lieberman stated " but the answer here is in new technology that will create millions of new jobs." That's the answer. "Millions" must refer to at least 2-4 million new Social Security FICA payers. I don't care where he will find the workers for the jobs he promises even if he has to invite 1-2 million new immigrants a year to our shores. Long live Lieberman and Gore "they are the way." Does that sound familiar? Who said "I am the way?" Maybe the new messiahs have arrived. With their proposed success it should be possible for tax cuts rather than tax credits. Do I make sense??? Bring on the continued "happy days with Gore and Lieberman."

Norman E. Mann MIP,
San Diego, Ca.

RU486 Not An "Abortion Pill"

RU486 known as the "French Abortion Pill" has a misleading name because this pill does NOT cause an abortion. An abortion is the surgical removal of a fetus that is attached to the uterus. RU486 works by preventing attachment in the first place, much the same way that other forms of birth control, such as the IUD and Norplant do.

By calling it "abortion", the opponents of birth control hope to apply existing state abortion laws to RU486 and thereby further restrict its use. If RU486 is classified as an abortion, then the IUD, Norplant and even birth control pills would also be an abortion. We therefore must not allow opponents of birth control to fuzzy the definition of abortion and expand restrictions through word definition games. We should lose the "abortion pill" terminology and describe RU486 as what it really is, birth control.

Marc Perkel
San Francisco

Petitions To Recall Judges

While confined here on the streets of Marin County gathering signatures for the controversial recall of a handful of Superior Court judges and our District Attorney, many have rebuked us that our present activity is "unwise and untimely." If I took the time to answer all the criticism, I would be left with little time to gather the required 14,000+ signatures. However, since I feel many of you who hesitate to sign our petition are people of genuine good will and your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I would like to answer in what I hope are on patient and reasonable terms.

You deplore the recall presently taking place in Marin, but I am sorry that you do not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the recall into being. I would not hesitate to say that it is unfortunate the recall is taking place in Marin, but I would say that it is even more unfortunate that the legal power structure left the parents with no other alternative.

The Marin County Civil Grand Jury attempted an investigation but was dissolved when county counsel declared the entity had no jurisdiction over state-employed judges. Afterwards, Martin Silverman, vice chair of that jury, disturbed by what it found, together with other concerned citizens, then brought in an independent investigator, Karen Winner, to research the allegations of judicial corruption and collusion. Her report, born out of that investigation, unequivocally demonstrated substance to and foundation underlying the complaints. The District Attorney then began a criminal investigation, not of the judges or attorneys, but of Silverman. Complaints demanding an investigation of the Marin Bench to the Commission on Judicial Performance, the State Attorney General, and the FBI proved unfruitful. There was no forum for redress. So, feeling that our judges and District Attorney work for, and are accountable to the voters, we turned to the lawful, peaceful, and nonviolent remedy of the recall.

You may ask, "Why recall? Why not simply wait until their term expires, then vote them out?" You are exactly right in your call for an election, however, the recall brings about an election now rather than in four or six years. The recall opens the door to a public forum now rather than later.

For years now, the parents have heard the words "next appearance" as Family Court cases drag on for five, six, or seven years. Conflict is fabricated and the army of lawyers, judges, psychiatric evaluators, special masters, arbitrators, and the like, rack up big fees. When you walk into court and you know your case has already been decided before one shred of evidence has been introduced; when you live in constant fear because you never know whether one day you will no longer be a parent due to the stroke of a pen across the bottom of a court order based on fabricated accusations; when you see other children growing up with soccer games, pajama parties, and summer vacations, but you don't have the time or the money because you're too busy jumping through psychiatric evaluation hoops, making unnecessary court appearances, and adhering to "temporary" supervised visitation schedules; when you know that you can never, ever regain the years lost while your child was growing up amidst the money-making turmoil; when your first name becomes "disgruntled," your middle name becomes "lunatic", and your last name "loser." I hope you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. We who participate in the recall are not the originators of trouble. We merely bring to the surface the underlying trouble already occurring. We bring it out into the open where it can be seen and dealt with.

Joseph Neufeld
Marin County Street Corner

One Rule For Islam, Another Rule For Others

Israeli opposition politician Ariel Sharon visited the disputed Jewish-Islamic site Temple Mount or al-Aqsa mosque. This was enough to start massive simultaneous organized rioting by the Palestinians who claimed the visit was a provocation.

Sharon had simply visited the disputed site. He had not burned or torn down or otherwise desecrated it.

Yesterday Israel decided to hand over the town of Nablus to the Palestinians, who agreed to protect the Jewish holy site of Joseph's Tomb located there. But they did not keep their word. The Palestinians stormed Joseph's Tomb, set fires and trashed Hebrew texts.

The middle-east will not see peace till the Moslems drop the Koranic exhortations to kill, subdue and subjugate others and convert them by any means.

Meanwhile, the world should open its eyes and stop condemning Israel. The Palestinians were well-prepared to launch their riots. For them, the Sharon visit was pretext enough.

Look how the Moslems get offended by a simple visit, but don't mind destroying other's religious places! Shalom,

Nissim Ezekiel
New York

"Hope sees the invisible,
Feels the intangible,
And achieves what seems impossible."
Anon.

Indigenous people were connected to the forces of nature, and indeed, conversed with them. In today's world, cut off from the shamanic world view, the scope of our imagination is so limited we believe it is impossible to dialogue with the intelligence of the universe. To glimpse this reality, which is waiting for us, it takes breaking down cultural conditioning.

Many of us have felt disconnected, alienated, isolated. We've not known our place in the world. There is such a longing for community, to reconnect to the natural world and to each other, to contribute and make a difference.

The planet is going through a massive change. It's not something that's going to happen in the future; it's happening right now. I was just talking to my Mum on the phone. She was telling me that in Europe the newspapers are full of stunning pictures of the ozone hole over the South pole. The hole is now three times as big as the United States.

A piece of news like that is enough to send one into a grand funk. Some of my activist friends and I are concerned, how do we talk about what is happening to the planet without sending everyone into such a stupor of numbness that they're paralyzed. Joanna Macy's advice is, "feel it all." Really feel the despair. It's real. And it's a cleansing process. If we allow ourselves to experience the enormity of our losses, the fear, the whole caboodle, we come out the other side, renewed, ready to act on behalf of all we love.

When I was a full-on anti-nuclear activist, I often used to use the frog-in-hot-water story. If you drop a frog into a pot of cold water and bring the water slowly up to boiling, the frog will stay put and die. If you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it'll immediately jump out. I was equating the massive build up of nuclear weapons between the two superpowers with the heating up of the pot of water. We were the frog.

I think something similar has happened with the corporate control of our country, spreading like a cancer over the whole globe.

We're living in a corporate state, a company town, and we think its the natural world. Corporations own our electoral system, the two political parties, the media, our health care system, agriculture, etc. The corporate mentality has clearly demonstrated it's overriding bottom line priority for more profits at the expense of everything, starting with worker's health and compensation and ending in a disregard for the planet's well-being.

A Native American storyteller says that the elders told her how these times are like a great rushing river. The shores are crumbling, there's nothing to hold on to. They advise us to push off into the middle of the rushing river and to keep our heads above the water and see who else is in the water with us. Don't look down. Look ahead. Focus together on the vision of what we want. First, don't worry so much about the "how." Get clear on the "what." And celebrate.

It's up to us to put our support behind people who are trying to provide us with an alternative to the corporate state. We need to create a vast network of environmentalists, peace activists, farmers, teachers, health care professionals, workers, elders, mothers, fathers, kids, everyone who cares about what is happening to our world. Each of us can find our contribution to the whole, just as we do in our community.

The Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of two symbols; danger and opportunity. Here's an opportunity to break through the corporate nightmare. Here's a chance to demonstrate that there is support in this country for a political movement for the environment and the rights of the average citizen. Let's come together and make a stink about Ralph Nader being excluded from the debates. Let's make sure Ralph gets enough votes to qualify the Greens for matching funds in the next election. Let's start making the political process interesting --there's a radical thought! And let's have fun doing it.

Vivienne Verdon-Roe
Bolinas

Do you print poetry?

Allah Akbar, a mother cries,
Grief and anger wet her eyes.
The child she holds to withered breast
hungry, sick and weak -- at last
its suffering ends. The baby dies.

Allah is greater -- a father sighs --
than all the wealth that oil buys,
crushed underfoot this hope holds fast:
Allah Akbar.

Above the shepherds' village flies
the bomber fleet to terrorize
Moslem, Christian -- here the least
of them my brothers, sisters lost.
Each broken body testifies
Allah Akbar.

Carolyn S. Scarr
July 12, 1999

Appreciates Middle East Coverage

Thank you so much for the on-going excellent articles on the Middle East, particularly the sanctions on Iraq. You probably already know about our Coalition to End the Sanctions on Iraq since Edward's most recent article (Oct. 1) ends with the moving description of the religious ceremony at St. Mary's Cathedral and we had a hand in that event, plus literature on tables.

You may be too busy to join us in our events and activities but you can join us on-line at . Check out our Calendar for events occurring in the Bay Area. If you know of any events, please contact us at to have them entered onto the Calendar.

Also, if you want to get on our group e-mail, send info to

I am urging people in the Coalition to subscribe to your wonderful newspaper.

A subscriber,
Dan Stone
[email protected]

Sharon On Mount Poor Excuse For Riots And Aggression

If a visit to the Temple Mount can cause the Arab masses of the Palestinian Authority to go berserk and rampage against Israel then the true nature of the Arafat disciples emerges. These are the days they have put into force the continuous bitter anti Israeli propaganda which has been blasted out from the P.A. in school texts, television, radio and from the mouths of the clerics. I for one can't argue with the Arab dream of driving the intruder from its soil. Since before 1947 this has been the reality of Pan Arabic energy. I can't support it, but that is the unfortunate legacy of the Oslo Agreement. Piece by piece Israel will be nibbled away and it may be better that by the present confrontation Israel recognizes what the Palestinian Authority wants. As in the past it should not succeed but since it rears its ugly head once more I hope Barak as Defense Minister understands the nature of this civil warfare.

Are we witnessing a riot? If we are, then all those rioters who are pouring out into the streets with their prepared heavy stones using the Sharon visit to Temple Mount as an excuse, must bear the consequences of their actions. It would have been better if the Israelis had not used lethal force and just let the rioters blow off some steam. Riots all around the world are generally reduced not by lethal bullets but by water cannon, and tear gas and protection from stones is provided by shields. Stones cause lethal injuries but with protective equipment one can generally survive. The secret would be not to promote any opportunity which hinders your cause in the public eye. Mothers afraid of having children injured should keep their kids at home. When children get hurt they have generally been used as shields and thus run the risk of injury.

Israel needs to rethinks its resistance to being sucked into a lethal confrontation with the P.A. In its lack of wisdom Israel provided guns and ammunition to the Arabs who are propelled by the spirit of Hamas, Hezbollah, supporters of Saddam Hussein, Khadffi and leaders of Iran. In reality the P.A. has long believed that they are guided by a "Fatwah" against Israel. The problem is that the do-gooders in Israel and around the world make excuses and say that the Arabs really don't mean what they say. It is equivalent to the Arab "Mein Kampf." Without Israel the Arabs would be turning against themselves such as we have seen in the Iraq\Iranian War, the invasion of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia by Iraq, The brutal massacres of the fundamentalists of Algeria, the Black September Massacre of Palestinians in Jordan and the destruction of the Syrian community at Hama are all examples of internecine tribal conflicts amongst Arabs.

It may be that Israel should sooner accept some sort of P.A. state at the moment with harsh warning that no offensive capability be developed by this fledgling Arab country. This may be an impossible dream. Israel should resist attempt to be provoked into lethal retaliation unless a Palestinian military uprising occurs and then the only answer would be to utterly destroy the Palestinian capability and remove all combat weapons which can be located. It's is not going to be easy. The P.A. is feeling some power because of these past few days. It would be utterly wrong and foolish for Barak to cave in to promises forwarded by Arafat or any other western leader. Israel will have to face the continuous uprisings even after Peace (??) with Arafat when negotiations are started with Syria. These are the times that are trying the metal of Israelis and their friends who must hold fast.

Dr. Norman E. Mann
San Diego

Bolina School Board Candidate

School Boards represent the most fundamental element of a democratic society. They must act in the best interests of the children. They set the vision for the school, adopt policies and the budget, hire the Superintendent, advocate in behalf of the children, and hold the system accountable.

School Boards have to be accountable for the academic achievement of their students and the fiscal solvency of their district.

All children can learn and succeed. They must have equal access to high quality educational programs that challenge them and make learning "fun." Public school must be accountable to the local community. They must be responsive to the needs, desires, and concerns of local families.

I support the creation of a Summer School Program. I believe early identification and intervention for children at risk of falling below grade level is very important. Effective teachers must be competent and caring. The amount of instructional time must be maximized.

I am for the development of a long range district plan for the use of technology, including hardware and software requirements, emphasizing keyboarding.

I would like to see Spanish re-introduced to our school program, with emphasis on conversation, working parallel with schools in Mill Valley.

I support incentives to attract and retain highly qualified professionals in classroom teaching.

Students and staff should work in a well-maintained facility conducive to learning.

Two years ago, I was appointed unanimously by the school board. At that time I enrolled in a two-year study program obtaining a Masters in School Governance, issued by the California School Board Association.

I am proud of the hard work done by the present board over the past two years and I feel excited for the future and direction of our school under the leadership of Larry Enos, our new Superintendent-Principal.

I think that we live in a very special place, surrounded by parkland, one of the most tolerant and environmentally conscious in the world, with great opportunities in education and work.

We need to acknowledge and be grateful to our teachers. And together, work hard in a positive way to help all the children get the best education possible.

Tomas Krakauer
Candidate for Bolinas-Stinson School Board

There Is A Way...

You may think that you are untouched by this fight for freedom, but even now on the brink of this 2000 election you, the media, are censored on what you can say about the reality of what is truly happening.

Either we can unite now to take the steps to free this once great nation, or we can continue down this path until what little words we have left are silenced as well.

Please support all presidential candidates, not just the "two parties".

Erin Turner
proud Libertarian and Harry Browne supporter.
[email protected]

Senators And Reps Get Unfair Special Privileges

Our Senators and Congressmen don't pay into Social Security and don't collect from it. They have a better retirement deal those greedy pigs voted for themselves. When they retire, they still to draw their FULL pay until they die, increased for cost of living adjustments. For instance, former Senator Bradley and his wife may be expected to draw $7,900,000, with Mrs. Bradley drawing $275,000 during the last year of her life, calculated on average life span for each. AND Senators and Congressman don't pay in anything!

This special deal comes right out of our tax money, while we who pay for it all, get only an average of under $1000 per month from Social Security! Imagine you could set up a retirement plan so super that people would want extra deducted so they could increase their own personal retirement income, a retirement plan that pays so well, that railroad employees, postal workers and others who aren't in it, would want in.

That's how good Social Security could be, if one small change were made. That change is to jerk the Golden Fleece retirement deal out from under greedy Senators and Congressmen, and put them in Social Security with the rest of us: Then watch how fast they fix it! Tell your friends!

Frank Hill, 47 N Knoll, Mill Valley
[email protected]

Yours and Mine

Like boys who are nine
every third word they say is, "mine
is better than yours."
They are both such god-awful bores.

From business as usual
we are rushing toward the fall
while their pointing and smirks
is the theater of jerks,
contesting who is more
a supporter of war.

They are Company men in a Company Town
who's job is to not let The Company down.
So only The Company's view will be heard
they limit the scope to petty absurd.

Excluding the voice of he who would say
what real democracy could bring us today
is more than just rude.

This changing the rules so as to exclude
the one who cannot be bought
is a way they protect the corruption onslaught.

It would certainly be an improvement quite vast
to include Ralph, what a contrast.
Michael Porter,
Bolinas

Wants Change On Healthcare District Board

It is unfortunate that the squabble continues between the publicly elected Marin Healthcare District Board and non-profit Marin General Hospital. The District Board (landlord) continues to harass the Hospital (tenant) that is managed by community volunteers.

The majority on the District Board in the last four years has done nothing positive for health care in Marin. It has hired a San Francisco corporate law firm, which is acting as both general and special counsel to the District. Over a million dollars have been diverted from healthcare and have been paid out to this for-profit law firm. In my opinion these dollars could be better used for patient care or facilities improvement, not harassment over frivolous technical legal issues relating to the lease, which has been in existence nearly 15 years.

Marin General is a good hospital with excellent doctors and nurses. Let's quit the squabbling and concentrate on healthcare and not on legal trivialities.

In 1985 the five publicly elected Directors of the Marin Hospital District (acting as lessor) unanimously, and after numerous public meetings, agreed to lease Marin General Hospital to a private non profit 501c3 corporation which is the lessee. This corporate entity is similar in structure and intent to those of many charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Heart Association and Cancer Society. They must operate with a charitable purpose and in the public interest.

In 1996 Marin General affiliated with Sutter Health. Sutter and all its 26 affiliated hospitals are all non-profit.

The MGH sixteen-acre campus is owned by the public but as a result of the 30-year lease, Marin General Hospital (Corporation) is the tenant. Community representatives sit on its board of directors.

It's time for a change on the Marin Healthcare District Board. The incumbent candidates have had the wrong priorities in dealing with the changes that have occurred in healthcare in recent years.

The incumbent candidates have catered to those who have financial interests in the litigation that has prolonged the lease dispute between the Marin Healthcare District and Marin General Hospital. They have spent public healthcare dollars primarily on attorney's fees (to the tune of $1,382,143.98 as of 6/30/2000) and this is a waste of valuable public assets. The incumbent candidates have caused healthcare dollars to be diverted from patients and hospital improvements into the hands of attorneys. The incumbent candidate attorney friends promote litigation, confrontation and controversy and the legal fees keep rolling in to the lawyers. To pay for some of these exorbitant legal fees the Healthcare Board looted $200,000 from the Reisinger Charitable Trust, a fund given solely to the District to promote healthcare.

The incumbent candidates distort the truth about the Hospital so that the public is misled. Pro-litigation advocates with their own agenda would lead us to believe that Sutter Health is actively participating in local political campaign funding and organizing, but non-profit Sutter Health is prohibited by law from contributing funds or participating in political campaigns. Recently the respected Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals issued Marin General a quality grade of 94; but the incumbent candidates continue to refer to the old score of 75, which was issued in 1995, and they don't refer to the new score. The bashing of the Hospital and the inference that our good doctors and nurses at MGH are delivering poor care has got to stop.

We need reform. The District Board has spent zero dollars on healthcare programs. We need leadership, not litigation. I urge you to vote for new Marin Healthcare Leaders: Martha Meador RN, Hal Hassin MD and Doug Ley JD. They are not beholden to anyone other than you the patient. They have the right priorities for healthcare in Marin.

ne Coxhead
Tiburon

Electricians Forced To Charge More

The Davis-Bacon act requires that a Prevailing wage rate for each type of contractor be paid to employees working on jobs funded by public(yours and mine) monies. Several years back the set rate for my business' classification was contested and proved to be way out of line through polling of contractors in the county. It was corrected to $14.50 per hour. Shortly after our Governor took office the facts were thrown out the window and we have seen two increases raising the rate to $36.27.

Now Assembly Bill 921 and 931 are requiring that as of January of 2001 anyone wanting to become an electrician will have to go through one of three State Approved Indentured Apprenticeship (read Union) Programs, have a high school diploma, and must have completed at least one semester of high school or college algebra. Also, it is required that these apprentices be paid the Prevailing wage rate on all public and PRIVATE work.

This means that in addition to the current laws that have caused tremendous cost increases to the construction of new schools and other public projects you will get to pay a great deal more to have electrical work done in your home or business.

Our Governor and his cronies seem to have little concern for the number of poor and minority individuals who could have gone into a trade to support themselves and their families who will be locked out because of a lack of higher math skills or a diploma or transportation to one of only three schools in the entire state.

We have been training our own employees very effectively for fifty-six years through factory schools and on-the-job training. Now, as of January 1, 2001 it will be illegal for us to do so.

And what non-union employer is going to be able to pay his apprentices more than his journeymen? This is an obvious and very serious attempt to put non-union shops out of business.

How many hard working electricians who are currently employed are going to find themselves out of work by the end of next year because they cannot meet the new requirements thrown at them by an uncaring government? Doesn't this constitute an ex-post-facto law when the new requirements also apply to the electricians already in the field?

And how many people will lose their homes and yes, even their lives, because they cannot afford an electrician?

Several months back I received a questionnaire requesting information to improve electrical contractor licensing. This is the result. Since then I have received new questionnaires from the state regarding other license classifications and other contractors who I know have received questionnaires relating to their trades. Obviously, the requirements are being rewritten to favor Unions in all trades.

I am sure that everyone will be told that these actions are only to improve the trades but it is obvious that that is only a tactic to disguise the forced unionization of our state by our elected officials. If this trend is allowed to continue you can expect to pay rates that are double or triple what you pay now for plumbing work or roofing work or a carpenter or any of the trades. This may not be a problem to those in the Silicon Valley but please take into account the depressed economies of the San Joaquin Valley and the Sacramento Delta and the northern part of our state.

Our Governor, who is supposed to be looking out for the people in our state, is thumbing his nose at the elderly who are living on fixed incomes and just getting by as it is.

Now please don't get me wrong. There are many unions operating in our state now and I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is our state government forcing us to go union or go out of business. It constitutes a restraint of trade and stifles competition in the workplace.

This will have an immediate damping effect on new construction and remodel work and will lead to a high rate of inflation and recession in the state. But by then the union bosses will have already sucked millions of new dollars out of the state economy and our pockets.

Who benefits most from these actions? The unions, who will have more money to pay for politicians. The politicians, who will receive the money because they are willing to vote for more laws that will force more people into the unions. And the unlicensed contractors, because many people will not be able to afford licensed contractors so they will turn to someone they can afford regardless of the contractor's competency.

Keep informed because these are only three examples of the many shameless uses of our money to pay back political debts. Please send me any additional examples of these actions that you are aware of. And if anyone out there knows of any current laws that prohibit these political paybacks please advise me of them.

And most of all, make yourself heard by our lawmakers and at the polls. Vote for individuals who will block our Governor's attempt to unionize the state and tell your representatives that you want AB921 and AB931 repealed. This is your state although it now looks like it has been bought and paid for by the union bosses.

Let our Governor pay his political debts out of his own pocket!

Randall D. Gray
Porterville

The Middle East Problem Is About A Land Grab

The story is simple. Palestinian homes, villages and cities were confiscated and taken over by Israel. To do this the Palestinians had to be removed physically or have their rights as citizens taken away. This process started in 1947 and continues today. This land and home take over goes against the ethics of nearly every philosophy, religion and political ideology on earth as well as most people's everyday morality. We have learned over time that if we do steal from others there will be endless conflict as the dispossessed express a natural inclination to repossess that which is theirs. If your car was stolen and you were forced to walk what would you feel if you saw someone drive by in your car?

Zionism is a political movement that believes the land of Palestine belongs solely to the Jewish People because God gave it to them 4000 years ago. This is the only justification offered for the annexation of Palestine. This is the whole story, the aftermath of which we are witnessing now as the Palestinian people work and fight to reclaim a part of what is theirs.

The world has agreed with the Palestinian People many times including UN Resolutions 242 and 388 which passed on the same level as those resolutions used to attack Iraq. But still the injustice continues. How could this be? Millions of words have been written about the real injustices suffered by the Jewish People over the ages. However these sufferings do not in any way justify or condone the expropriation of Palestine. These accounts of past injustice to the Jewish People do work well to cloud the issue, garner sympathy for Israel and bulldoze aside the moral issue as easily as an American/Israeli bulldozer flattens another Palestinian home.

Often the Mideast conflict is waved off as ancient enmities between races that are impossible to untangle. This is not he case. Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, Christians and others have lived peacefully in Palestine for centuries. As a matter of fact they had lived in a balanced harmony without police or army. It was the sudden invasion by Zionism that sadly upset the peace and has led to the endless conflict.

It seemed a good cause to provide a peaceful homeland and sanctuary for the Jewish People, especially after WWII. However the way Israel was created by annexation through force of arms could not and will not provide that peaceful homeland. Many Palestinians have given in to accept Israel's existence but few will allow the continued illegal, Jewish only, settlement expansion and lack of democratic and human rights in Israel's racist policies. The wars will rage until these mistakes are addressed.

We Americans, as misguided do-gooders, bear primary responsibility for this conflict as we have bankrolled, promoted and protected Israel from the beginning. It is an expensive proposition to take and hold land by military force. Billions of US tax dollars supply and support Israeli policies that are racist in nature. We must step up to the plate, help sort out the mess, insist that Palestinians get a nation, rights, respect, security, water and all that any people would need to live in peace. This is the very best thing we can do for Israel. Israel must leave the illegal settlements that were settled with American financing though, against official American policy and international law. The constant talk that both sides must give something ignores the facts that Palestinians have given all of israel's land and suffered immensely for 50 years.

The Palestinian children that go out daily to get shot in their own villages by American/Israeli bullets are bringing this thing to a head. What a sad situation for nations that claim to be champions of democracy. So far the ethics of the situation have not managed to attract fairness. Maybe now that oil prices are being affected we will care enough to do what is right.

Al Mayberry
Stinson Beach

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