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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

May, 2005

Forever Grateful to Jim Scanlon
By Stan Salthe

For all of the sadness and frustration I experienced in the Marin County Probate Court, one good thing came of it. I met Jim Scanlon, whose truth and honesty over-shadowed the lies and deceit, whose kindness outweighed the cruelty and whose beauty helped make up for the ugliness.
Marin County lost some of its beauty with Jim's passing; he left too soon but will live on in my heart. I will be forever grateful to him for the kindness and compassion he showed me and for his dedication, courage and commitment to bringing attention to a flawed system and letting those who have experienced it know they were not alone in their struggles.
Rest in peace, Jim, you will be missed and never forgotten.
Susan Elliot Greenberg
Marin County

Jim Helped In Punta Arenas
I can see Jim's passing has been hard and very sad for many people, many friends.
I am the dermatologist that has been living under the Antarctic ozone hole each spring during the last 18 years, in Punta Arenas, Chile. I met Jim about 10-12 years ago when he came to our city during the austral spring, like dozens of other journalists, trying to see what was happening down here. However Jim, unlike all of the others, kept coming back to Punta Arenas every year, usually on October or November, during a whole month.
My family will miss him very much. Each October he came to have dinner to our house, always arriving with a sweet present for us. His enthusiasm was really contagious.
We spend many hours talking, specially about ultraviolet radiation increase, ozone depletion and the increase of skin cancer observed here and all around the world. It was probably his favorite subject.
On late 1999 we had a sudden and severe increase in the number of sunburns at Punta Arenas, on days with large UV increase due to stratospheric ozone decrease. Our cases of skin cancer where increasing too. I decided that this had to be known worldwide, by the scientific community at least. I wrote this the following two years; two articles. The first one published on February 2002 in the journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The 2nd in the Photodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine Journal (England) on December of 2002.
Without Jim this would not have been done. My English was not good enough for writing articles in these prestigious medical journals. He helped me so much with tremendous generosity, both here at P. Arenas and also by e-mails from San Francisco. Jim was even more exited than I was when the articles were accepted for its publications, and when they finally appeared published. I'm sure most of you, his friends, understand what I'm talking about and are not surprised of what I've told you.
Good-bye Jim
Jaime Abarca
Chile

Jim Scanlon Was Brave, Caring, Remarkable
Jim befriended me a little over a year ago, after I wrote a letter to the editor of the Pacific Sun urging voters to vote against Judge Michael Dufficy. Thereafter, he stopped by my office on a regular basis to enthusiastically share chocolate (not too much!), his belief in the great benefits of his exercise class, and, of course, his invaluable stories.
As a family law attorney here in Marin, I can say that many here (myself included) felt much better knowing Jim was tirelessly observing, investigating and writing about the Marin Courts. He wrote the truth with genuine empathy and concern, and without a trace of fear.
It is a great shock that this vital friend and ally is gone so suddenly and unexpectedly. Please let me know if and when there will be a memorial service.
Barbara Kauffman
[email protected]

Jim Scanlon Saved Lives
I was shocked to hear of Jim's death. I wish I could have saved his life as he'd saved mine some 40 years ago.
I was 12 years old when I first met Jim. I was a kid from a broken home who had started to get in trouble with the police, and I was living in Juvenile Hall. I had no parental supervision and felt like nobody gave a shit about me, so I didn't give much of a shit about them, either. I acted out against any kind of authority, and it got me into the system as a ward of the court. Even I could see that I was headed downhill fast, but I just couldn't change things...
Then along came Jim. A tough talking hardass in the view of us kids. But he was also there to back you up 100% if you deserved it. He let you know right away if you were on the wrong path, and supported you in anyway he could to get on the right path. Sometimes that support meant locking you up in jail. It did take me awhile before I saw the 'support' in that, though! When you got back on track, Jim was there to congratulate and encourage you. This was something completely new in my life. It taught me what love was really about, and I truly felt loved by Jim, even though I was just another of the hundreds of kids Jim worked with....
Yes, Jim saved lives. Even now, some 40 years later, with lots of time to reflect, it's still clear to me that Jim Scanlon saved my life from much unhappiness.
Because of Jim, my first job was as a Juvenile counselor in a group home in San Rafael. I later completed college, became a teacher, and worked for the UN in Southeast Asian refugee camps. It was during this job that I last saw Jim, while he was still working at the civic center. I am now a Professor of Education at a large university in Thailand, where I've been teaching for the last 10 years.
Without Jim, I would have most likely ended up as most of my peers, either dead or in prison. Through Jim's love and encouragement, I'm able to pass on his lessons to others in need. And they will hopefully pass them on to others...
Jim, I'm sorry I couldn't say 'thanks' to your face one more time.
Lawrence Wheeler
Thailand

Our Friend Jim
I am in shock and saddened by the untimely death of our friend Jim.
I was a Gringo in Punta Arenas and got to know him over the years. First in Bedrich Magas's office at UMAG and then at the Municipalidad de Punta Arenas where I worked. Rumor in my office was that he was with the CIA (Francisco) and he was checking up on me. Either as a fellow liberal American or as my boss giving orders. Being one of the few Americans in Punta Arenas, I looked forward to his visits in September or October. My friends too/His friends - He had many!
I am now living in Albany, NY and was hoping we could visit on his next visit back east.
He will be sorely missed all around the world.!
Gringo Mucho Poco Loco bruce
Bruce Willet
Albany, New York

From Punta Arenas On Jim
Here at Punta Arenas,yestersday "El Magallanes" diary published the sad news our dear Jim Scanlon passing, RIP. He was here in P.Arenas, past March working about century weather records of salesianos. Just on Thuesday, the day of his departure, I did receive a letter from Jim and some cables for the GPS that he gave to me at his last visit.
"Los recordos", como decia Jim, están acá,en punta arenas en el museo salesiano, y el trabajo de investigacion pendiente. en su memoria,y agradecidamente con unos amigos, vamos a ir a hablar con zedillo,director del museo,y haremos el esfuerzo por continuar su trabajo, y luego repartir los resultados con sus demás amigos cientificos.
Francisco Abarzua
Geographer

To the Family and Friends of Jim Scanlon,
Jim Scanlon's passing is a huge loss. Please read my editorial about Jim in the 21 May 2004 issue of THE CITIZEN SCIENTIST at http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues/2004-05-21/editorial/.
The 6 May issue of THE CITIZEN SCIENTIST (www.sas.org/tcs) will carry a feature article that Jim wrote about how he became involved in studying the ozone issue.
The 6 May editorial will be a tribute to Jim's science, especially his work in Puntas Arenas, Chile, and his ongoing effort to prepare an article about the weather records there.
Thanks to Don Deane and Richard Sloan for informing Jim's friends about his passing.
Vaya con Dios, Jim.
Forrest M. Mims III
www.forrestmims.org
Geronimo Creek Observatory
Phone: 830-372-0548
Chairman, Environmental Science Section
Texas Academy of Science

Wonders About Foul Play
Jim was unabashed when he wrote about the corruption in Marin County Judicial system. I wondered from time to time if he was going to be run off the road by a hired man. I wonder if the accident caused the heart attack-or fear. I asked Jim why the Office of the California Attorney General never examined Marin's judicial system filth. Jim said, "Hard telling. There is enough of it to keep them busy for years," he said.
What a treasure to be sure!
Maggie Dee,
Producer, KUSF, 90.3 FM
"Disability and Senior News Report"

Jim Was A Wonderful Man
Please advise re: Jim Scanlon and any information about that wonderful, Saintly man. Though I was never fortunate enough to have met him in person, he touched my life. He gave me hope and was able to show me a little light in a great deal of darkness. I was blessed to have been able speak with him so freely over the phone. I deeply grieve for a man, who for a short while became my advocate and comforter in my custody nightmare in Marin County.
Thank you for keeping me posted. (No pun intended.)
Julia Padilla
PS. I was booked into Marin County Jail last night for attending my son's baseball practice at Marin Catholic. There was a 100 yard stay away order signed by Commissioner Grove on a TRO for alleged Domestic Violence. I wasn't sure how far 100 yards was, but I have never been prevented from attending my son's baseball activities in the past. Four sheriff's cars pulled up to arrest me.
I would have loved to have talked to Jim about this latest injustice in the house of justice.

Jim Scanlon-A Scholar And Gentleman
I don't often send group mailings, but I have been truly moved by the emails of all the people whose life and heart Jim Scanlon touched. I first met Jim in 1997 at a conference in San Francisco where I was standing in front of my poster in a cavernous hall of some several thousand people.
My poster described a method of calibration that uses the Sun instead of an expensive lamp to calibrate the ultraviolet (UV) radiometers that the USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program has scattered across North America. He came up and introduced himself, gave me his card which included the Spanish version of his name.
His intelligent eyes seemed to bore into my very soul, and he started asking me questions about the network and UV-B. So began a remarkable relationship. At the time my program was struggling for its life and Jim offered to weigh in: writing articles, to newsgroups, letters to Senator Diane Feinstein who sat on the all important Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee. I told my USDA manager about this reporter from Marin County who was writing favorable press about us, "but might be a loose cannon."
"Hey", he replied, "in your situation you need any loose cannon you can find!" Step by step my program strove to win our current modest yet stable level of Congressional funding. Jim encouraged me at every step.
Jim and I corresponded for the remainder of his life. I feel honored to have received (and saved) about 100 emails full of scientific conjecture, humorous reflections on life and politics, travel logs from Argentina or Chile or Alaska or Norway or New York City.
I co-chaired 4 UV-B SPIE conferences and he attended every one. I told him about a conference in Mar del Plata in Argentina. My wife, sister in law, and I were having breakfast at the Hotel Dora when in walks an unshaven Jim Scanlon, who had been on the train all night coming in from Buenos Ares. Later he could be seen on the beach with his Microtops measuring column ozone.
That afternoon he gave his ticket to the now infamous Tango Banquet away to a pretty French female post-doc. This summer past he came to the SPIE conference held in nearby Denver and along with the NASA TOMS scientists visited my lab at Colorado State University. He observed the intense interaction between my staff and the NASA scientists, asked revealing questions, and later wrote an overly favorable letter of his impressions of the visit to Senator Feinstein. I'll try to scan it into a pdf and send it along next week.
As the result of Jim's suggestion, I am happy to host Andres Hernandez from the "Laboratory for Monitoring Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation" in the University of Magellan in Punta Arenas, Chile, for a two month internship this summer at my lab. Jim had a special affection for the South American people, especially from the southern "cone".
Jim was an example of a gentleman and a scholar, a rare and precious human being. We can only aspire to emulate his life of love.
Dr. James Slusser
Senior Research Scientist
Director, USDA UVB Monitoring and Research Network
Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
Colorado State University
Ft. Collins, CO 80523

Jim's Character And Support Missed
I am uncharacteristically at a loss for words. Although I've never had the pleasure and honor of meeting Jim in person, he has been a source of support and encouragement-often at times when it felt everyone was against us! As a 9/11 Widow struggling to find truth and justice via (and in spite of) a system created to squash that search, Jim's support was always welcome. Far too few people of his character walk this earth, as is evident by the response to this sad news. I will greatly miss his kind words of support and remember him as someone who gave me the courage to continue.
I offer my heartfelt condolences to Jim's family, who will feel the greatest pain of his passing. To all those whose lives Jim touched-we are far richer for it. I am honored to say that Jim crossed my path and left his mark.
Monica Gabrielle
Widow of Richard, Aon Corp., WTC2/103Fl.
Co-Chairperson, Skyscraper Safety Campaign
www.skyscrapersafety.org
Member, Family Steering Committee (Disbanded as of 1/05)
www.911independentcommission.org
"To the living we owe respect, to the dead we owe only the truth."
(Voltaire)
"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral." (Dante)

With Jimmy Gone, The World's A Tougher Place
In 1958, we found ourselves (two working class guys) seated next to each other in Chem class in Columbia U (gratis the Korean War). We made (admiring) jokes about an exotic woman, who we called Frau Chauchat (from Mann's "Magic Mountain" which we were both reading). He did all my chemistry lab work (just as he would later do all my computer setups).
He admired my dad, who called him "Yimmy", and he often, even recently, signed his e-mails to me as 'Yimmy'. (No more answers to my "Help" postings!). Later, when Pop died, he sent my mom a postcard of an empty rocking chair facing the sea (Chris had been a fisherman). She loved it and placed it prominently.
Married, my wife Barbara came to love him too-except for the 'Guinee Stinkers' he smoked back then when I was a graduate student in biology. He drove a truck delivering Coca Cola throughout the city (NYC). You couldn't walk anywhere without someone calling out "hyah Jim!" He set me on to one of my main professional motifs-hierarchy theory-by noting how the people in the city were just like cells in a body. After a while he went off to West Germany as a spy recruiter for the CIA. He used to send letters all written in a different hand as he practiced dissembling (I guess). (Can't do that with e-mail!)
After I got a job teaching at Brooklyn College, he came back, married, and settled for a while in the tough Brooklyn neighborhood of 'Red Hook'. We 'did' LSD once along the beaches in Queens. Jim did not like to 'let go' very much. Collecting frogs for my research, he did all the driving, and, in Mexico, he did everything, including dealing with the police, fixing the car when it broke, making arrangements, etc. He had a tiny spy camera (he always was involved with technology) and delighted taking photos when no one knew it. We had a lot of 'fun' trying to get a can of liquid nitrogen with frog bits onto the plane coming back. The can, designed for bull sperm, looked like a bomb (this was in the Sixties). Jimmy 'fixed' the situation.
After they moved to California, we had visits, as he traveled a fair bit. I recall his letters about the Water Board, who he bugged, and about fishing in Lake Nicasio-he championed the despised carp. Our son went out to stay with them for a vacation once, and was awed by the trees (he is still a' tree person'). I visited them at their creamery home and admired their garden. Mary wouldn't let him shoot the quail that were eating some of their produce. Jimmy was never sentimental-totally unaffected by the Walt Disney syndrome. He recently told me that he chuckles inwardly every time he sees a squirrel, thinking of my attitude toward eliminating them from my precincts.
He did some art works over the years. Early on he gave me a number of primitive paper origamis from De Nobili cigar packages (I seem to have only one left). I have a small primitive carving of good quality. He made a Joseph Cornell type box during a drought, with some mud wasp nests on sand with a dried salamander corpse. He liked to take the 'tough' view of the world. And, of course, good photographs.
When I retired from teaching, and we moved to a small village in upstate New York, he would visit at least once a year, and fix my computer, as well as constantly bug me to upgrade and get into fancier stuff. When it snowed, he shoveled our driveway-that sort of thing. Just three years ago, with his pure white hair sticking out, he lugged a heavy piece of furniture from the top floor to the basement (he had once, while a student at Columbia, worked for an East Village moving company). And, of course, he never stopped talking. He found our little town quaint, I think, and walked around trying to interact one way or another.
For Jimmy everyone was a "nice guy". I once told him I hoped he didn't tell others that I was a nice guy. Unlike me, I never heard him swear. With Jimmy gone the world is a tougher place.
Stan Salthe
New York







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