The Coastal Post - October, 1995

PR Oct 95

Flea Circus At Exploratorium

The flea circus has a long history. While curiosity about the flea's amazing ability to jump is recorded as far back as Socrates' time, one of the earliest known flea shows in the U.S. was the 1834 Extraordinary Exhibition of Industrious Fleas in New York. Flea circuses were a formal parlor entertainment throughout Europe a century or less ago, and they were equally popular at American county fairs. You could still see a good flea circus on Times Square in the '50s. But these days they are rare.

Marina Fernanda Cardoso, an artist from Columbia, has made the flea circus her art form. In pursuing her desire to bring people closer to the world of nature, Cardoso has learned everything there is to know about fleas. She knows that they will move to escape light, follow the carbon dioxide breath of their trainers, jump towards the heat of a lamp, sway to musical vibrations, jump 100 times their height and pull 160,000 times their weight. She has fabricated intricate apparatuses and microscopic costumes to outfit her troupe.

The Cardoso Flea Circus will be rehearsing and performing in Ring One of "About the Size of It: The Circus of the Big and Small" at the Exploratorium from October 7 through January 28. During December and January there will be performances at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. every weekend afternoon.

The Exploratorium is located inside the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco's Marina District. 563-7337.

Parnell's Plans to Revitalize COM

Unveiling a series of proposals designed to revitalize the two campuses of the College of Marin Community College District, Dr. Frank Parnell launched his campaign to become a member of its board of trustees in the November 7 election. Naming three key problems facing the school—declining enrollment, decreasing state funding, and under-utilization of its facilities—the Ross physician and businessman said his immediate goal was to implement steps designed to attract more students and widen the number of programs available for them.

Parnell said that while prudent financial management is vital, expansion of both campus activities and educational programming is critical to the college's well-being. "We must have vision and the courage to carry out a plan that encourages high school students to select the College of Marin as their primary place of learning. He identified his proposals as these:

• Work with business to establish "Edu-Net"—computer-linked classes—including the bio-sciences, to a students' homes, but require in-class attendance twice a week.

• Utilize the campuses, especially Indian Valley, as a summer camp for every form of activity—from sports programs to music.

• Set up a day care center to encourage mothers to enroll in various classes. At the same time, let the center become a learning experience on how to conduct a business.

• Offer select college classes and provide credits for students in high school as a way to introduce them to the college curricula.

• Change the funding equation between school systems and allow the community college to receive the same level of state support as the university system. Presently, for example, the college is equated with elementary schools in the funding process.

• Continue to attract top-grade professors with a more intensive outreach campaign, including media advertising. "Our enduring goal is to do what's best for every student," Parnell said.

• Expand the current fine arts program to attract students interested in film and stage and encourage such luminaries as George Lucas to lecture both on the opportunities and the know-how required to achieve success.

"I know this is an ambitious program," Parnell said. "But I believe imagination and expanded opportunity to learn will not only attract students but will substantially increase the revenue stream vital to the college's survival. I'm confident it will gain the support of the general public. We have a tremendous talent pool in Marin county. We have to take a leadership role to capitalize on it."

League Encourages Clean Campaigns

The League of Women Voters of Marin County has launched a program to convince candidates and campaign managers to run clean, issue-based campaigns this fall, and to criticize them if they don't.

The League's new "Campaign Watch" committee, chaired by retired Superior Court Judge Beverly Savitt, has prepared clean campaign guidelines for campaigns for both candidates and ballot measures which will be mailed to candidates asking for their signatures.

"If a member of the public brings a complaint about a campaign that violates the guidelines," stated League president Judy Binsacca, "we will review it and decide whether a public response is appropriate."

Spanish Artist Exhibits At SB

The Claudia Chapline Gallery in Stinson Beach presents the first West Coast showing of the oil paintings of Spanish artist Charo Marin October 1 through October 29.

The gallery is open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.

Charity Needs Supplies

St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room is in need of donations or help in organizing a drive to collect the following items: liquid dish soap, 6-8 oz. styrofoam cups, paper towels, plastic 36-gallon garbage can liners, liquid bleach, plastic spoons, knives and forks, toilet paper, laundry detergent, paper napkins, Lysol-type floor disinfectant, antibacterial hand soap, mayonnaise and tomato sauce, salad oil, used paperback books. Fully tax-deductible checks are also welcome.

Donations are accepted at the kitchen entrance, 820 B street, between 2nd and 3rd, San Rafael, seven days a week, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Call 454-3303.

Volunteers Recognized

The County Board of Supervisors presented Resolutions of Commendation honoring the accomplishment of 70 Marin County Civic Center volunteers who have completed volunteer contracts, on September 19.

The local awardees are:

Julia Tully, San Geronimo, a Lactation Consultant; Mary Keydash, Forest Knolls, Special Events Coordinator in Human Resources; Maye Adams, Pt. Reyes Station, Receptionist for Marin Center.

Volunteer opportunities currently available are: Job Coaches, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, California History Room Docent, Court Host/ess, Gift Shop Staff, Scrapbook Compiler and Food Distribution Manager.

Joan Brown, Coordinator, often creates jobs for an individual volunteer's needs. Ms. Brown may be reached at 499-7167 for an interview.

Holiday Crafts Fair Calls For Entries

Entries are being sought for this year's Homestead Holiday Crafts Fair. The two-day event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday the 9th and 10th of December at Homestead Valley Community Center, 315 Montford Avenue, Mill Valley.

To maintain the high standard of crafts offered, all entrants are subject to selection by committee, even if they have previously participated. Applicants are asked to submit a photo and a brief description of work along with the application form. Artists will be allowed to sell only those crafts that are thus represented. All work must be hand-produced by the artist.

Call the Community Center at 388-9916 or write 315 Montford Avenue, Mill Valley 94941 for an application form. All correspondence should be clearly marked "Crafts Fair." The deadline for entries is October 31.

Hospice Seeks Donations

Hospice of Marin encourages donations to its Hospice Hodgepodge Thrift and Gift Shop located at 1541 4th St. in San Rafael.

The shop includes fine clothing, antiques, furniture, linens and housewares.

About 50 volunteers work in the store during the month, and new volunteers are always appreciated.

Funds from the thrift shop aid Hospice's efforts to provide a wide variety of services for the terminally ill and their families.

Call 927-2273.

Whistlestop Holiday Bazaar

Scheduled for Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Senior Center, 930 Tamalpais Avenue, San Rafael (formerly the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Depot), the Whistlestop Holiday Bazaar will feature attractive handmade articles and unique Christmas decorations, as well as homemade bakery items. Proceeds will go toward expanding services for seniors in Marin County.

Headwaters Presentation

Using two slide projectors, a dissolve unit and Native American flute music, photographer Doug Thron will present the Headwaters forest and numerous threatened and endangered species that live there on Friday, October 6 at 8 p.m. at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, 376 Greenwood Beach Road, Tiburon. 924-7146.

Doug spent six months photographing the area, including the surrounding clear-cuts. This slide show is so moving and revealing that Pacific Lumber/Maxxam Corporation has threatened to sue him with both civil and criminal charges unless he destroys the slides and does not speak out against their corporation.

In addition to ancient redwoods over 2,000 year old, this program includes spectacular slides of the spotted owl, marbled murrelet, the fisher, Olympic salamander, tailed frog and other creatures of this magnificent area.

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