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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

July, 2007



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Letters To THe Editor

Iraqi Unions Fight For Democracy
Oil! Oil! Face it - that's the real reason for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Junior Bush and his co-conspirators hate democratic processes - especially unions, which demand decent wages and working conditions and NO PRIVATIZATION of the oil industry.
The Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions is staging one-day strikes and threatening a potential shut-down of Iraq's oil-based economy. And how does the Bush cabal respond? With military force and secret deals with Iraq's puppet "government."

The unions are fighting to keep Iraq's oil out of the greedy hands of foreign corporations. So why isn't the corporate-controlled media reporting this important story?

Eileen Siedman
Mill Valley

Under Fifty
Reading Elizabeth Whitney's finessed editirades has led me to imagine her pounding on her Underwood while wearing a tied died t-shirt that says, "Never trust anyone under 50."

I think it is very sad to read such self-righteousness. The people who come to West Marin come because they love it. But by coming, they change it. I would hazard to guess that the generation that started to arrive in the early '70 were not, how shall I say it...universally appreciated, by the long time residents of that time either.

Tom Nemeth
Dreaded Newbie/Weekender
Lover of West Marin

Comment on Moo Town News
Ms. Borello sounds very upset. She writes in her June Moo Town News article that the county is trying to press another bag of tricks on AG, including a scam with unconstitutional takings, burdens caused by unbalanced thinking, that Steve Kinsey is probably starting to count votes of the environmentalists and socialists, that some environmentalists are being duped and used and that ranchers are the true environmentalists and steward of the land.

As it is Ag is one of the least regulated businesses and property entities in the county. They are vocal, well organized, and influential. Marin County Community Development Agency has a policy of giving AG extra latitude when implementing policies of the 1994 County Wide Plan that is supposed to regulate AG. This means that AG is regulated considerably less than the rest of us. And the soon to be approved update of the 1994 Countywide Plan (August 2005 version) that Judy complains about is even less restrictive than 1994 Plan.

Here is one of AG_s ongoing unsustainable environmental problems. AG has successfully avoided fencing livestock out of stream areas. Regulated stream protected area fencing that would prevent ongoing erosion damage to stream banks and loss of plants and grasses that hold the soil has not been included in the plan. The soil from broken down eroded stream banks goes downstream to sediment the stream below and will ultimately be deposited in one of Marin_s coastal estuaries. Bolinas Lagoon, Drakes Estero and half of Tomales Bay have become un-navigable mostly from Ag caused eroded sediments. In the past AG shared the cause of erosion with logging but logging has been gone for a many years. Most of this ongoing livestock caused erosion and stream corridor damage in west Marin would be prevented by fencing livestock out of stream areas.

My hat is off to the ranchers that are true environmentalists and stewards of the land that have taken advantage of the shared cost stream fencing assistance program sponsored by the NRCD.

John O_Connor
Dogtown

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 Bolinas 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 phrascs or slogan for your establishment your right to life or I will only give you life.

Dakar
Bolinas
PS Don't kill anyone that ever live in the USA and other countries.

PSS Point Reyes Station has medical substantiality with no medical knowledge. It is visible of sick feet, alcoholism, and cigarettes, filthy as is. Kind of more stuff less stuff, more money, less money whatever that is, as is only for life.

Some people are thoroughly kind to the human body; the body is good to the body. Journalism can accept medical substantiality without knowledge of medicine only for life never for death.


Looking For A Pen Pal
I would be extremely grateful to you if you could consider me by allocating me a column in your magazine so as to enable me to get friends/partner from your most beautiful country by publishing my name and particulars in your journal.

For the past two years I have tried in vain to receive letters from people in your country buy all my efforts proved futile. Here are my particulars: Name-Janet Linda Lee, age 28; Address Box987, Cape Coast, Castle Rd. Ghana, W/A; female, marital status single; Hobbies - cooking, movies, music and marriage interest.

Janet Linda Lee
Ghana, West Africa

Stem Cell Veto & Morality
"I will not allow America to cross the moral line." (George Bush in his recent stem cell veto).

Bush, again sets his standards for morality by continuing his theocratic war against embryonic stem cell research. With his moral authority he can disrepute and override the conclusions of the dedicated international scientific community. The fact that his action deprives hope from millions with incurable diseases, and that the embryos would have been destroyed which might have been obtained from the cells of Embryos that would otherwise be otherwise destroyed, is not relevant.

His pious stance has sanctioned him to execute unprecedented and bold actions to preserve the direction of our republic. They include: misinformation and secrecy, manipulation of science to impede dangerous environmental reforms, character assassinations such as that used unseat Senator Max Cleland (a triple Vietnam amputee) for promoting a dangerous inquiry into the causes of 9/11 --and the list goes on.

Credit for these enlightened policies belong to those who voted for and supported him; our legislators for their non-interference; and the five Supreme Court justices who saw the need to override the constitution and plant him in office to save us from the dangers of an intelligent candidate such as Gore.

Robert Settgast
San Rafael

Don't Get Your Shorts is Twist!
San Anselmo, California: population five council members and an attorney. I must also live in San Anselmo because I am often asked to move.

Every two weeks I read the Agenda and Staff Reports for the upcoming Town Council meeting. A casual read that always ends up with me pawing (I'm a watchdog) through my files for background materials to support citizen debate with council.

There is no debate at San Anselmo Town Council since Paul Chignell left the council. He has faults, but he welcomed a thoughtful debate as long as he won. I have to live with that.

What is harder to live with is that there is a myth that the only cure of an official bad act decision is litigation. What will end this moneymaker? This question is asked across America as all level of elected officials scurry treacherously over citizens, due process, and civil liberties. What occurs in San Anselmo is not an anomaly.

Recently, San Anselmo Mayor Wayne Cooper, Esq. accomplished the following:

Restricted access for the citizen to discuss Consent Agenda items with Council before their approval.

Declared Town Hall Plaza is Not a Public Forum (site of the Patriot Act protest).

Permitted "urgency" items added after published Agenda giving Council unlimited power and no restraint.

Sent police escort to remove speaker during Open Time for Public Comment (request to add item to Agenda).

Public Hearings have become a dumping ground of half-baked ideas and unfunded government lunacies. San Anselmo Chief of Police Charles Maynard wrote a Staff Report at the request of council member Judy House, Silent Second Mortgages. The Town should provide its public employees an Employer Assisted Housing Program. Ms. House recommended increasing Planning Fees to fund the program.

San Anselmo Chief of Police Charles Maynard wrote the insipid responses to the Grand Jury Reports. Mayor Cooper was incensed with the Report, Retiree Health Care Benefits, I Think I'm Gonna Be Sick. He vehemently attacked its content and hysterically censured the Report hit a sore spot (unfunded liability and vested benefits).

Mayor Cooper even sounded magnanimous during his rant and rave when he said if the questions had been more specific the Town could have answered them. What stopped the Town from accepting the limitations of the Report and disclosing the specific information?

What stopped the Town is that they do not want the unfunded Pension and unfunded Vested Health Benefits to hit the public airways before they can pass a tax, fee, or assessment to rescue their insolvency.

At the meeting Town Manager Debra Stutsman wore pink (salary $127,824, excluding benefits).

Louise Mathews
Currently San Anselmo

M. Ellis Not Me
As a courtesy to me could you make it clear that the letter signed M. Ellis, Sonoma was not from me. Thanks so much I have been having people call me about it.

Naturally Yours:
Michael Ellis
Footloose Forays
Santa Rosa

Anti-Abortion Forces Want To Control Women

Having documented and been the brunt of fundamentalist right and anti-abortion attacks and activities for 15 years, this statement makes a whole lot of sense: "The preservation of life seems to be rather a slogan than a genuine goal of anti-abortion forces; what they want is control. Control over behavior: power over women. Women in the anti-choice movement want a share in male power over women, and do so by denying their own womanhood, their own rights and responsibilities." - Ursula K. LeGuin

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Object to Presidential Pardon for Corporate Crooks

As leaders, CEOs must be held accountable for their actions, even when they lack the backbone to stand up and be responsible for the results of their decisions. God knows that they are paid enough to expect full accountability.

President Bush betrayed investors this week and damaged American markets by pressuring Solicitor General Paul Clement to steer clear of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case that could provide shareholders with the necessary tools to hold crooked CEOs accountable - as is still needed for defrauded Enron investors five years on.

The case, Stoneridge Investment v. Scientific-Atlanta, asks whether investors can recover investment losses from investment banks, attorneys, accountants and other parties involved in fraudulent corporate collusion. The Supreme Court is expected to consider the case during its next term. The outcome could determine whether victims of the Enron scandal can proceed with a $40 billion lawsuit against investment banks that enabled Enron's massive fraud.

Even though the recently pro-corporate Securities and Exchange Commission urged the administration to file a brief in support of investors, the administration thumbed its nose at investors.

With Bush's approval rating hovering around 30 percent on a good day, his only remaining support comes from the CEOs of giant corporations. He's just playing to the last of his base, while showing small investors across America how little regard he has for our well-being.

Martin Gross
Los Gatos

Please Help Smokey
Smokey is a very special cat. The first time my old friend Gerry realized the plight of feral cats, and that something needed to be done about it, he found a litter of feral kittens, almost at the age to start roaming on their own. Their mother was already off to start a new batch. Gerry caught all the kittens, but Mom eluded his every attempt to catch her in order to put a stop to her perpetual pregnancies. Gerry tried his best to find a home for Smokey and his siblings, but had no luck, so he continues to care for them. Smokey managed to convince Gerry he was his dog. He followed Gerry around like one, so what difference did it make?

The point is, Smokey is very special for many reasons, most significantly he was the first of a whole multitude of feral cats that Gerry had captured, then taken to the vets to spay or neuter. Gerry formed a strong bon d with Smokey in spite of the fact that, caught at the point of adolescence, he and his siblings are still shy around other humans and keep their distance as if feral. Smokey, however, stays very close to Gerry much of the time.

Unfortunately, he wasn't close enough on May 16th. Smokey likes to keep his paw in, so to speak, with his exploring skills. Evidently, on this night, his exploration path took him across the highway, judging from the nature of the injuries he finally dragged back with him, a whole ten agonizing (for Gerry as well as Smokey) days later.

On May 17th, Gerry told me he was worried because Smokey hadn't come home the night before, very uncharacteristic. For 10 days Gerry tormented himself with imagined horrors, after which he found them all come true. Somehow, after lying somewhere in awful pain and confusion from a badly crushed lower leg, an irreparably mangled tail, and a festering burn from an exhaust pipe for 10 whole days, Smokey managed to get up and drag himself back to Gerry. The personnel at the Pet Emergency Center said he was run over by a motor vehicle, and from the nature of the injuries, most likely a motorcycle. The crushed leg, with extensive surgical procedure, could be fixed, but the tail was mangled so badly at the base that it had to be amputated.

The necessary surgery resulted in enormous cost, which Gerry never hesitated to cover. It doesn't seem right to me that he should be penalized for his love and devotion to the animal community, and the responsibility he has assumed on their behalf.

Gerry Bisson has been working in cooperation with Planned Feralhood, based in Point Reyes, CA ever since he first caught Smokey and his siblings, and has represented Stinson Beach in their efforts, personally having alleviated much of the local feral cat problem, by finally catching the most prolific of the breeding adults and their many litters, to be neutered, and finding homes for the youngest.

A bill of $4,000 has accrued for the above-mentioned medical care, repairing the leg, amputating the tail, and burn treatment. If you would like to donate money to help pay for Smokey's care, please send a tax deductible check written to Planned Feralhood's fiscal sponsor:

ASCS (Animal Sanctuary & Care Society),

c/o Planned Feralhood,
PO Box 852, Inverness, CA 94937
Gerald Brewster
Mill Valley, CA

Giacomini Wetland Disagreement
I_m sorry to disagree with my friend, Richard Plant, regarding the Appropriateness of naming the soon to be restored wetlands, at the southern end of Tomales Bay, after Waldo Giacomini. (Coastal Post, June 1)

Sis Arndt, Ann West and the Sierra Club fought Waldo G. and Marin Co. for decades in an effort to get more water released for the salmon, steelhead and other wildlife in Lagunitas Creek. It seems terribly ironic to name the restored wetlands for someone who obstructed through levees, dam, and tide gates the natural ecological processes of the creek since he started ranching at this site.

After these seven years of allowing additional ranching since the purchase of the ranch in 2000 by the N.P.S., private money has been raised for the restoration; finally, a Wetlands Restoration Plan is being decided.

Although the Giacomini families are prominent members of our community, and acknowledged as successful ranchers, Waldo G. was not or never had been associated with efforts to return the area to its natural condition.

Better to honor Ann West and Sis Arndt, but barring that, _Tomales Bay Wetlands_ is a more suitable name.

Margaret Ridge
Inverness

Immigration Hits The Poor
Did you know that Cesar Chavez fought against illegal immigration because of what he knew illegal immigration did to our wage base and quality of life?

The truth is that the billionaire class in Mexico uses illegal immigration as a pressure-escape valve to keep the social/political control that they have over Mexico.

Those that posses the fortitude and determination to fight their way into our country are those most feared by the Mexican billionaire class. Were these illegal immigrants to stay home, they would be the most revolutionary Mexican citizens.

The very best way to fight the wage devastation that illegal immigration delivers to America's poor is to back sanctions against US employers of illegal immigrants and NOT attack or jail the illegal immigrants, themselves.

With enforced sanctions against US employers, illegal immigrants will return to Mexico and other countries of their own accord, without coercion.


How Illegal Immigration Hurts the Poor-Wages and Poverty

Because immigration increases the supply of U.S. labor, it reduces wages or makes jobs scarcer for natives. Job competition between immigrants and natives is especially fierce at the bottom of the labor market, because so many immigrants are employed in the low-skilled/low-wage segments of the economy. When the average American wage exceeds the average Mexican wage by a factor of ten, even the most menial American job can be a forceful inducement to emigrate.

The large number of immigrants with low levels of education means that immigration policy has dramatically increased the supply of workers with less than a high school degree. Although immigrants comprise about 12 percent of America's workforce, they account for 31 percent of high school dropouts in the workforce. This means that any effects on the wages or job opportunities of natives will disproportionately affect less-skilled workers. Immigrants are 60 percent more likely to be employed in low-skilled occupations than are native-born workers.

As a consequence, poverty in the U.S. is increasingly being driven by immigration policy. Between 1979 and 1997, immigrant households increased their representation in the U.S. population by 68 percent, but over that same period their share of the total poor population increased 123 percent. And the gap between the immigrant and native poverty rates is widening - this gap tripled between 1979 and 1997.

One of the factors that is thought to mitigate the consequences of immigrant poverty is entrepreneurship, with immigrant small businessmen supposedly recharging our nation's creative spirit. Unfortunately, research shows that while immigrants were once significantly more entrepreneurial than natives that is no longer true.

More http://cis.org/topics/wagesandpoverty.html

One more thinking liberal at last fed-up With George Bush AND Ted Kennedy's wholesale destruction of America's wage base for big business.

Steven Black
Mill Valley, CA

Have The Faith
It was interesting to see the Republican candidates back pedal on their faith in the Bible. When asked if they literally believe that God created the world in 6 days they all said that they didn't know. To me that means that they don't really believe in the Bible. The Bible says 6 days and that is what it means. If you believe in God you have to believe that God knows how long a day is and that those who don't believe it are rejecting the authority of the Bible.

The issue of faith is that you have to choose to believe in it regardless of the science and regardless of reason and evidence. It's a choice you have to make between faith and reality. You can't have it both ways. Science, reason, and evidence indicate the universe is about 15 billion years old. The Bible says it's 6000 years old. These views are incompatible. You have to either choose faith or reason, and when Republican candidates say they believe in the Bible but ignore what it says makes me think that they don't really have the faith they say they do.

I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!

Marc Perkel
754 Glenview Dr.
San Bruno, CA.

Despite Protests, Nothing Changes
There are many articles written criticizing President Bush, the Iraq War and other failures of the Bush administration but after 6 1/2 years of the media and print critiquing his performance nothing ever changes.

Bush has influenced the Republican Congress for 4 years to cut taxes, authorize an illegal war with Iraq, pass the Patriot Act and curb civil liberties in general. During the same time Congress didn't investigate questionable activities by the White House, or the illegal surveillance of citizens, nor the profits and spoils of war by Pentagon contractors ad infinitum. After the 9/11 attacks Congress and the press and media were cowed by the White House from investigating any wrong doing in fear of being called unpatriotic.

When the democrats became the majority in the Senate and House in November 2006, it appeared that things would change for the better but Bush is still King of the Hill. There has been some good legislation passed but the newly elected democratic congress also caved recently and appropriated $120 billion to continue the war in Iraq without a time certain to withdraw. It even failed to pass a non-confidence vote in the ability of the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, to run a competent and fair Judicial Department.

After 6 1/2 years and 1 1/2 years to go, nothing ever changes, no matter how many anti-war rallies are held, no matter how many talk show hosts criticize the King 24/7, no matter how many letters expressing opposition to the wrong direction that the King is taking us, we are hitched to his wagon and it seems there is nothing Congress or others can do to change it.

Bush seems to have free reign and he might as well say to those who protest, "I'm stuck in your craw and you can't spit me out."

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls

Bush Puts Buddies In First Place
In a move that has become standard operating procedure for this administration, President Bush recently decided to side big business over hard-working American investors. This is yet another example of the administration's corporate cronies and refusal to acknowledge basic facts.

In its next session, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the case of Stoneridge Investment v. Scientific-Atlanta, which will determine whether investors can recover investment losses when fraudulent corporate collusion is proven. Last week Bush killed the SEC's recommendation to file a "friend of the court" brief on behalf of investors.

This case stems directly from the Enron scandal, which rocked the country's economy. Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Paul Atkins said at the time that the scandal's cost to U.S. households amounted to nearly $60,000 each on average and the loss of about $5 trillion in market value. Yet Bush chooses to conveniently forget the incredible impact of this scandal just five years after its devastation, and supply his corporate cronies with a "get out of jail free" card.

The case will determine whether Enron's shareholders can receive damages from the banks and brokerage houses that colluded to enable Enron's massive fraud on the American public. Bush's plea for the Solicitor General to side against investors in this case reveals his complete disregard for America's investors.

Jessica DiCamillo
San Francisco,



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