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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

October, 2006

 

Judges Don't Show Up On Court Abuse Issue

It has been said that Marin Court critics undermine confidence in the judiciary process, but the truth is that corrupt practices by the judges and DA is what undermines the publics trust in them.
For many years Marin County judges have refused to address problems parents have faced in the family court, showing their ongoing bias and arrogant disregard for the law and Constitutional Rights. Victims of these judicial abuses are not going to be silenced. Failing to show up to hear what the public and professionals have to say about it, is just another example of the ongoing presumption that they can get away with any behavior they so chose, even if it is illegal.

A panel of experts called together by the Center for Judicial Excellence discussed acute problems in Marin Family Courts on Sept. 26, but no Marin Judges were present to hear the discussion or participate. Fair treatment in Marin is a question. Allegations that judges favor well-healed fathers, place children with alleged abusers, and lock women up for attempting to protect their children have been made.

Panelist Barbara Kauffman, a family-law attorney suggested that anyone entering the family-law court with claims of domestic violence seek assistance from advocacy groups such as Marin Abused Women's Services. She also recommended that litigants seek information about campaign contributions to and financial interests of judges.

Submitted by Valerie D Nixon and Don Deane


Forty Homes Could Be Cut Off In Bolinas
More than forty homes could lose access to the rest of the town in Bolinas if Terrace Ave. were closed due to a road collapse. Two sections of the avenue, at the top and bottom of the route to the Bolinas Mesa, are threatened due to heavy rains last year and the ever-marching encroachment of the Pacific Ocean into the Bolinas bluffs. The Bolinas Community Public Utility District (BPUD) appointed a committee last month to explore Terrace Ave. alternatives as well as steps needed to be taken to preserve the existing road.

In addition to the danger of losing road access to the area for residents and emergency vehicles, there is the possibility that the entire Gridded Mesa could be cut off if trees fell over Mesa Road after Terrace Avenue's collapse. Rudy Ferris has been appointed chairman of the committee.


Marin A Huge Suck On Environmental Resources

Marin drivers run their cars 2 billion miles a year according to the nonprofit Environmental Education Council of Marin. The county's "technological footprint"-total land needed to support people who live here-would require 27 global acres per person to meet demand. The group says four global acres should sustain a person. If everyone on the planet used as many resources as Marin residents, there would have to be 4.8 Earths to meet the demand. The council is a coalition of schools, businesses and non-profits and is supported by the Marin Community Foundation. The groups environmental goals for Marin would decrease electricity use by 20%, increase renewable energy by 40% and double the number of people who walk or bike to work by the year 2015.


County/Sheriff Agree To Pay $1 Million In Grime Death

A wrongful death suit has been settled for $1 million by the county and the family of a man who died in custody of the Sheriff's Department in 2004. The agreement states that neither the county nor the Sheriff's Department are liable for the death.

Cary Gime collapsed and died after a violent struggle with four Sheriff's Deputies in front of a fast food restaurant. Prior to his arrest Grime had made calls to the Sheriff's Department for help in locating his car. During the course of his arrest, for being under the influence, Grime was "hobbled"-which is to say hand and leg cuffed behind his back, face down in the back seat of a patrol car. An autopsy found that there were drugs in Grime's system.

The Sheriff's Department said after the settlement that two medical experts opined that the hobbling had nothing to do with Grime's death. According to officials there will be no change in the policy of the department of hobbling arrestees to prevent damage to patrol cars or injury to deputies. For further information on the original arrest see www.coastalpost.com, search Grime.


Marijuana Crop Just Keeps Growing
Six new marijuana plots were found by Marin drug investigators along the Bolinas Ridge on September 18, bringing the total street value of pot finds this year to over $100 million (if the plants were full-grown and not plagued with mold).

Estimates on the new find were placed at 8,000 to 10,000 plants. Previously 30,000 plants had been found and pulled up in the same area on Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Marin Municipal Water District lands. Tree cutting, water diversion and trash damage areas where the marijuana farms are found. Law enforcement officials believe Mexican drug cartels are behind the plantations. No suspects have been arrested.


Historic Diesel Cleanup Program for 1,700 Buses

Marin County and Bay Area residents can expect the region's normally excellent air quality to become even better in the years ahead, as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the area's transit systems near completion of an unprecedented diesel cleanup program.

Through the Clean Diesel Bus Program, more than 1,700 diesel buses from 13 Bay Area transit districts are being retrofitted with diesel exhaust filters. Combined, these high-tech emission control filters annually capture more than 50 tons of harmful particulate matter and 436 tons of oxides of nitrogen (Ox) that otherwise would have been emitted by buses into Bay Area air.

Diesel particulate matter is a toxic air contaminant that can cause lung disease and cancer. NOx, another component of diesel exhaust, are a precursor to ozone, which can cause respiratory disease, according to the California Air Resources Board.

The Air District, MTC and the region's transit districts provided funding for implementation of the clean diesel bus program. Installation of the devices, which are manufactured by San Leandro-based Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls, began in 2003.

San Francisco Muni is leading the way for the Bay Area by retrofitting 424 of its diesel buses. AC Transit will have 416 diesel exhaust filters when its retrofit program is complete in December 2006. The status of the diesel filter installation program for each transit district is outlined below.

Golden Gate Transit has installed 37 diesel exhaust purifiers, comprising the transit system's entire diesel fleet. As a result, Golden Gate Transit will emit 2,186 pounds. less PM, 19,055 pounds. less NOx, and 3,885 pounds. less of HC each year.




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