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(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

August, 2004

Happy Trails to You and
the Horse You Rode In On

Well, the synonym for Marin County Planning is arrogance! They have proposed to run trails through privately owned ranchland without permission and, worse yet, without even letting the rancher/owners know what they are up to. This act of injustice, should it come to fruition, would be considered a "taking."

A taking is when the county, state or federal government takes any of your land, use rights, or water rights away from the owner without compensation.

Aside from the taking of land that doesn't belong to the county, who is going to be responsible for the liability? In this country of lawsuit-happy people, it's not too far out to fear a horse rider falling off a horse because it is startled by a bull. The horse, snorting and bellow, stumbles, the rider falls and then owns the ranch. Could happen in America!

What about the fact that there are 80,000 acres of parkland out here with trails without invading private land.

A rancher doesn't have enough to do in his daily chores and tending his or her animals, but now the rancher has to clean the horse manure that doesn't even belong to him, pick up plastic water bottles, and deal with hikers, their children and dogs. Should a child get loose from his parent's grip and a ram butts him -- lawsuit! Should a dog chase cattle or ship and bite one or kill one -- lawsuit!

Believe me, this is a bad idea. Ranchers and John Q. Public and the horsey set do not equate in this scenario, let alone kids and dogs.

How many of you readers that own homes would like to see a trail cut in your backyard without your permission? You wake up one morning and there are horseback riders, hikers, kids and dogs crossing your property and the thanks that you get is cleaning up the mess! And the horsey set don't carry pooper scoopers!

* * *

"The Blunder That Thunders": As you all know, I was against the EAH Low Cost Housing being put smack dab in the middle of the Point Reyes Business village, thanks to Michael Mery I might add. Some consider him a "champion" and some consider him a "town wrecker." He spent many years growing up as an Invernessian and then moved to Pt. Reyes and now he's running for Director of The Inverness Association. Doesn't The Inverness Association have a rule that you should reside in Inverness? If not, I bet a few Pt. Reyesins would like to vie for the position.

First of all, I never felt comfortable with the fact that all towns outside of Pt. Reyes Station got the right to vote on this issue (the 34-some unit lowcost housing development) instead of just allowing Pt. Reyes Station residents to vote on it solely since the impact would be on Pt. Reyes Station's citizenry.

If I shop in San Rafael, it doesn't make it right for me to vote there! How would Bo-Bo Landers feel if Pt. Reyes, Inverness and Olema residents voted on their town's endeavors? I can tell you emphatically they wouldn't and I wouldn't blame them.

I remember writing some time ago when I was trying to show the downside of the problems to come with the development. One of the points I was trying to make is that which would come up when the Pt. Reyesians started to compete against each other for the meager amount of housing that will be available. I never expected to hear the housing was going to be available to residents from Belvedere-Sausalito to Healdsburg-Cloverdale in Sonoma County! Now that really stinks!

If Pt. Reyes Station would have solely got to vote on this project and the project passed, I wouldn't have such a bad taste in my mouth. But to see it given away to people outside our own area really burns my rosey-red rotunda! You can't blame the out-of-towners -- who wouldn't want to come to beautiful Pt. Reyes Station and reside in homes cheaper than the norm? Those lucky devils?

PS Congratulations to Lindy Davis, 13, of Point Reyes Station, daughter of Ben and Laurie Davis. She beat out 26 riders in this year's 4-H Junior Horse Show. Lindy and her friend Alessa Lopez both took first place in English Equitation and Lindy was awarded English High Point Champion. I remember this old adage: "The gamblers were amazed when the cowboys beat the city slickers." In this case, it's a cowgirl from Point Reyes Station.



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