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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

November, 2004

 

Moo Town News
Get With It
By Judy Borello

   By the time many of you will read this column, the election will be over at least superficially and either the Republicans or the Democrats will be elated. The loser will be crying in his/her beer while protesting unfair fouls. Neither Kerry nor Bush will bring home the troops soon because the US is so entrenched. I firmly believe that the root problem should be solved by establishing the State of Palestine.
   This month will be a season of Thanksgiving and all of us will have a lot to be thankful for. One blessing we all have is to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet Earth. Our sense of community is another blessing that we all share. Be it Health and Human Service, Senior Citizens, our local radio station KWMR, and so on.
   All you have to do is state a "need" and friends, workers, and professionals will come to your assistance.
   A great fault of the community that I would like to help change is the toxic bigotry that saturates West Marin.
   Two examples of this are:
   1) At the Old Western Saloon on the debate between President Bush and John Kerry, one patron was yelling "F_ _ _ Bush!" The bartender told him that respect "should be the rule of the day and other opinions besides our own should be respected without vile outbursts of this sort." Not that a lot of people in the saloon were thinking it.
   2) Attending my exercise class at Walnut Place, which I wouldn't miss for the world because of my physical improvement, but mostly because my new friends that I've met there. I overheard a conversation about one of the sweetest ladies that lives there. One lady said, "She may be a sweetheart, but she's a Republican!" In real indignant tones, she turned on her heels and strode away. Not good!
   As trivial as these two examples might be perceived, they cut right to the chase.
   In West Marin most of the citizenry is liberal to far-out liberal. While there is nothing wrong with that, especially when liberal means tolerant, open-minded, non-prejudicial, and open to diversity. We accept in our community different races, different religions, etc. Not only does the community accept this, they honor the differences. Viva la difference! Through all the years I've observed the conservatives have to hide underground and don't have a voice in the "neighborhood"  because of ridicule, scorn, and basically ostracism.
   This is not acceptable in a community that is so "big-minded" and open to diversity as ours is. If I was living in a red state and in a town that was mostly conservative and liberals were discriminated against or put down for their opinions and beliefs, I would feel the same way.
   Another fallacy that permeates West Marin is the notion that ranchers are not environmentalists.
   Wrong! Who took care of this land long before the term "environmentalist was even coined?
   Many environmentalists mouth words but they have no idea about what it takes to actually "care" for the land. If I had my druthers I would take every well-meaning environmentalist and have them stay on a ranch and work alongside the rancher and ranch workers and see if they could cut it! They'd sure know for once and for all who are the real stewards of the land.
   I've heard it through the grapevine that the planners at the Blue Roof Motel (civic center) have not shelved the idea that houses built on ranchland should not be more than 3,000 sq. ft. as Supervisor Steve Kinsey told me it was.
   I guess the bigger the land, the smaller the house. Makes no sense but I guess when you're in the business of the "ranchland grab," any justification will do.
   There is a perception/deception that the politicos would like to have us believe that rich people would buy the ranches and that is a crime.
   Clearly, the powers that be are either naive or just plain grabbing at straws.
   First of all, all over Marin County, especially out here in West Marin, homes have escalated in price so that only the wealthy can afford them.
   It's not quite the same for ranchland. My point is that the county wants to see the land stay in agriculture. What difference does it make who owns it as long as it stays in ag. Is it prejudice against the rich? It certainly is because the rich can run a ranch just as well as a poor rancher and maybe run it better because the rich rancher has the ability and funds to afford all the new technology pertaining to ag.
   Also if the county planners or supes or anybody for that matter wanted to sell their home which they bought for $150,000 some years ago, they wouldn't refuse a buyer for $1,000,000 because he's rich. But that's what they expect ranchers to do by forcing the taking away of land use rights and putting up more restrictions.
   The most desired solution is to keep agriculture in the hands of the families that have been ranching for years, but the county's restrictions and rules that just keep coming are forcing the ranchers off the land and looking for greener pastures in Oregon.
   Sure, and they cut trails through private land without permission from the owners.
   Either the county is ripe for a lawsuit from a rancher, the stewards of the land; the American Land Rights Association, or the Pacific Legal Foundation over a "taking," or the county will back off their desperate use of force to take away the ranchers' land by devaluing it.
PS Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a lot to be grateful for. When I view the world in the big picture, we are so blessed!!!

 

 

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