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November, 2008



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Moo Town News
By Judy Borello

"Glass Half Full"
Being despondent, depressed and angry for the past month over the state of our country's economy and general malaise, and because November is the month of Thanksgiving, I decided to pick myself up and out of the doldrums by concentrating on the blessings in my life and in my community.
I have learned firsthand about the importance of West Marin Senior Services located in Pt. Reyes Station. I am legally blind and a few years ago suffered an aneurism that left me physically impaired, and if it weren't for Senior Services I wouldn't be able to live as independently as I do. All you have to do is be eligible, ask for help and they will deliver - be it food, rides or support in a private matter. All the people and restaurants that voluntarily cook the food create excellent meals. Take, for instance, volunteers Bob and Mary Kroninger of Inverness. Their meals even come with a menu self-explaining the ingredients, which are all spectacular. The mmm-mmm-good food is prepared with thoughtfulness and care. I especially enjoyed Mary's chocolate-orange cake and have always meant to call and get the recipe but haven't yet gotten around to it. The volunteers who deliver the meals are all wonderful - not a bummer in the crowd. They're cheerful while respecting my privacy. They are the unsung heroes of our community.

It's always a pleasure to see my friends at Walnut Place for exercise class, which West Marin Senior Services helps sponsor. It's held on Thursdays at 11:15 am and lasts for a good hour. Becky, our instructor, is gifted with great knowledge of the human body. She's very kind, with a most melodious voice that sings us through the exercises. While we groan and moan, Becky just keeps belting out tunes of yesteryear. It's fun, it's physically and socially healthy, and the group is amusingly politically incorrect! Please support West Marin Senior Services, because it takes great care of our elderly and disabled and is such a treasure for the community.

The next organization that I am grateful for and proud to be a part of is the Marin County Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau is dedicated to the protection and concerns of ranchers, farmers and their lands, which are always under never-ending attack by the powers that be! I would like to thank Dominic Grossi, president of MCFB, for his determination and devotion to his fellow ranchers and the issues that they face.

A fantastic leader, Dominic is the only president I know of who can chair a monthly board meeting beginning at seven pm sharp and have it over with by nine o'clock, while still touching on absolutely everything on the agenda with a few chuckles along the way. He's very dedicated, and never fails to show up to testify on Farm Bureau's behalf at all the important County hearings.

Lots of praise and gratitude, too, for Marin County Farm Bureau's Land Use Committee, chaired by fellow director and volunteer, Nancy Gates. It's just awe inspiring how they stay up-to-date about local, state and federal issues affecting agriculture, keep the rest of us informed, and take direct action when it's needed. They are loyal, dedicated volunteers who put in tons of time, working long hours on many projects at once, and if we had to pay them it would break Farm Bureau's bank. Nancy, who guides the Land Use Committee with a passion, is greatly respected by the rest of the Farm Bureau board. She recently had a traumatic fall while out on a walk with her husband and fractured her hip, pelvis and sacrum. Did that keep her down? No! The very next day she was e-mailing her fellow directors and committee members about ag business, putting her sense of purpose above her pain.

Our Land Use Committee recognizes what is right, they're devoted and committed to doing the right thing, and they go the extra mile to fight for agriculture. They stand up for our rights! They've reached out and developed important connections locally, in Sacramento and in Washington DC, and network with these resources to support Farm Bureau's efforts. I'm proud and honored to be part of an organization that vigilantly watches out for agriculture and private property rights, and takes decisive and effective action!

I would also like to acknowledge the Marin County Board of Supervisors, especially Steve Kinsey and Judy Arnold, who were instrumental in making sure that changes were made to the Planning Commission's misguided version of the Countywide Plan update, so that some of the unfair and illegal regulations imposed on ag lands were removed. We trust they will continue to advocate for agriculture during the Local Coastal Program update over the next few years. Steve has already taken a strong position to re-route the Coastal Trail off the ag lands in the northern part of the county.

P.S. I am also very grateful to Don Deane and the Coastal Post for publishing my column for over 25 years, giving me the opportunity to inform the community about the importance of agriculture and highlight its struggles, and to have a voice in West Marin issues. Thank you Don!

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