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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, 2007



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EDITORIAL --Family of Four Looking For A Home.

Want to live in West Marin? Bolinas in particular? That's not an easy undertaking if you don't have a fat bank account, make a hundred grand a year, or are willing to share your home with six or eight other people. Maybe a couple of families and a couple of singles could make it together and afford the rent.
Even the affordable housing formula has changed. Ten years ago you "couldn't make too much" if you wanted government-sponsored affordable housing. Now, because of slashes to Section 8 and other government assistance programs, you have to make "enough" ($1,900 to $3,800 per month), or you won't even qualify for affordable housing.

The non-profits that bring affordable housing to their communities have taken on mortgages, which have to be paid off. If government assistance isn't there, all of the costs fall on the renter.

The problem of the shrinking middle class compounds the issue. Income has gone down for middle class wage earners for the last decade. Good jobs have disappeared because of big business' mania to drive prices down by sending the manufacturing, engineering, marketing and even technical assistance to third world countries where people will work for a tenth of what they make in the US.

Sprinkle in the subprime lending crisis with the number of foreclosed homes sold at auction in California increasing 264% this year (5,316 in March alone), and you could say "Houston we've got a housing problem."

Back to that family of four. There are four well-mannered kids 3-years old to 10-years, a young couple, a disability or two and the strong desire to go to school, work, and make a life in West Marin. They can afford $1,200 to $1,400 a month. Got a space? Give me a call (868-1600).

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This Months Content
Please note that this month's Coastal Post is printing a rebuttal to the first page interview with Kevin Lunny in last month's paper. This new article is not hidden, but in full color on Page 8, even though most on our team are supporters of the oyster operation remaining on Drakes Estero. We have provided equal space and color to opponents of the oyster operation because we believe that community journalism needs to walk the talk of equal access and providing alternate opinion with respect. So there it is.

Further, even though Judy Borello has been a loyal and wonderful columnist in the Coastal Post for decades, we have chosen Wade Holland, the present President of the Marin County Planning Commission, as our guest editorialist. Wade and Judy are on opposite sides of the presently proposed restrictions on building regulations on private ranch lands in West Marin. The goal of the new Coastal Post is to offer space to all sides of contentious issues, again, with respect. It is for you, the reader, to judge and decide what you support. We will continue to do this in the coming months and years.

Most evident, probably, will be the front-page interview with Dave Mitchell, along with the Page 4 opinion piece by Elizabeth Whitney of Point Reyes Station. Although Dave never mentions the Point Reyes Light newspaper and its issues directly, he offers a cogent analysis of community journalism in general. Elizabeth, however, takes the Light's issues on in a full frontal analysis. The Coastal Post would like to stay out of the Light's issues, but those problems have turned into a hot community item that we feel we must open to comment. No hiding on this issue, in other words, even for me.

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Advertising and Subscriptions:
You may all be wondering how the Coastal Post can be doing all this re-designing and re-working of content without a commensurate increase in subscriptions and advertising. After all, the paper is still free to West Marin and other, adjacent areas. We are even offering free issues in mail boxes in Point Reyes Station, Stinson Beach and Bolinas, around 3,000 people.

All that costs money, so this is where I remind all readers that supporting the First Amendment and a new direction for community journalism means we need to support it with more than kind words. In the coming months, we will be soliciting advertising and more subscriptions to pay the cost of all this. This is where you all come in. This is where the team becomes bigger and bigger.


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