Coastal Post Online

February 2001

Leters To The Editor

The Village Idiot Has Come Forth
   I guess, regarding this past election, we cannot say we weren't warned.
   In 1555, Nostradamus wrote:
   Come the millennium, month 12
   In the home of great power
   The village idiot will come forth
   To be acclaimed the leader.
Suzanne Nathans

CP Worth More Than $2
   Here are two bucks - I didn't send any last year - and you guys are certainly worth far more than that to me.
   Keep up the good work - "strident" as it may be.
   You have so many admirers in Oregon - my daughter's boyfriend in Portland thinks you're great, too.
   Happy New Year (such as it is) and many good ones to come.
Pat Tunnard

CP Only Good For Dog Shit
   You will never be much of a newspaper. Your paper isn't worth 5 cents a copy when you write that Florida fraud picked Bush for president.
   When you go to vote and punch out the holes, you should check and see that the holes are punched out period.
   Beside most of them that voted in Florida are uneducted.
   Why don't you write that Gore didn't win Tennesse or Arkansas.
   I notice people take your newspaper from the post office to use to pick up their dog shit period
Maybe From Florida
   Typesetter's Note: Although this "reader" didn't sign his letter or let us know where he hails from, the CP typesetter believes he might actually be one of those "uneducted" voters from Florida he thinks so highly of. Period.

The Justice Who Lost His Tongue
   The unfortunate ruling rendered by the US Supreme Court in the historic Florida Ballots Recounting Case which stopped the counting of disputed ballots thus arbitrarily handing victory to George W. Bush in the recently concluded Presidential election, will be remembered as the most shameless abuse of authority that the highest court of the land has ever resorted to in US history. This was the sentiment expressed by the four honorable Supreme Court Justices who registered their dissent to that infamous decision. What made the whole episode even more regrettable was the fact that one of the five Justices who voted in favor of the decision was never involved in the deliberations that was recorded and aired over the radio. Being the only African-American member of that august body, he was expected to at least be heard during the discussions, particularly considering that it was the African-American community in Florida that was systematically disenfranchised in that dispute. Adding insult to injury, this colored Justice found his tongue only after the decision was rendered, trying to defend it, not to the media, not to his learned colleagues in the legal world - but to a bunch of high school students who hardly understood what he was talking about. If this is the kind of representation that African-Americans have in our Supreme Court (which in fact is the reason he is there), it is understandable why our colored brothers in this country feel the way they do.
Antonio R. Serna

Thanks, Jim, for Kinsey Coverage
   To Mr. Jim Scanlon: Thank you for your continued coverage of Steve Kinsey. Your statements are factual, timely , informative, written with verve, fearlessness, and certainly benefit the County citizen. But factual.
   Unfortunately, it appears that the Independent Journal had "given up" and no longer assigned any priority to this extremely important matter. Too bad.
   Some questions. Since Nov. 1999, did Steve Kinsey apply for the required permit to repair (or correct?) his illegal septic systems? What precisely are his reasons for "being granted" these extensions? Are these illegal systems used illegally now?
   County codes on his violations are precise and in full force and effect. Why hasn't the District Attorney issued a statement regarding this matter? This is actually long overdue. Where is Kamena?
   The illegal structures. Are they occupied? utilized? How does this sit with the Tax Assessor? His statement? Are these structures supplied illegally with water, gas, electricity? If so, they should be cut off. Kinsey is "too powerful?" Kamena "too accommodating?"
   Kinsey retained an engineer? What's his proposal? Preliminary or otherwise, has the engineer communicated his proposal to Environmental Health? (EHS reviewed/approved plans/confers with such engineers.) What is EHS's position on this situation? Shouldn't they issue, answer, provide some information on this existing, on-going violation? One must not forget the above officials are getting continuously paid.
   Again, County laws and codes are in full force and effect. When will they turn off the water and gas so that the illegal septic systems stop polluting Forest Knolls and the water tables? One must not forget, septic codes were made to prevent pollution.
   From a reader who knows thousands of readers await your continued coverage on Steve Kinsey. You're successful; please accept our appreciation and wishes for continued success. I'll be waiting for your February issue. Please let us know.
But Obviously From Marin County

No Thanks, Jim, for Kinsey Coverage
   This letter is in response to the latest edition of the "Kinsey Report" written by Jim Scanlon. First off, I would like to thank Jim for bringing to my attention that my fictitious business name license had expired. I assume his investigating at the County of Marin prompted someone to send me a renewal form, which we have completed and sent back. Thanks, I had no idea.
   Secondly, I would like to point out how pathetic it is to make insinuations and write outright lies regarding my relationship with Steve Kinsey as a business partner in Design/Build Alliance, all without even a phone call to my office. A responsible reporter would have called me as a part of his investigation into the history of our business dealings. Not to mention having enough respect to at least have a discussion with the next person who they dragged into their search for yet another scandal.
   Let me help you become clear. Steve Kinsey and I started Design/Build Alliance (DBA) as a partnership in 1986. In 1992, I left the business and relocated to North Idaho. During the period of my absence, Steve Kinsey was the sole proprietor of DBA. I returned in 1997 with the intention of renewing my previous partnership with Steve. After several months, it became quite clear that with the responsibilities associated with the County Supervisors position, Steve had zero time for the business so he left the business. I have seen the sole proprietor of DBA since Jan. 1998. To set the record straight, Steve Kinsey has received no income from DBA since I became sole proprietor, and he received less than $6,500 for the short time we were partners in 1997.
   Mr. Scanlon also criticized my views related to septic systems. I'm sorry we don't see eye to eye, but maybe he just doesn't see what my eyes have. I have friends and community members call monthly wanting my help to repair or remodel their home, with a permit, when their septic systems were functioning as they should, and I've had to break the news that they can't do anything without a new septic system. This in addition to planning and building regulations requiring the legalization of all work performed on their property without a permit back to 1957 can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 and up. Often that's their entire budget, essentially killing the project or forcing yet another project to proceed without a permit.
   I am not for rampant growth or environmental degradation. I am for composting toilets, gray water systems, county assistance programs regarding the design and repair of systems that are not functioning adequately, rules and regulations that are fair to the environment and the homeowner so that neither suffer when septic system do. I just don't see how or why he would be against this.
   If Mr. Scanlon is still not clear on issues surrounding my relationship with Steve Kinsey, or if he'd like to discuss my views regarding existing planning and septic policy, he's welcome to call my office and I would be happy to speak with him.
Steve Holt
Forest Knolls

Something About the Bourgeoisie
   Kudos to reader Herman Berlandt of Bolinas for his fascinating letter "Trying to Get a Fix on America" in the Jan. issue of the Coastal Post. I loved his description of a sizable section of Americans being "emotionally adolescent with permanent teenager enthusiasms, easily distracted with a limited attention span." And as for reader Kevin Hughes of Tomales, here's a letter chock full of stridency for you:
   I am most familiar with the bourgeoisie class having grown up in an upper middle class community and spending years in and around centers of bourgeoisie training: universities; and I've lived in elite Marin for the last nine years.
   What strikes me most about the bourgeoisie is their hyperness; they're always in a hurry to go somewhere, do something, like they're uncomfortable in their own skin. They talk fast with clipped diction. It's like they're going to die in two weeks and they're desperate to get in as much activity as possible before they croak. The notion of slowing down, contemplation, reflection, is totally foreign and abhorrent to them.
   My second observation about the bourgeoisie is how eager they are to please, like they never left the developmental stage of being a child who is constantly trying to please his parents. Whether it is parents or teachers, coaches, employers, peers, mates, they're totally dependent on approval from outside themselves, incapable of any internal capacity for self love and acceptance.
   My third problem with the middle class is how little choice they allow themselves, even in America, so-called land of freedom. They're constantly telling themselves and others how they have to do this, they should do that; and if you don't do it their way, you're wrong. They don't have tolerance for dissension or even different viewpoints or customs. Any behavior in others that they won't allow in themselves, even if it's natural, they label as wrong or morally suspect.
   But the most disturbing characteristic of the bourgeoisie class is how readily they turn aggressive and violent when they feel threatened. They frighten easily and are conditioned to attack verbally, emotionally, psychologically or physically when threatened, instead of having the discipline to take responsibility for their inclination to frighten so easily. They're soft.
Alex Caylee
San Rafael

Appreciates Nakamura's Israeli History
   I appreciate Karen Nakamura's history of Israeli versus Palestinian "property rights," but we should be careful not to credit any idea that right and wrong between the "Jewish State" and its displaced victims hinges on technicalities. Our tax support for an officially "Jewish" settler-state, forcing its way ever-deeper into Palestine and constantly cleansing away the ethnically unsuited locals, belies every standard of justice and peace. End of argument.
   When Israel's supporters try to gentrify its atrocities with motifs of historic or divine privilege, they repeat the usual rationales of state-racism. If we dispute that stuff, we better make sure it's clear that nothing can excuse catastrophic ethnic violence - or make it a workable answer to any problem. The subversion of that hard-won modern awareness, even among our "progressives," is one of the worst effects of the bloody exception we have been trained to make, for our spoiled pet Israel.
   We're supposed to have learned, by now, that human rights can't be canceled by special ethnic fiat. We should be able to see that peace between Israel and Palestine requires the rights of Jews and others to be honored equally, in a multi-ethnic Israel-Palestine, with Jerusalem as the shared capital. such normalcy may seem utopian, against the familiar context of an officially racist settler-state, avowed to "redeem" Palestine for one "chosen" ethnic group - but we are supposed to know that peace cannot arrive until that regressive definition of Israel fades, as eventually it must, into history's gory museum of futile experiments in state-racism.
    Israel's refusal to let Palestinians return home - because they're not Jewish - is overt ethnic violence against them. It is the active opposite of peace. And it is where we stand now. The last Clinton-Israeli "peace offer," which tells the Palestinians to give up their right to go home, is a reversal of every "peace process" since President Carter's Camp David talks, every international agreement, and everything we tell children on Martin Luther King Day.
   This reversal shows the point of Israel's fifty-year filibuster of all the "peace talks" the world has required, and it shows that Clinton has been playing their charade all along. Once his term was effectively over, the game could end - and Ariel Sharon's gesture at the Haram al-Sharif, on the anniversary of his Sabrah and Chatillah massacres, was a terrific way to say so. it shows just how easily Israel can resume its extermination of Palestinians, starting with their leaders, of all ages, in their West Bank and Gaza Strip concentration-ghettos. The liberal shooting of Palestinian children reverses every idea of Western social progress since World War II; in fact, if boasts a new precedent in ethnic criminal impunity and media complicity.
   By deleting the Palestinian right of return, the final Clinton-Israeli "peace offer," presented as an even-handed way to end some of the most flagrant ethnic butchery in history, means that Israel will freely murder Palestinians until they drop their legal claims and human rights "peacefully." The apartheid consolation - a tiny reservation, or a "Palestinian State," to be "redeemed" by Israel, at the first alleged excuse  would be the last cul-de-sac of Palestinian national annihilation. Genocide, shmenocide; where's the Macy's ad?
   At least, that's Israel's direction, compulsive and certainly not sustainable. The Palestinians, the Mideast, the progress of history, cannot be erased. The only question is, how violent will Israel get in its denial of this fact? (And how much of this violence will be directed, with the complacent support of Americans who do not protest, against those of us who do?)
   Israeli extremists would cultivate Jewish fears forever, but they could not "create facts" that override sustainable approaches to Jewish security, if they could not depend on inattentive US taxpayers to finance policies that cannot bear scrutiny - policies that provide easy prominence for those who impose them, while pushing Israel into eternal fear and "self-defense" against the legitimate claims of its victims. Our indulgence encourages Israel's meanest fanatics to run amuck - and lets them shepherd our elected officials like goats.
   A lot of Americans, of all political leanings, feel that this has gone too far. We never meant to finance policies that inevitably "require" soldiers to shoot children. Anyone who wants to help us stop this should call 415-459-0196. And we should call our representatives and tell them that our taxes must not support official discrimination, or state-racism, in Israel or anywhere.
Dave Kersting
San Rafael

Ashcroft Nomination A Joke
   Bush's nomination of John Ashcroft for Attorney General is a full out war against people of color and women of independent thought. His extreme views against civil rights and a women's right to choose are well documented.
   To think that this man would be fair in enforcing the laws of the United States is to believe that Bush won the election.  They stole the election. Don't let them steal the nation. Contact your senator now.
Don Norton
Florence, OR
[email protected]

Government Blessed American OPEC Disaster
   The current energy crises in California is absolutely a criminal example of how "trusts" and "monopolies" work against the public good. Deregulation was ill conceived and poorly put into effect without any real understanding of the final picture when the ribbon was cut. All those California legislators
who rushed into deregulation should be drummed out of office fast. They, with their cost of living increase will not be burdened with high energy costs as will the great mass of California's aged and young married
   There was enough energy before deregulation and there was a comfort knowing that the Public Utilities Commission was overseeing
 energy consumer costs. That energy source is now in the hands of an American OPEC, since we can't blame this debacle on the Gulf Nations. Southern California should negotiate energy from Mexico since if the tables were reversed America would be the first to assist them in any crises. In any event the crises call for governmental intervention NOW
Dr. Norman E. Mann
San Diego, Ca.

Unsolicited Western Meddling Must Stop
   Recently Senator Arlen Specter visited India.  There he claimed that Christians in India are vulnerable, and the government is not doing enough to protect them.
   Violence should not be tolerated in a democracy.  But let us look at the big picture.  Almost 400,000 Hindus have been terrorized out of Indian Kashmir by Pakistan-supported Islamic terrorists, and have become refugees in their own country.  In the north-east of India, Baptist-affiliated terrorists regularly target and kill Hindus.
   As opposed to this, only a handful of Christians have died in anti-Christian attacks.  Many of these incidents were proven to be common-criminal attacks; some were even incidents of Christian-on-Christian violence.  The only organized series of attacks on Christians was the bombings by Deendar Anjuman, a Pakistani ISI-supported group in south India.  Indian and Western media raised a lot of ruckus when those attacks happened and assumed that the "Hindu extremists" were involved.  It wasn't followed up with one-tenth the attention when it turned out it was Pakistan-orchestrated.
   If a few attacks on Christians are construed as being ignored or even encouraged by the government, what would Senator Specter say about the literal cleansing of Hindus from Indian Kashmir?
   In spite of everything, India's record of accommodating and protecting Christians is actually pretty good.  In the US last year, certainly more than 100 "hate crimes" were committed.  But the US government would never tolerate any other country lecturing it about human rights and interfering in its internal affairs.
   Such selective targeting of a nation in favor of a particular religion makes one wonder if the Western commentator is a champion of human rights, or a champion of human rights for Christians!  Why do the Western politicians take it upon themselves to speak only on behalf of Christians elsewhere?  The Indian Christians are not of Western origin - they are Indians.  Why portray them as Western protˇgˇs or dependents?  Such unsolicited and unbalanced Western meddling only brings back bad memories without achieving anything.
   Violence should be condemned, but selective condemnation without understanding the context or background is not productive.
Mohana Kher
Bloomington, IL

Flag Burning Is Patriotic
   There are many people who will be offended by those who are going to burn the flag on inauguration day, the moment that Bush is sworn in as president. And they should be offended, after all, that is the idea of a protest, to offend people and get attention. But flag burning is a duty of patriotic people who love this country to speak out against the installation of a president who was not elected by the people.
   Our country was founded by flag burners who stood up against the injustices of the King of England and who fought and gave their lives to form a government of the people who's sole purpose of existence is to serve the people. And it is ultimately the responsibility of the people to protect and defend those freedoms
both from external enemies and those of us who would take away those freedoms and liberties for the benefit of self interested political gain.
   Our soldiers didn't fight and die to protect the flag. They fought and died to protect the people's right to burn the flag. The burning of the flag is the ultimate symbol of the people asserting their dominance over the government. Let us therefore honor those who would now stand for our freedoms and liberties and who love America enough to burn the flag this 20th day of January.
Marc Perkel
San Francisco

Distributing Sewage In Sonoma
   It's urgent for the Healdsburg Tribune to assign an investigative reporter to uncover the full scope and earthquake risks of Santa Rosa's massive pipeline and its unknown Wastewater Storage and Disposal scheme. It's being piecemealed to avoid public scrutiny.
   Why would tiny Healdsburg which only produces 1.4 million gallons of wastewater per day rescue the monstrous Regional Santa Rosa Sewage Plant with 40 million gallons per day? Healdsburg would be better off disposing of its own wastewater through irrigation of existing vineyards.
   Few seem to realize that the treated sewage wastewater from half the present and future population of Sonoma County is destined for distribution, storage and disposal, near Healdsburg. Here, pipelines will radiate west, east, and north from the city dumping wastewater into the Russian River, or newly dug gravel pits at Healdsburg. Tentative maps show where billions of gallons of wastewater may be stored during the winter in 17 gigantic "anchor" reservoirs, many in steep wild canyons. They may be used for spraying 22,000 acres of oak-studded landslide-prone private watershed lands encircling Healdsburg in one of the most earthquake sensitive areas on the planet. These are lands mostly unsuited for vineyards.
    Unless sanity prevails, one branch of the pipeline from Healdsburg may inject 11 million gallons per day down the Geysers fault, potentially triggering more small and large earthquakes along the Healdsburg fault lines, and triggering massive landslides from broken dams along West side, Sweetwater Springs, Mill Creek, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valley roads, destroying spawning tributaries of Porter Creek, Griffin Creek, Dry Creek, Maacama Creek, and half dozen others in the Russian, Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys, (to say nothing of property damage).
   It appears that Healdsburg has hired two Sonoma County Water Agency engineers to design the storage reservoirs and disposal system for Santa Rosa as a separate project. This bypasses public scrutiny while Santa Rosa tunnels a six-foot diameter, high pressure pipeline under the Russian River into Healdsburg, trenching Kinsey Drive, Westside Road, under the freeway at Dry Creek and along Grove and Healdsburg Avenue.
   It also appears that Santa Rosa is annexing its wide, 41-mile pipeline route all the way into Healdsburg so it can readily lay more pipelines to accommodate expansion of its sewage plant. I believe the City Council and its citizens will be outraged when they learn of the terrible public health burden of safely disposing of billions of gallons of wastewater stored around Healdsburg, year after year. Santa Rosa was recently fined for 350 illegal spills. Also, consider the impacts of torrential wastewater sprayed over vast wild and native plant corridors, drastically changing our Mediterranean climate.
   Write, phone the Healdsburg City Council and demand that they prohibit the pipeline tunneling from the Foppiano Vineyards, under the Russian River into the city at any cost. And let's not call it the Geysers Pipeline, it's Santa Rosa-to-Healdsburg Wastewater Storage and Disposal pipeline. It's certainly
the most costly, nature-destroying, dangerous, and bizarre construction project in county history.
Marty Griffin, MD.

PG&E: Where's The Money?
   The California Public Utilities Commission has approved yet another rate hike bailout for California's public utilities because PG&E and SoCalEdison have been screaming bankruptcy for weeks. The simple fact is that these utilities are not facing bankruptcy and there is no evidence that a rate hike will do anything to solve the California energy crisis.
   While it is true that California's utilities have been forced to pay outrageous rates on California's exploding wholesale electric market, it is also true that these same utilities own and operate vast electric generation assets (both in California and throughout the nation).
   The utilities are actually selling huge amounts of electricity on the wholesale market at exactly the exorbitant rates that they are complaining about having to pay!  Yet they refuse to use the extra profits from the sale of electricity on the CA wholesale market to offset their short-term losses. Simply put, PG&E and Edison want us to only look at one of their accounts while every other account they control is bursting at the seams.
   NO MORE CORPORATE WELFARE! The public should not have to bail out big businesses that are putting the squeeze on us for the benefit of their shareholders.
Michael Lind
Ojai, CA. 93024

Terminal Cancer And Rolling Blackouts
    I have deadly, fast moving, incurable TERMINAL CANCER and am not in remission.
    Due to cancer, I have severe osteoporosis, so I have suffered a number of broken spine bones. Also due to the cancer, I have anemia, so am exhausted all the time. There is no cure for this cancer. In spite of chemotherapy, I am not in remission. I am in extreme pain, in fact I hurt like hell.
    For life and death medical reasons patients like me need to be exempted from rolling blackouts.
   Big Brother has started 'rolling blackouts' for all of California. Yesterday Big Brother turned off the electric utility power to my building which is full of old, disabled people some of whom need dependable electricity for compellingly  critical life or death medical reasons.
   Some of us need electric power to keep essential medical devices running.
   I risk death if I do not sleep with my face in an electrically driven breathing machine, and when I am awake I  am supposed at all times to have oxygen forced  into my nose from another
 electrically driven breathing machine.
   Last night the TV news claimed that hospitals and facilities for the old and handicapped were exempt from the rolling blackouts. That is not true, at least some of us are paying a dear price for mal administration!
   I am confined to a wheelchair. I have to use the elevator. The elevator in this facility for old, handicapped people did not run when the electricity goes off. There is no other  way I can get my self-propelled wheelchair from my floor to any exit, so in case of a fire, people like me will perish.
   I don't know how many days I have left; I would like a decent quality of life, not a shortened life.
Frank Hills
Mill Valley
[email protected]

Dangerous Road Partly To Blame For Death
   Recently I read in the Gannet Corporation's Marin Independent Journal that 60 bicyclists rode from Corte Madera to Woodacre to celebrate the memory of Cecy Krone, a bicyclist from San Anselmo who died after being struck by an automobile driven by a person under the influence of alcohol. This was the second mass bicycle ride to the San Geronimo Valley and it is expected to be repeated in years to come.
   This tragic accident received extensive press coverage before and during the court proceedings in which  the woman who drove the car plead guilty and was sentenced to six years in state prison
   I think of Cecy Krone every time I drive along the San Geronimo-Nicasio road up over the hill, and through the narrow roadway where Cecy died. I do this at least once a week. Twenty years ago I used to run that road with my dog through that narrow pass up to Lake Nicasio and back.
   I stopped taking my dog with me because the 30 yard or so at the rocky summit could not be seen clearly by oncoming drivers, especially if they were  traveling fast as so many West Marin drivers do. Then I stopped running that road entirely. There was no shoulder and  it frightened me to hurry along the edge of the roadway with cars and trucks speeding past just inches away.
   Nothing has changed since I ran that road 20 years ago. Nothing has changed since Cecy's death. Every time this story appears in print it states that she was killed by a drunken driver, which is true in part, but this ignores and exculpates an extremely dangerous, deadly piece of our highway system. There is no bicycle path! There is not even a shoulder! The white line that many bicyclists follow when riding along our rural roads is often covered with small pieces of fallen rock forcing them to ride in the narrowest of  roadways which, is, as I said, is hardly visible to approaching motorists under the best of conditions.
   If anyone thinks I am exaggerating they can test the accuracy of my assertion by parking on the safe pullout next to Cecy's memorial monument and walk through that pass on foot. It is not illegal to do
so, but, as I said, it is extremely dangerous.
   There are not even special warning signs on both approaches to the narrow defile. There are just "business as usual",  small, standard signs at the foot of both sides of the hill. The speed limit is  30 mph and one would think that it might have been reduced after Cecy's death. Both sides of the hill could use a large warning sign like the one on the western down slope of Big Rock Hill on Lucas Valley Road.
   Until vehicle traffic is slowed down and that dangerous  stretch of road is widened, and improved so that bicycle riders can safely move through it, off the roadway, the annual remembrance rides for Cecy
will be little more than empty rituals by well meaning but misdirected people who are unwilling or unable to  recognize  the danger of their recreational activities  and the dangerous conditions of our rural roads.
   If the county of Marin can secretly spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in firing an Environmental Health Chief, it can come with the money to make that pass safer for bicyclists.
   Let bike paths be Cecy's living memorial.
Jim Scanlon
San Rafael

Support Justice For Atomic Veterans
To Office of Management and Budget
Washington DC
    I am writing to urge the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to support regulatory changes proposed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) providing a presumption of service connection for veterans diagnosed with or who have died from bone, lung, brain, colon, or ovarian cancer as a result of their exposure to ionizing radiation during military service.
   Unlike civilian employees and others, many veterans suffering from these radiogenic diseases or their survivors have been unable to obtain appropriate disability compensation because accurate military records of exposure were not kept and radiation dose exposure cannot be reliably determined. As a matter of equity, the presumption of service connection for atomic veterans should not be more restrictive than presumptions for civilians. VA's proposed changes would ensure that veterans are afforded benefits similarly provided to civilians under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990, as amended this year.
   I support VA's action to correct this injustice and strongly urge OMB to move forward with approval of proposed VA regulatory changes providing service connection for atomic veterans who have been diagnosed with or died from bone, lung, colon, ovarian, or brain cancer as a result of ionizing radiation. Thank you for prompt consideration of this matter.
Daniel Cedusky
Champaign, IL

The 22 Million Alto Tunnel Debate
   The Post article about opening an existing but unused tunnel for cyclists titled "The $22 Million Alto Tunnel Debate" should have been titled "A one sided criticism."
   While I respect a well-written debate article that explores the pro and con of important issues, your article was spun just slightly less than the average bike wheel.
   I commuted from San Anselmo to Mill Valley on a bicycle to go to work in my early twenties. I didn't bike commute from a desire to be a bike stud.  I did it because I didn't have a car.  For me a tunnel would have been a dream.  I rode a bike as much as I could, but was eventually worn down by the amount of time going up hills took me, as well and the effort to get home after a long days work. Not to mention my dislike for being in perpetual fear of being squashed along the narrow margin. I drive a car now.
   A work associate of mine lives in San Rafael and told me that opening the tunnel there would help him greatly. My parents live in Woodacre and opening that tunnel could help cyclists in the valley. I understand
those of us like me and my family who don't own fancy touring bikes or hoped up SUV bikes don't make it on your radar screen. So I thought I would tell you what we use our cheap 10 speeds for. We use them to go to work, school and the store.  While I don't pretend to be an expert on transportation issues, I still don't need to be told what to think. More information and less opinion would have been nice.
   In regards to Debbie Hubsmith, I met her years ago at a community gathering in San Geronimo and have bumped into her about every 6 months since then.  She has always struck me as a very friendly, intelligent,
engaging, highly motivated community activist of the highest caliber.
   Before reading your article I would have said that she deserves any money she gets for her causes or her pocket more than a former bicycle commuter like myself or the author of the article, but after I read the
article I came to a surprising conclusion.
   Ms Hubsmith is not a wonderful, dedicated and good natured person, but a vile and treacherous corporate enchantress attempting to make herself rich by corrupting public officials and stealing money from innocent
taxpayers to build a dangerous cavern designed to lure young children into a den of fire-building homeless drug dealers who help fleeing criminals confuse police while thwarting the efforts of paramedics and firemen.  All of this so that she can terrorize cyclists by putting them through an infernal obstacle course of staggering pedestrians, helpless infants, barricading seniors and wild dogs.
   Thank god I read your article in time.  I might have mistakenly supported a new bike path and all the terror it would bring to the community.
   Thank you for your very informative "debate."  I'd say more but it's time for me to go for a recreational drive.
Jon Gardner
Mill Valley, Ca.

Blast To Media About Florida
To The Media:
   I have been disgusted again and again at your lack of investigative reporting regarding the electoral process in Florida. If all valid Florida votes were counted, Vice President Al Gore would win by 23,000 votes, according to the Miami Herald. Inauguration of an unelected President is anathema to the principles of Democracy, for which generations of Americans have fought and died. History will condemn George W. Bush for attempting to steal the Presidency as well as those who failed to take action to preserve American democracy. I lump you in the latter category, those who failed to take action and report not only the disenfranchising of thousands of African-American voters, but also the results of the recounts underway.
   Just so you know, I have canceled my newspaper subscriptions and watch no network news. May the independent, passionate voices of the internet sink your corporate-controlled newsthink. Maybe when you're in the unemployment line with your fellow brethren will you begin to hear the voices and concerns of the American electorate again and realize why you became journalists in the first place.
Jennifer Michalski
Issue Management
Cadmus Professional Communications
Linthicum, MD
E-mail: [email protected]

Coastal Post Home Page