Coastal Post Online


October, 2002

Letters To The Editor

San Geronimo Breast Cancer Fundraiser

Tina Shea, a much loved teacher at Lagunitas School, was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away in November 2000. Founded in 2002, TAPS (The Tina Action Program) raises funds for The Tina Caring Center to offer breast exams by RN's, Breast Health and Breast Cancer info and resources in English and Spanish. The Tina Caring Center is funded by the Marin Breast Cancer Council and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in collaboration with Coastal Health Alliance, San Geronimo Valley Healthy Community Collaborative, Lagunitas School District and Marin County Dept. of Health and Human Services.

A fundraiser to celebrate and educate will take place in the San Geronimo Valley Cultural Center Courtyard on October 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. "The First Annual Bosom Buddy Boogie" will feature entertainment by Kate Munger who will be singing rounds, The Lagunitas School Chorus, Michelle Abby and the Valley Hooters and other special guests. The MC for the event is Annie Owen. Special features include face painting for kids and a Best Breast Cookie Contest for all those creative bakers out there! Refreshments will be available. This will be a fun filled family event!

The San Geronimo Valley Cultural Center is located at 6360 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Geronimo Valley (5 miles west of Fairfax). For information, call 488-9385.

Marin AIDS Emergency Fund

Community Flea Market

Donations are being sought for a community flea market and silent auction. Marin AIDS Emergency Fund is seeking donations of salable goods, new, old, vintage, antiques, clothing, household goods, etc. All proceeds will benefit people living with HIV/AIDS in Marin County. Sellers are sought for flea market space rentals of $20 each.

All donations are tax deductible. Marin AIDS Emergency Fund, administered by Community Action Marin, a nonprofit agency, will issue receipts for tax deductible donations for those who wish.

The Flea Market will take place October 5, and monthly thereafter in spring and summer months from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Community Action Marin parking lots located at 29 Mary St., San Rafael.

Please bring your donations now to Community Action Marin, Mon-Fri 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. or they will gladly pick up your donations if necessary (unable to accept large heavy furniture/appliances at this time).

Reserve your sellers space now. Call 415-485-1489.

Tomales History Center's

Wine & Food Event

The public is invited to attend the Tomales Regional History Center's Vintage Wines and Gourmet Foods Tasting Event on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Tomales Town Hall on Highway One in the town of Tomales.

Attendees may taste select wines from several regional wineries and sample excellent local cheeses, oysters and other West Marin and Sonoma County cuisine, as well as bid on many valuable items during a silent auction.

Tickets are $25 and advanced tickets are encouraged by calling 415-663-1217 or 707-878-2296. Tickets will also be available at the door. Proceeds will go towards educational programs, changing exhibits, and continued preservation of the historic building that houses the museum and its artifacts. TRHC is an all volunteer, non-profit organization.

College Takes Four Years, Loans May Last Lifetime

After graduation, a college student has many things to look forward to -- a new job, a new place to live and quite often, thousands of dollars in student loan debt. "While students are going to have to take out loans to cover college expenses, many don't realize that the amount they are borrowing might end up being a huge burden when they graduate," said Mike Kidwell, VP and co-founder of Myvesta, a financial health center. "College students often think that their first job out of school is going to give them a great paycheck that will cover all their expenses, but many are shocked to find out how far that paycheck actually goes."

As college tuitions have steadily increased over the past few years, the amount borrowed to receive a college degree has risen as well. According to the US Dept. of Education, the average amount borrowed to attend a four-year public institution was $16,100 in 2000. That number is up 35 percent from $11,950 just four years earlier. The amount borrowed to attend a private school rose 26 percent, from $14,290 in 1996 to $18,000 in 2000.

"There are many options available for people who are having a hard time making their student loan payments," Kidwell said. "The most important thing is to contact the lender as soon as possible and work out an arrangement you can afford. Most student loan holders, especially federal student loan holders, are very accommodating for special needs. Just make sure you act quickly before you default."

Calif. Infants 1 Month Old Surpass Acceptable Lifetime Cancer Risk

Well before infants in California reach their first birthday, they will exceed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) acceptable lifetime exposure to cancer-causing air pollutants, a new study finds. The report, "Toxic Beginnings: Cancer Risks to Children from California's Air Pollution," was released in September by the National Environmental Trust, and is based on data collected by the California Air Resources Board. At a hearing sponsored by the California Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Select Committee on California Children's School Readiness and Health today, the report's findings and recommendations will be made available to law makers.

The report calculated the cancer risk posed by the levels of air pollution measured by the Air Resources Board from 1999 through 2001, focusing n California's five most-populated areas: the South Coast, the San Francisco Bay, Sacramento Valley, San Diego, and San Joaquin Valley. A child born in each of these areas will take less than a month to accumulate the cancer risk from air pollution that the EPA says is acceptable over a lifetime.

"Parents need to be aware that their children are facing serious -- and unnecessary -- risks from air pollution," said Brent Newell, Staff Attorney with the Center n Race, Poverty and the Environment. "EPA has failed -- despite a legal mandate -- to regulate 68% of the diesel particulate problem from off-road mobile sources like farm and construction equipment. Moreover, a state law exempts stationary diesel engines used in agriculture. Our government's policy that requires children to bear the costs of this pollution must end."



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