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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, 2005

 

Letters To The Editor

Corrupt Legal System
The Supreme Court has a new chief justice and will soon have a new associate justice. Even though both of them will have sworn those phony oaths, neither will dare honor them to the degree they'll tamper with the status quo. It holds that the supposedly-guaranteed Constitutional rights of poor people can be intentionally violated by police, prosecutors, and lower court judges. The dirty business of the new justices will have more to do with trivializing and whitewashing wrongdoing by government personnel than with supporting and defending the Constitution.
In "...a more perfect union..." all judges, upon being sworn, would have to publicly answer at least the following questions: 1) Are persons or agencies who purposely violate the Constitution to be considered friends or enemies? 2) How will you "support and defend the Constitution... against all enemies, foreign and domestic?" HOW? Because, as it stands now, the quality of support and defense of the Constitution, mustered by judges, amounts to a rubber stamp endorsement of its being violated. Only a fraternity of corrupt cowards could be part of perpetuating such a reality and still pretend there is anything "honorable" about it.
Got it citizen? Listen for just one tiny peep from the judiciary addressing the dire need for serious sanctions as a deterrent against intentional violations of the Constitution's guarantees. The deafening silence will loudly punctuate the truth; A legal system which imposes no adverse consequences upon its personnel who cheat, is a corrupted system that will increasingly facilitate abuses of power and injustice.
"The American legal system has been corrupted almost beyond recognition."
-Federal Judge Edith Jones addressing
Federalist Society of Law at Harvard.
James Samuel Kor Jr.
Susanville


Vote No On Measure "E"
Measure E reads as follows: "Shall the Bolinas Community Public Utility District continue to take measures to protect against the use of pesticides, except those allowed in organic farming, within the Bolinas Community Public Utility District boundaries and in the Bolinas Lagoon and its watershed?"
Huh?... What Measures?
As written, Ballot Measure E would indicate that the BCPUD has historically prevented the use of pesticides in its district, and has by some measure, protected the populace and the environment from the ill-effects and use of such chemicals. That there exists some recorded documentation of some past action (s) where the BCPUD has specifically addressed and prevented the use of pesticides in its district, the Bolinas Lagoon and watershed. This simply isn't the case!
The truth is that the BCPUD has done very little to prevent the use of pesticides.
Consider the following:
1. The BCPUD does not have a district pesticide policy.
2. The BCPUD does not have a mosquito control program in place despite the threat of West Nile Virus.
2. The BCPUD Board of Directors has not made an official statement clarifying its position, or opinion, regarding the threat of West Nile Virus.
I contend that the words alone do not constitute proof that the BCPUD has indeed taken measures to prevent the use of pesticides in the past, present or future. I require some physical evidence as to proof!
It is no secret that I do not support the "no-Pesticide Crusade" that has so consumed the attentions of the BCPUD Directors and its appointed BCPUD "West Marin Mosquito Control Committee" (WMMCC) over the paste 10 months. Though I believe that the folks involved are well-intentioned, they do not support my views on the seriousness of West Nile Virus, nor do they apparently see, as I do, the need to take preventative measures to blunt the impact of WNV when it gets here. Therefore, they do not represent me.
I would like to point out that BCPUD Directors Kimball, Amoroso, and Smith along with the appointed members of the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee are not experts in mosquito control, or pesticides for that matter. Nor are they qualified to assess the risks of WNV. For this group to argue in favor of Measure E by down-playing the risks of WNV is not only misleading, but is just plain wrong. Furthermore, to assert that untested "Protocols" are non-toxic solution for mosquito control in West Marin is not only unrealistic, but indicates a lack of understanding in the methods of mosquito control. For example, limiting the use of larvicides to only BS and BT will lead to pesticide resistance and leaving us with few alternatives for stopping mosquito borne disease.
I have never advocated the use of pesticides for mosquito control. I have great concerns regarding the risks associated with the use of pesticides and the negative repercussions they can have on the environment, wildlife and humans. Mechanical methods of mosquito control are far less dangerous, and far more effective. But given the current conditions on the Mesa (i.e., the lack of drainage, the many open septic systems, standing water sources, and the fact that we live next to a bird sanctuary, I cannot rule out the possibility that pesticides might be needed when WNV arrives.
Reducing mosquito-breeding sources along with establishing a mesa-wide drainage system would go a long way toward reducing the impact of WNV upon its arrival, and at the same time reduce the chances that pesticides would be used.
Let's encourage the BCPUD Board of Directors to refocus their attention and energy back to running, improving and maintaining state of the art water distribution and sewage treatment systems along with installing the long awaited drainage system that is so desperately needed on the Mesa.
Its time that the BCPUD Board of Directors and the residents of Bolinas stop fighting one another. Instead, lets join together in a concerted effort to make Bolinas and West Marin a healthier place to live for us, our children, and the animals, both wild and domestic.
Vote No on Measure "E"!
Mattew E. Lewis
Bolinas

Chappaquiddik
While Iraqui citizens turn out in large numbers, braving the threat and reality of guns and bombs to vote their principles, Democrat nay-sayers continue their mantra of "forget completing the job; let's abandon the Iraqis to the enemy, and cut and run for cover."
California Rep. Lynn Woolsey, after a superficial quick trip to Baghdad, is among the latest Democrat expert national strategists to take her cut-and run cue from the master practitioner, Sen. Teddy Kennedy, who earned his first cut-and run merit badge at a steam called Chappaquiddik.
Fielding Graves
San Rafael

Words Are Not Science
Addressed To San Francisco Chronicle,
New China News Agency, Beijing, China
No war is first is politics. The study of how dangerous obligated emergency is, is important. Is life is O.K. if you do not make it worse. Ideas and answers are not which person. Conscientious objection is active in the Bay area. It has difficulties to make sense. People here in Marin even objected to banking because money is used for military defense.
The Coastal Post is full of conscientious objection and inspiration to send to China. The Point Reyes Light is fair and decent. The Hearsay News as I listened to Betty Storz believes the plebeians mental condition has merit but also since it is verbal, reciprocation does not occur like a writer would like and it is a joke on myself if I cannot communicate an article really won't either.
Words are not science. Not kill belongs to any consideration of fulfillment and happiness. You cannot steal that from anyone. Make friends morality is first because it is a lot easier than buying new property or getting rid of property. Non-violence is not like money food bathroom. It is nothing. It is nothing but of persons in habitat. Everything we say and everything we do is only for life because we get sick and die. The poverty of the farm, the hospital, the orphanage has more substantially people do not kill. You do not have to diagnose a person they feel better think are stronger and healthier. Please accept the phrases or slogan for your establishment your right to life, only for life or I will only give you life.
Dakar
Bolinas
PS Don't kill anyone that ever life in the U.S.A. and other countries.

History Repeats
I would like to share a memorable quotation from Lord Woodhouselee, Sir Alex Fraser Tytler, a Scottish jurist and historian of the late 18th century:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
"The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 300 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage."
So where are we now? Every 300 years!!
Marilyn Clore Everhart
San Rafael

Bush's Criminal Indictment
On the eve of criminal indictments against top Bush administrations officials America has now lost 2000 of our military in Iraq. They all died because Bush lied to America fabricating evidence to trick us into an unjust war. We are losing this war and perhaps rightfully so because, like Vietnam, we are on the wrong side of history. If Bush lied and the prosecutor can prove it, he should be put on trial for murder and treason and if convicted shot as a traitor. The way it looks to me is that the Bush administration knowingly lied sending thousands of people to their death. This strikes at the very heart and soul of who we are as a country and what we stands for. Are we going to face reality as a nation and do the right thing or are we going to continue to believe our own lies?
Marc Perkel
San Francisco

Exploiting The Indians Again?
My understanding of the law that allowed American Indians to establish Gambling Casinos in Indian Reservations was to provide our under privileged American brothers a means of livelihood in a fashion that they can manage and operate within the confines of their reservations. It is therefore understandable why they have exclusively enjoyed such a privilege. If this is so, why then are the current Casinos supposedly operated by American Indians being built outside of their reservations and on land that the Indians purchase from non-American Indians? This is definitely a circumvention of the law. And where do they get the money to invest in these multi-million dollar enterprises?
Can the authorities monitoring and regulating this legislation not see here an unabated abuse of the Indian Gaming Law? It is very apparent that the sticky hands of the powerful US gambling industry has been allowed to exploit the special prerogative that we have given our Indian brothers to improve their lot. What is our "no non-sense" governor in California doing about it? Or are those involved in this shameless exploitation among his political contributors?
Antonio R. Serna
Rohnert Park

Critical Of Forest Knolls Park Plan
From the beginning the plan to redevelop the Forest Knolls Park has lacked the necessary participation of the local community. An overwhelming majority of the neighbors adjacent to the Park and many others have felt left out of the design process. While stating their opinions at several meetings, many people that live in the neighborhood continue to have requests and questions that haven't been answered. The Valley Planning Group and staffers of the county are the only people that have had any significant part in the design.
The Truth is we do have the time in Forest Knolls to make the Park a treasure of the Earth and not another Iron Mountain Forge Company playstructure.
A Visionary Park is possible because Forest Knolls is Home to extraordinary artists, and builders of all kinds, musicians and many healthy souls that possess uniqueness and depreciate the current trend of conformity and monolithic culture. We don't want to miss this opportunity to build and plant something great. Why the rush to mediocrity?
Here is a partial list of some still unresolved issues and ideas that need community input and time. This list is not complete and in no way infers there are not other important issues that require further discussion. a) How will the playstructure be built, who will design it, and what materials will be used?
b) How much money is there, where did it come from and what strings are attached to it?
c) Can the wheelchair-ways and parking space be done with earth friendly surfaces and not concrete or pavement which is damaging to the health of the environment and adds to the flood hazard.
d) Why is the Tetherball Court still planned to be built on the fenceline of a couple that has publicly spoken out against it, and already has a public basketball court in their backyard.
e) Why is an arbor to be built in the front entranceway of the historical circular meeting area. Public comments were made to improve the landscape and maintain the openness of the entranceway.
f) Is it necessary to move the sandbox and if so how will we provide immediate shade.
g) Why is there to be a temporary one year port-o-potty to be built on sloped ground with a permanent concrete foundation in close proximity to the basketball court in the sun, when it could be placed on the flat ground in the shade without a permanent foundation.
h) Why is there a plan to kill the biggest tree left in the Park, a Willow with a cavity. An observant eye can see that the East stump can be razed while maintaining the vertical healthy side of the tree. Thus we can save the tree, the shade and block out much of the hideous view of the electrical grid pole that towers over a previously pruned Redwood. The hazard of a falling branch will be pruned away.
i) Can we have a natural surface in the picnic area, replacing the proposed decomposed granite.
j) Can we have a spicket, separate from the drinking water, to wash hands after using the bathroom and to connect a hose to so the neighbors can keep the Park green.
k) With a future plan to replace the concrete tunnel at Morelos, Guadalupe and Aztec and the enhancement of the riparian area of the creek in the Park, it makes sense to plan these two projects together because it is the same piece of land.
In a Survey conducted at the First Annual Forest Knolls Festival in June of 2005, six girls between the ages of 3 and 9 talked about their vision for the park. While a free market, swimming pool and graffiti wall were some of their fantasies they also spoke about simple and practical realities. Sand and grass were highly praised as they had been running around barefoot in the Tambark. "We want to play on something soft, not something that hurts our feet." This is the kind of request that should begin a vision to revitalize the Park.
Let us continue the dialogue toward an agreement we can all feel good about, knowing that anytime you want to improve the Park it is open every day and sometimes just being there can make all the difference.
Ace Thelin
Forest Knolls

Destructive Behaviors
A recent issue of our local newspaper, the Pacific Sun featured cult expert Arthur J. Deikman, MD, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. He wrote on the subject of socially destructive us-Vs-them cult thinking.
He states that: ... "There are four basic (destructive)cult behaviors that can influence our thinking: 1) compliance with a group, 2) dependence on a leader, 3) avoiding dissent, and 4) devaluing the outsider. These forces operate in all aspects of society. The core process is devaluing the outsider" ...
In this light, I invite you to read a response to a letter by Stanford University's President, published in the May/June alumni newsletter:
"I am bewildered that the magazine let an egregious misuse of the word enormity slip through. The word refers to abomination, horribleness, and has nothing to do with size or volume."
Ted Bache
Menlo Park, California

Bewildering, indeed.
Note the complete panic, loss of upright bearing and desperation, for Ted Bache as his perceived "leader" actually "slips" and ventures outside the stricture of exacting StanfuUurd-prescribed word usage.
These are the same people who worship Tiger Woods and consider former Stanford Provost, Condoleezza Rice a hero.
In fact, Condoleezza's amoral career can best be summed up by singer Harry Belafonte's comments regarding her predecessor.
I invite you to google those words up, as they are just a bit too salty for me to reproduce here.
As for StanfuUurd graduate, Tiger Woods? Why the fascination?
He becomes expert at hitting a little white ball around to entertain the lily white colon polyp and Cadillac crowd.
Fine, let him. But how many Americans waste their time following and worshipping his culturally dysfunctional exploits, as "Rome burns"?
Would that discretionary Tiger worshipping time not be better spent putting attention upon activities, even recreational activities - with some greater productive value for our threatened collective future?
It's sickening, folks - just sickening.
The real question, of course must be: is the behavior being derided truly in need of derision?
In Tiger Wood's Fan's case and that of Condoleezza Rice, of course.
Strangely, in the case of the behavior of Stanford University's president - of course not.
"StanfuUurd", indeed. I am embarrassed to be an alumni family member. Poor grampa, he must be spinning in his grave.
Steve Brooks
Mill Valley

Shaking Off The Human Disease
Look at this time of planetary disturbances and natural disasters as a way earth is cleaning herself of excesses and diseases. Bird flu, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, are Mother Nature's way of telling inhabitants to clean up their act-clean up the mess they've created over time.
We've all seen of earth from space and know the planet is very much alive, in motion and vibrant. Mother Earth has ways of cleansing herself of pollution and overuse. Humans have their ways of shaking off colds, diseases and excesses. As above, so below.
Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Bush Going, Going...
The Bush aristocracy is unraveling; top lieutenants DeLay, Frist and Rove are under indictment or investigation. Americans are demanding answers as to how we are going to extricate ourselves from the Iraqi quagmire. The public is becoming tired of Bush-Cheney secrecy and cronyism. The country is beginning to see that the inflexible, arrogant and self-serving Republican administration is detrimental to their future.
Mr. Bush continues to milk and spin 9/11 to justify his inadequacies while the Republican majority wears religion and abortion politics on their sleeves. Enough is enough of this unmitigated power grab by right-wing special interests.
Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Nixon Redux
Secrecy and duplicity continues to haunt the Republican Party. The President's surrogates have been sneaking around in back alleys in an effort to deceive the American public. The newest revelation: Vice President Cheney has been linked to the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name.
Does this look like a Nixon redux where all the president's men were caught with their pants down. Arrogance was the signature of the Nixon administration as well as with the current Bush administration. Nixon claimed no knowledge of what his staff was up to; will Bush do the same?
Three of the men closest to President Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have been implicated as culprits in the CIA name game. Is "Cheneygate" another Watergate?
Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Having Trouble With Being A Good Neighbor
GGNRA
Brian O'Neill, Superintendent
Fort Mason Bldg 201
San Francisco, CA 94123

Dear Mr. O'Neill,
I am writing to inform you of a "significant change" that has been made within the GGNRA, at the instigation of your NPS crew, one of whom recently arrived from Vermont, moved to Muir Beach, and who after a year of "getting acquainted" in the neighborhood, has heard from several of us that the residents were NOT in favor of the use of herbicides and pesticides within, or contiguous to, our water district.
Nevertheless Garlon 4 was sprayed on roots at the boundary of our water district by some "volunteer", who didn't know anything about garlon 4, and handed me a brochure which explained it to me. (garlon purchased at taxpayers' expense)
Your NPS crew member was also well aware that a considerable group of residents at Muir Beach were opposed to the cutting of "landmark eucalyptus trees," urging instead to cut the small trees, whose trunks are six inches or under in diameter and cover the stumps with black landscape cloth to prevent regrowth, and contain these healthy, fast growing NATIVE California trees. Native Californians consider them NATIVE, because they were here when our grandparents arrived. In my own case my father's grandmother in 1870's and my mother's mother in 1920's. Considering the fact that I am 67 years old, anything that has been here as long as my grandmother or great grandmother . . . is NATIVE!). How far back does one have to go before we are considered "native"?
And yes, I know they came from Australia to Hawaii and then to California to be used as windbreaks along the pineapple fields and to mark the boundaries of ranches and roads, and to provide shade and comfort to the Spanish speaking rancheros when California belonged to Mexico.
Many of us were outraged, when a National Park Service crew on Sept. 17, 2005 without notice, cut down a very special LANDMARK eucalyptus trees, that stood behind a row of our mailboxes beside Hwy. One and Pacific Way across from the Pelican Inn Muir Beach, within the boundaries of the GGNRA and contiguous to Muir Beach Community Services Water District and Redwood Creek.
The tree cut down is part of the eucalyptus landscape of California, which is reflected over and over in the art, poetry, and literature of the State of California. Your GGNRA National Park Service employee, a recent arrival to the West Coast, as well as to the community, without any history or understanding of the California landscape, and without any written notice left on our bulletin board, and without notice to the manager of the Muir Beach Community Services Water District chose to cut down the giant eucalyptus which stood behind the row of mailboxes at Hwy. One and Pacific Way at Muir Beach. The GGNRA is not what I consider a desirable neighbor.
Currently under discussion, is the removal of dirt at the Muir Beach parking lot. While AGREEING that the dirt removal at Redwood Creek is necessary, and also admirable as some sort of reparation, one must also realize that it was the NPS who dumped it there in the first place. (At tax payers' expense). As was also the case in the building of the wooden walkway across the marsh a few years ago, and then the removal of the same walkway a few years later (at taxpayers expense). As well as the out of State "Consultant" from Montana, who recommended a parking lot be placed on Santos Meadow after walking across it once! (at taxpayers' expense), and after enormous upset and many meetings finally scrapped the idea. (Thanks to hours of unpaid work and meetings by residents and neighbors.)
Perhaps my point is beginning to be made here, so back to the eucalyptus tree at Highway One and Pacific Way. . .
This tree was here long before the GGNRA under the "Right of Eminent Domain," took over the homes of all the residents on the east side of Hwy. One, as well as the flower ranch owned by one of our residents. This tree was here long before the NPS challenged the Muir Beach Community Service District about our water rights, engaging the citizens in a 15 year battle to regain what was ours by right before the Park existed! (All thanks to the unpaid work of citizens and the Muir Beach Community Service District Board members.)
The tree that they killed on Sept. 17, was a magnificent, healthy tree, and it was torn and cut to pieces in front of horrified residents. . . while the guests at the Pelican Inn were subjected to days and days of chain saws and chippers. There are few residents who applauded this act of arrogance and hubris, and even the young park police who answered a frantic call to come down and stop this outrage, look chagrined and ashamed that their employers were taking down this tree!
Then, to add insult to injury, without notice to the community, the tree cutting crew of Park Workers, (paid for at taxpayers expense) began to chip up some of the huge pieces of the felled landmark tree and leave it strewn 2 feet deep over the ground, near the old barn, assuring that NO native plant will ever again grow anywhere near! While at the same time explaining that this is an invasive plant and must be removed so native plants can grow. (At taxpayers' expense)
The diameter of the tree measured 5 feet 11 inches. It was wider than I am tall and the huge stumps which were not ground up were chain-sawed for days, hacked to huge pieces, and dumped down by our well. . . again without public notice, without addressing this issue in front of the Muir Beach Community Services District, who did request his presence to explain the cutting of the tree. Of course he was unavailable at that time. It appears that the area near our well which supplies water to everyone at Muir Beach has been turned into a dumping ground for the National Park Service, the California State Park Service, GGNRA and who else I don't know!
Our beautiful flower ranch, once owned by my neighbor, has been turned into a unsightly pile of rubbish, stacks of old branches, debris, and huge logs and chunks left lying there by the NPS. (At taxpayers' expense)
But this kind of debris is not only found here along the county roads of Marin County, but all the way up the Pacific Coast to Neah Bay, the Western Corner of the United States. I know because I have seen this with my own eyes. And I want to extend my letter of reprimand to not only you, Mr. O'Neill, but even further to Mr. Jarvis the Regional Director of the Parks, and to Ms. Manella, in Washington DC, and even to the Department of Interior, and Ms. Gale Norton to alert them to this misuse of taxpayers money, this insult to the residents and lovers of the National Parks of California and the Pacific Coast. You have NOT been doing your job. . . you have NOT cared for the trees I love.
I have lived here in California and along the Pacific Coast all my life and traveled Hwy. One for 67 years, going south from Puget Sound in Washington State, to Los Angeles to visit my grandmother, every summer of my childhood in the 40's and 50's; to San Diego with my children, when my husband was a Navy pilot flying out of Ream Field in Imperial Beach, California in 1965, and north to Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula, where my aunt was married to a logger in 40's, and my great grandfather and his sons worked in the mills at the end of the 1890's. The last time I was at Neah Bay, Washington (about a year ago) there were detergent bubbles six feet high, covering the beach like drifts of snow. I couldn't even walk through it . . . THIS on the Northwest Corner of the United States of America!
I remember when the trees were first growth in Washington State. Now they are on the 4th or 5th cutting, being replanted so close together that two out of five trees are no good for lumber, being pulpy and useless, but still lumber companies are allowed to replant them so close together there is no chance for limbs to grow because they are then easier to "Harvest"! This after "clear cutting" had supposedly been outlawed as a destructive practice by logging companies. And you wonder why our forests have become sickly, why they are ridden with disease all over this Nation! Why there are so many fires even set by the rangers who are supposed to protect our forests. The repair of the riparian flood plains has been a failure, debris everywhere. What has happened here at Muir Beach is only one example of what I call the "uglification" of California and the Pacific Coast.
Now they are cutting thousands of acres of juniper trees in Modoc County, under the guise that they "are not native" . . . using the anecdotal stories and the folktales of the area that the trees are drinking up too much water, and so laying open the entire BLM desert region literally thousands of acres to the final decimation of all juniper trees. . . (because they are "not native"), but in reality intending to burn them in the biomass energy plants they are trying to establish in this beautiful high desert BLM land near the Warner Mountains, the biomass emergy plants that will pollute another pristine area, and ruin our public lands.
The United States Park Service, the GGNRA, the BLM., and the Government of the United States is NOT caring for our resources. They are using them to earn money like Disneyland does, so they can pay for themselves. And who pays for entrance to Disneyland? You got it! The same individuals who pay the entry fees to our parks are the same taxpayers who thought they already paid for the parks in the first place! These trees, these resources belong to the people of the United States of America, and some day, what is left, after I am gone, will be inherited by my grandchildren and yours. Neither the GGNRA nor the Federal Government has been a guardian of our forests, our native or non-native trees- any trees! With few exceptions, they simply haven't done their jobs. It appears that they don't give a damn! About the trees or the people who live here. They use our resources as a way for huge corporate entities (including the NPS) with NO accountability to use them for free, use them for fuel, for lumber, for whatever and sell them back to the citizenry as energy! Where are our representatives? Who is accountable for such outrage?
So I am writing to let you know, as a former school teacher, that I give you, Brian O'Neill, as administrator for the GGNRA, an "F" for management of the trees here in Marin County, and an "F" to your supervisors, Jarvis, Regional Park Director, Manella, Director of National Parks, and Norton, Dept. of Interior, who has the final accountability for management of the forests of the United States of America, and I urge each of you here addressed, to resign from your positions, for doing an "unacceptable", below standard job in the guardianship of our national treasures, our bio jewels, our acres and acres of burned and chopped up forests, and more than anything, for unnecessarily cutting down all the trees I loved.
Shame on you for spending the hard earned tax dollars of ordinary people to cut down a LANDMARK tree by our mail boxes, a tree that many many of us loved-and for throwing our forests away into the hands of corporations who have used them and abused them, and then either dumped them- never replanted any trees, poisoned the stumps with herbicides- or sold them to Japan for toilet paper, or left huge trunks for years, to be covered over with scotch broom and German ivy, and hidden by pampas grass!. The Dept. of Interior and the GGNRA should be there to TAKE CARE of our public lands, not to use them for their friends' corporate profits!
The young rangers who love these forests should not be required to "follow your orders" to cut down healthy eucalyptus living native LANDMARK trees! I believe your rangers are just as discouraged and disillusioned by your leadership as I am; the decision-making drawn up and handed down by supervisors and administrators and consultants who do not know or love California, who really don't give a damn, millions of dollars spent unnecessarily, and work orders that are ecologically unsound even to scientists- many heartbreakingly so. As U.C. Berkeley fire scientist Dr. Scott Stephens said, "Removal of moderately sized trees 20 to 30 inches in diameter-in the majority of cases will not significantly reduce potential fire behavior. The target of fuels projects must be the surface and ladder fuels-brush and small trees." It is for this reason I call for your resignation, Mr. O'Neill, and the resignations of all your supervisors: John Jarvis, Fran Manella, and Gale Norton.
After all, your Park Crews were "only following orders," like they did at Abu Gharib prison, like they did in Nazi Germany. In fact the "natives" here have named what is left of our LANDMARK trees ABU GRAVE GROVE! A permanent plaque may soon be placed at the site in memory of this tree-murder.
The only response to this letter that I hope for, is a copy of your Letter of Resignation, and copies of the Letters of resignation from the four others you answer to: Jarvis, Manella, Norton. In this citizen's opinion you have ALL failed at your job.
I am forwarding copies of this letter to our representative Barbara Boxer, our State Senator Diane Feinstein, and our President, G.W. Bush, who after all, has the final accountability for the failures of all programs and personnel.
Sincerely,
Karla Andersdatter, a Citizen
and Resident of the United States of America

Needs To Proofread
Before your paper goes to press, does anyone proofread it? At the risk of sounding rude, I think someone really ought to. I don't mean to be cruel - I honestly look at the paper as a healthy and almost vital community resource. I look forward to reading it every month, especially the letters to the editor portion. But it's disheartening to see all the errors; perhaps the lack of an extra set of eyes on staff (paid or otherwise) is part of the problem. I would be more than willing to lend a hand by proofreading each issue. I received my BA from UC Davis, which included a minor in English Lit.
Are the typos and other errors conscious efforts to piss readers off, or tactics to dissuade government officials from perceiving the paper as a legitimate threat? (Stranger things have happened, as we all know.) If not, give me a holler. Thanks.
Seth Baker

A Noble Cause
According to General Casey testifying on the Iraq war before a Senate hearing, he said it will be over a year before the Iraqi army is adequately trained to defend its country against the insurgents. Something wrong here. After 2 years of war the Iraqi soldiers should be combat ready by now.
After all, the United States National Guard that is defending their country is composed of citizen soldiers with a minimum of training during weekend drills for several months at their local armories, then sent to ride up and down in Humvees to get blown up on the streets in Iraq. It doesn't take a whole lot of training for that mission.
Throughout history wars have been fought by men with a minimum of instruction. They were handed a gun and told to aim and shoot at those selected by our government to hate: farmers and minuteman did so during the American Revolution, city and farm boys during the Civil War and 3 months in boot camp produced the "grunts" that won World War II.
If the Iraqi men love their country they should be eager to defend themselves and their countrymen by now and let the American soldiers come home to defend Mississippi and Louisiana. Let's hand the keys to the Humbles over to them. Let them ride up and down the boulevards. After all, it is for a "noble cause," isn't it?
David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls, CA 94933

Human Habitat
Humans own the entire Earth, right? So what could possibly be wrong with flooding yet more of our scanty remaining wildlife habitat with more humans? What could be wrong is that we are 100% dependent on the existence of other species. They clean our air, clean our water, "fix" nitrogen (make it available to living things), and provide food, medicines, pleasure, and countless other free services. That implies that we must allow them to have a place to live, where they can survive in perpetuity -- habitat that is acceptable to THEM. That is habitat that is off-limits to humans. Most species don't like having us around, and, considering our track record, WITH GOOD REASON! We have plenty of places to experience the pleasures of being in nature, without opening up our protected watersheds to more human access.
Mike Vandeman, Ph.D.
Hayward, CA 94544






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