The Coastal Post - July 2000

News Briefs By Submission

Term Limits Movement

In 1990, the people of California passed a term limits initiative that amended the State's Constitution. That amendment established six-year limits on service in the State Assembly and eight-year limits in the State Senate.

Term limits have led to dramatic improvements in the diversity of the Legislature, the timeliness of its work and in its public approval ratings. Now, however, those who want careers in politics are threatening to destroy California's term limits law.

Senator Perata's bill, SCA 20, would both extend the limits to 12 years and start the clock over. Thus legislators who have already served the fully-allowed time would be eligible to serve an additional 24 years in the legislature.

Term limits activists are beginning a statewide campaign of grassroots activism and radio and television advertising to urge legislators to reject efforts to overturn the expressed will of the people.

For more information, contact Stacie Rumenap at U.S. Term Limits, 202-379-3000.

HIV Antibody Testing

Free and anonymous oral testing will be available in a mobile testing van, Friday, July 8 at Pt. Reyes Station from 1-2:30 by the Western Saloon, and in Bolinas from 3-6 by the post office. Drop in or call 499-7515 for appointment. Results in one week.

Med Marijuana Group Calls for DA Recall

The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, licensed by the town of Fairfax since 1997, has not had a day of rest since District Attorney Kamena took office. Rather than support the patients who voted for her, she chooses to instigate a reign of terror. According to founder and executive director Rev. Lynnette Shaw, things have gotten much worse in Marin county.

"She told me not to telephone her nor try to meet with her, that all relations were severed between the Marin Alliance and her office. I could not understand the reason behind it, since I represent over 1,000 registered members who have 100% legal clearance to use medical cannabis. Our paperwork has been held up in court for years. What underlying motive inspires the DA to cause great hardship and financial burden among her critically ill former supporters?

"Then she orders the probation department to start violating legal cannabis using probationers for positive marijuana results. She has gone out of her way to enforce the federal ban of marijuana. Her guidelines adopted in September '99 basically tell law enforcement to ignore our law, arrest patients, and kill all plants. Persons living with AIDS, cancer, seizures, chronic pain, and may other types of illness have repeatedly been harassed with unnecessary arrests, confiscations, and fear tactics by law enforcement in an explosion of excessive prosecution. When did he voters tell our DA to suspend the Compassionate Use Act? An incredible amount of hapless patients, sick and suffering people have been run through the Marin courts, sometimes repeatedly, their rights violated again and again. We urge the public to join over 1,000 persecuted patients and sign the petition to recall Kamena."

Marin Recall, a recently formed coalition to assist the campaign to recall the Marin DA and three family law judges, is "extremely pleased to have the support of the well-known Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana," according to spokesperson Ron Mazzaferro. "We hope that everyone signs the DA recall petition for whatever reason they may have."

Fish Alert On Bluegill Sunfish And Large Mouth Bass

On June 19 and 20 three large-mouth bass and seven bluegill sunfish were discovered in a pool in Larsen Creek, a tributary of San Geronimo Creek, by Todd Steiner, director of SPAWN, and volunteers Nathan Pringle Dressler and Oscar Steiner, during "fish rescue" operations to save coho and steelhead fingerlings from the drying-up creeks.

"This is a serious problem that must be evaluated and addressed," said Steiner. These fish are non-native species to these creeks and if populations of these species were to become established, they could threaten the recovery of the federally listed threatened coho salmon and steelhead trout.

Paul Siri, Associate Director of Bodega Marin Lab, UC Davis, said, "I don't know of any past records of bass in the San Geronimo Creek system. It's disturbing information. Bass has the ability to take every juvenile salmonid out of a pool We have enough big problems to deal with in the recovery of salmonid species without having to deal with an introduced predatory fish in this creek which many people feel is the pivotal system to coho salmon recovery in Central California."

SPAWN volunteers will be conducting creek rescues all summer and will also be searching for additional non-native species. Last year volunteers rescued more than 1,400 fish from creeks before they went dry in the San Geronimo Valley. Anyone wishing to participate should contact SPAWN at 488-1090.

State Assistance For Elderly And Disabled

Financial assistance is available for senior citizens and disabled individuals through the State's Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program.

"Last year, the Franchise Tax Board issued $71 million in assistance to 391,000 claimants," said State Controller and Chair of the FTB, Kathleen Connell.

The filing period for the program runs from May 16 through August 31. To qualify, claimants must be at least 62 years old, or be blind or totally disabled as of December 31, 1999, and have had a total household income of $33,993 or less in 1999.

Qualified homeowners can receive $14 to $326.40. Renters can receive $10 to $240. Claim booklets give additional requirements.

The Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program began in 1968 to provide relief to low-income seniors by providing a once-a-year payment based on a portion of their property tax. The program was later extended to low-income renters. Finally, low-income disabled homeowners and renters, regardless of age, became eligible for the program.

Forms are available at website or by calling 1-800-338-0505.

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