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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

September, 2007



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Letters To The Editor

Resign To Avoid Scandal
"The list of senior White House and Justice Department officials who have resigned during the course of these Congressional investigations continues to grow," said Patrick Leahy, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman. "And today, Mr. (Karl) Rove added his name to the list". This should give us hope: We all believe that our voice won't count, calling Congress won't make any difference, protesting will fall on deaf ears, etc. Yet look at the fact that so many politicians are resigning to avoid scandal. This should give us hope: Yes, friends, our voice DOES count and our opinions DO matter! We DO have power! I hope we take this into our psyches for future reference, speaking out to preserve freedom and justice. Edmund Burke said it very well: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". No longer need we be governed---and fooled----by depression. Take heart, speak out, and watch the wrong causes crumble as they are at least starting to now, before our very own eyes!
Drina Brooke
Novato

A Staggering Number (9,717) Of Bay Area High School Students Drop Out
The disturbing finding by California Department of Education also shows the problem isn't only contained in the dropouts, but also in those Bay Area high school students continuing their education. The department stated few Bay Area high schools in 2006 met California's measure of school progress' achievement goals, the Academic Performance Index, reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.
While this devastating information should disturb any community involved, it is particularly alarming in a rapidly advancing, tech-charged Bay Area.

With many of its children uneducated, the future Bay Area workforce will be poorly skilled and of lower labor force quality. This will inescapably dull Bay Area's cutting edge in the ever-tightening market competition, thus detrimentally affecting the area's economy and overall progress.

Capture the Dream, Inc. is a budding, Bay Area non-profit organization committed to helping at-risk youths and underprivileged families achieve a brighter future. They are leading an effort to equip Bay Area children with educational skills essential for their future with two comprehensive programs - 'Interpret a Dream' focuses on career mentoring and 'DreamTeam Leadership' develops future leaders through internship programs. Scholarships are also awarded to deserving low-income individuals.

Your financial contribution and/or volunteering support to the organization would leave a lasting legacy in cultivating Bay Area's future community leaders and in driving the community forward.

Please visit www.capturethedream.org and take part in the making Bay Area a better place to be.

Athalia Nakula
Pleasant Hill

Bolinas Whale Woman
Participation in an event, scheduled in Australia for early September, reminded me of the Bolinas Whale Woman, a pioneer in cetacean education, who lived in the flats in around 1971. If anyone knows of her please provide a phone number and courteous time to call.

Rose Farrington

Gun Killing
Americans are lucky to live where anyone can buy a gun and ventilate their aggressions anytime they feel like it. It is reported that 675,322 people have been killed by guns in American since John Lennon's murder 26 years ago. In 1998 the United States had 30,319 gun deaths alone.

And if a person gets tired of blowing away their own countrymen in the USA, they can join the armed services and shoot a whole bunch more in some foreign country that they never heard of because the government says that they are bad people and need to be wasted and it is legal. And the U.S. munitions makers even supply the guns to potential enemies to make it a "fair fight?"

President Bush recently sanctioned the selling of 20 billion dollars worth of guns and missiles to Saudi Arabia, our pals, who are presently supporting the Sunni insurgents, our enemy, in Iraq. The Saudis may attack Israel, their enemy, someday and the USA is obligated to defend Israel so our troops will then be shot at with guns that were made in the USA. This is what occurred when the U.S. supplied guns and toxic gas to Saddam Hussein during the Iranian War, who later used the leftovers against the American coalition in the Gulf War.

It is time that these gunrunners find another form of recreation and stop these worldwide gun sales. The constant meddling in other nations' civil wars only puts our troops in the cross hairs of gun sights oftentimes made in the USA and solves nothing, especially when you weren't invited to the brawl.

It is like interfering in a domestic quarrel between a husband and wife who have been pummeling each other for years, but if you try to help one side or the other they both will turn on you and say, "Get outtalk' here. Leave us alone. This is our private fight!"

This is the same story in Iraq. For centuries tribal warfare has been their way of life. They must love it or they would stop it. So Bush should get the troops outta' there. Leave them alone. It's their private fight!

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls

Sierra Retraction
On behalf of the Sierra Club, I request a retraction of the June 07 Local Brief by un-named Coastal Post staff on the "Embattled Oyster Farm" that states: "Bennett even went so far as to question whether agriculture, sustainable or not, should be permitted within our local national park." The statement that the Coastal Post staff attributes to me is a complete fabrication.

If staff had attended the May 8, 2007 Supervisors hearing or reviewed its video on the County website, they would have known that I actually said there are two separate oyster issues: one is what happens until 2012 (when the wilderness designation begins) and "there is the other issue: what happens after 2012--that's a completely separate issue. Logging can be done sustainably, too, but you don't want to do that in Muir Woods--so that's the issue after 2012."

It was a Wilderness Area that I was referring to, not a National Park and my example was logging, not agriculture. The Wilderness Act prohibits non-recreational commercial activity irrespective of whether it is sustainable or not. The Wilderness Act also prohibits mechanized equipment irrespective of whether the motors run on solar energy. The Wilderness Act also prohibits structures irrespective of whether they are green-certified. The Sierra Club supports sustainable agriculture, solar energy, and green buildings, but not in a Wilderness Area.

The oyster operation is a non-recreational commercial activity, it uses motorized equipment and it requires structures-- thus it fails on all three counts as conforming to the Wilderness Act. This has nothing to do with agriculture in National Parks. National Parks can and do permit motorized equipment, structures and indeed, agriculture, but not in a Wilderness Area.

The Sierra Club also supports sustainable logging, but not in Muir Woods National Monument or in the Sequoia National Monument. As the Wilderness Society notes: "Under the guise of forest fire prevention, the Forest Service released a plan in December 2004 to conduct massive logging in Sequoia National Monument, thumbing its nose at the special monument designation meant to protect its giant Sequoias." Similarly under the guise of sustainable mariculture, the oyster operations is proposing to massively expand its commercial use of the Estero, thumbing its nose at the special Wilderness designation meant to protect the Estero from commercial use.

The Sierra Club has supported sustainable agriculture in PRNS, but we also have supported Drakes Estero as a Wilderness Area. These two positions are not contradictory because the two issues are not connected. The rules for agriculture in PRNS are different, the legislation is different, and the history is different. The Coastal Post's attempt to attribute to me a connection between agriculture in PRNS and the oyster farm in Drakes Estero Wilderness is a complete fabrication not only of what I actually said in the May 8 hearing, but also of the long-standing positions of the Sierra Club. Therefore, we request that the Post's next edition prominently print a retraction of the statement you falsely attributed to me. The facts of the oyster controversy are interesting enough without embellishing them with fabrications. Please contact us at the earliest convenience with the Post's response to our retraction request.

Gordon Bennett
Sierra Club

Anti-Semitic? Don't Think So!
In the August Coastal Post Larry Stahl from Irving, and David Sperber in San Francisco both label me as "anti-Semitic" because I criticized the actions of Israel in my July column. I would remind these gentlemen first, that calling names is a rather childish response in political discourse, and that it has been Israel's Nazi-like expansionism into her neighbor's lands and her Apartheid treatment of Palestinians that evokes worldwide rebuke.

Recently nearly 80% of some 7,000 citizens from 15 EU countries when polled, identified Israel as the biggest threat to world peace. As for David's concern over suicide bombing of civilians, the Palestinians learned the technique from Menachem Begin and his Irgun underground which bombed largely Arab civilians and a few British in over 60 Palestinian marketplaces during the British Mandate.

Edward W. Miller, MD

Pro-Life War
The bumper sticker: "WAR IS NOT PRO-LIFE" pretty well sums up the hypocrisy of anti-abortionists and the evangelical right who are gung-ho Bush War.

In the latest debate eight of nine Republican candidates for president argued about who had been pro-life longer. The number of these holier than thou types in Congress now has risen to 150 in the short span of three elections.

How did this happen? How safe is our electronic vote from hackers on the religious right and does anybody care?

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Cheap Gas?
People in the news are talking about gas being "cheap" because it's below $3.00 a gallon in some states. I remember when Clinton was president that cheap gas was 75 cents a gallon.

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno, CA.

American World Service Corps
For the past 2+ years, I've dedicated and donated 50+ hours per week to creating and having People's Lobby's citizen-initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals introduced, passed, and then implemented. Under the AWSC umbrella, one million Americans a year will have the opportunity to voluntarily serve, at home or abroad, in their choice of such organizations as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, and State Conservation Corps. In addition to their tremendous learning and serving rewards, volunteers will have their choice of educational vouchers, home down payments, IRA and Medical Savings Account deposits, and/or tax credits as financial incentives.

There is no more cost effective means to improve the world for you and your loved ones, contain the Endless Terror War, and dramatically raise America and the world's public policy IQ than through quickly fielding our proposed AWSC.

This August, at the urging of Congressman Tom Lantos's office, People's Lobby is planning a trip to Washington D.C. for face-to-face talks with the many congressional staffers with whom I have emailed and talked via phone. It is time to convince them to move their overwhelmingly positive long distance talk into moving their bosses to cosponsoring our AWSC proposed legislation.

People's Lobby's organizations could use your help now to underwrite the trip's cost and build our financial base. Can you, or some you may forward this to, contribute to People's Lobby's immediate and long-term goals?

Non-tax deductible donations to help People's Lobby Inc. (PLI) with its advocacy and lobbying efforts should be made to People's Lobby Inc. (PLI is a registered 501c4), c/o 359 Jean St., Mill Valley, Ca 94941. 95678.

Tax-deductible donations to help People's Lobby Education Foundation (PLEF is a registered 501c3) with its educational and research efforts should be made to Peoples Lobby's Education Foundation, C/o 359 Jean St., Mill Valley, Ca 94941.

Dwayne Hunn
Executive Director, PLI & PLEF
The proposed American World Service Corps Congressional Proposals http://www.WorldServiceCorps.us strengthens America. Sign the on-line Petition that encourages more congressional cosponsors. Good law survives political promises. Donate to People's Lobby Inc. (501c4). Tax deductible donations to People's Lobby Educational Foundation (501c3) c/o 359 Jean St. Mill Valley, CA 94941. Dwayne Hunn, People's Lobby Executive Director, 415-383-7880. http://PeoplesLobby.us


73,784 Bridges Rated Structurally Deficient

Last week's bridge collapse in Minnesota was horrific. The aftermath has also been disturbing, as reports have shown that inspectors repeatedly raised concerns about the safety of the bridge dating all the way back to 1996.

There seems to be very little funding going towards fixing our decaying roads and bridges, yet new roads are being built all the time. Please urge the Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. James Oberstar, to introduce the "Fix It First" policy to ensure that other bridges and roads across the country, in a similar state of disrepair, don't suffer the same fate.

Ask your friends and family to help too by forwarding this e-mail to them.

Background
Many of our roads and bridges are in a state of disrepair. Road conditions are a factor in a third of the nation's 40,000 annual road fatalities. This slow-motion crisis was finally brought to the country's attention when the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed into the river last week in Minnesota.

The backlog of deferred maintenance on our nation's infrastructure has been allowed to go unaddressed while transportation departments have simultaneously continued to aggressively build new roads. Politicians neglect upkeep because current rules make those resources scarce. As a result, 73,784 bridges are rated "structurally deficient" and a third of our roads are rated to be in poor or mediocre condition. Congress needs to do something about this now!

What should be done? "Fix It First" policies need to be implemented in order to prioritize deferred maintenance projects over new capacity. Doing so will also slow down sprawl and free up funds for public transportation.

Urge the Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. James Oberstar, to take action now and introduce the "Fix It First" policy to ensure that other bridges and roads across the country, in a similar state of disrepair, don't suffer the same fate.

Steve Blackledge
CALPIRG Legislative Director

Demonizing Color
There is nothing patriotic about white anti-immigration groups targeting a whole segment of society - Mexicans, Latinos and hard working immigrants. Discrimination, prejudice and intolerance characterize the anti-immigration movement so why does the Republican Party embrace and give sanctuary to these pundits of bigotry?

Every day on the buses I hear and see angry white folk spewing out their hatred toward hardworking Mexicans. It's like deja vu 50's all over again when whites demonized blacks.

The GOP will use border politics, politics of division as their mainstay in the 2008 elections to shift attention away from the failed war in Iraq. It plays well to core supporters and lowest common denominator of the party.

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Don't Give Alberto Gonzales the Power to Speed Up Executions

While serving then-Governor Bush in Texas, Alberto Gonzales excluded information from a clemency briefing that a defendant's publicly appointed lawyer was asleep during a major portion of the trial. The defendant was sentenced to death. Should Gonzales be allowed to make more of these types of decisions?

When Congress re-authorized the Patriot Act in 2005, death penalty supporters slipped in a provision intended to speed up appeals in federal death penalty cases. These procedures would limit review of death penalty cases in federal court, and give the U.S. Attorney General the sole power to decide whether individual states are providing adequate counsel for defendants in death penalty cases.

There's no one more unsuitable to make these life and death decisions than our current Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. While serving then-Governor Bush in Texas, Gonzales presented clemency briefings to Bush before each death penalty sentence was carried out. The record shows a distinct pattern of Gonzales presenting briefs that were biased towards execution, and deliberately excluding information that could have helped defendants argue for clemency.

Apart from the obvious pro-death-penalty leanings of the current Attorney General, it is a fundamental mistake to remove judgments about the adequacy of court-appointed counsel from the judicial branch -- where it currently resides -- and turn it over to the nation's chief prosecutor. No Attorney General should ever have sole and discretionary authority over fast-tracking death-row inmates towards execution.

Thank you for working to build a better world.

Will Easton,
Manager
ActForChange.com/Working Assets

Evaporating Rights
Historical lessons, current events, and rational interpretation of intelligence have normally precluded egotism & theocracy for major decisions in our republic. Unfortunately, this is not the case now.

The current administration is manipulated by the energy cartel, & the radical religious right wing to an extent never before experienced in our history.

The invasion of Iraq, the current suggestion to invade Iran, & the dreadful war on our environment are only some examples.

Unless Americans begin reacting to logic rather than rhetoric, and take back our government from this illegally placed administration now, the rights that we have enjoyed for two centuries may evaporate--and we can blame ourselves for this

Robert Settgast
San Rafael, CA

Every Time Bush Breaks The Law
Every time Bush breaks the law Congress legalizes what he does. When Bush illegally tapped our phones Congress passed a law suspending the 4th Amendment. When Bush set up secret prison torture camps Congress legalized secret prison torture camps. I just wish Bush would start smoking Pot and visit a Hooker so Congress would legalize Marijuana and Prostitution.

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno

Giacomini Wetland Restoration
The 560-acre Waldo Giacomini Ranch property near Point Reyes Station was purchased for $5 million in 2000 by the National Park Service (NPS) for wetland restoration. Providing public access is an important part of the NPS's mission. Since the acquisition of the property, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) has pursued the establishment of a safe, non-motorized, multiuse pathway along the perimeter of the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project. This proposed multiuse pathway has support from the majority of the local community, as it will provide safe access between Point Reyes and Inverness Park, providing separation from automobiles, allowing for safe and enjoyable walking and bicycling.

On February 14, 2007, MCBC submitted comments to the NPS-issued Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) along with four other organizations (Community Pathways Committee, Access4Bikes, Sierra Club and Transportation Alternatives for Marin) stating our support for "Alternative D" with the addition of the southern perimeter path noted in "Alternative C". This support includes the path from Point Reyes to the summer dam at Lagunitas Creek, a permanent bridge over the dam, a path to White House Pool, and a further path into Inverness Park. Those who have followed the progress of the DEIS may have heard this route referred to as the "levee route." It should be noted that the impact of this route is not environmentally damaging, as it is a levee, and not part of the surrounding marsh. MCBC believes that this recommendation addresses the overall project's restoration goals and the local community's need for safe access between local towns.

While MCBC was surprised by the NPS decision to initially reject this proposed route, we are glad to see that NPS is now willing to work with the County of Marin and other agencies to reconsider safe pathway access. It is our belief that the planning process for this project is not yet complete, and we support the actions taken by the County of Marin to draw attention to the additional consideration and planning needed for this important connection between communities for both bicyclists and pedestrians. The MCBC looks forward to working with NPS on the upcoming study for the completion of the southern perimeter path from Point Reyes to Inverness Park. The pathway will quickly become a valuable community asset.

Kim Baenisch,
Executive Director
Marin County Bicycle Coalition
Fairfax

Hand Counting Ballots
On August 3rd, 2007, Secretary of State Debra Bowen led California, and the nation, into a bold new era of transparent elections. All electronic voting systems used in California will be subject to the most stringent security requirements in the nation.

Some local election officials throughout the state oppose these measures, claiming they do not have time to prepare alternate voting systems for the '08 elections.

Of course we have time to bring our electoral process back to paper-based systems for our next election. In fact, a handbook detailing every step of the process has been published in New Hampshire.

Throughout history the most tried-and-true electoral system has proven to be hand counted, hand-marked paper ballots. True, there has always been fraud with paper ballots, but nothing like the scale that we know is possible with computerized electronic equipment, which permit one person to change an entire election outcome without leaving a trace.

Benefits of hand counting, besides an observable, honest count, includes increased citizen involvement and keeping the (much reduced) cost of elections within the local community instead of flushing the money into the coffers of private corporations. Paper, pencil, and public observation replace software code, secrecy, and "outsourced" corporate-run elections.

This is extremely urgent. I urge all concerned Californians to contact their county election officials and speak up for fair, open, observable elections. Nothing less than our democracy is at stake.

You can also write to Secretary Bowen and thank her for taking this courageous stand and for helping California lead the nation.

Sally Castleman
National Chairperson
Election Defense Alliance (www.ElectionDefenseAlliance.org)


Karl Rove Prosecution
Karl Rove's departure will now allow him to conduct his destructive abominations behind the scenes, but with less scrutiny & vulnerability. The extent of his unconscionable deeds are unprecedented.

They include election fraud, character assassination (even against triple amputee Vietnam vets), and the list goes on. His dreadful antics have enabled the most inept and deceptive administration to wrought more destruction to this nation, and the world, than any previous American administration.

Americans have been grossly negligent for tolerating these dreadful outrages. If we fail to force our legislators into pursuing charges against this traitor now, we will have rewarded him and this administration for their destructive perversions--this can only lead to more of the same.

Robert Settgast
San Rafael

No War Is First Is Politics
To: San Francisco Chronicle and New China News Agency, Beijing,

China:
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.


Replace The Legislators
Now, is the time to begin finding candidates to replace California legislators, not extend term limits. Your/my state senator and assembly member, failed to gather sufficient support to enact a timely budget. Their failure had a domino effect on all counties, cities and districts within the state, delaying many budgets. Hardships were created for individuals, awaiting payments.

These legislators failed to accomplish any competitive re-districting. These legislators failed to adopt/maintain a governmental agency as the single-payer of all Californian's medical/dental bills. These legislators failed to adopt meaningful corporation reforms. These legislators failed to make eco-fuel available, for their eco-friendly government vehicles.

Find/elect replacements, that also just-say-no to campaign donations from: lobbyists; political action committees; and unrestrained corporation CEO's.

John Bauer
Martinez

State Budget Mess
For those who like their news short and simple, here in 14 words is the cause of California's current budget crisis: Tom McClintock and his posse of redneck Republicans have bushwacked the state budget again. End of story!

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley











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