The Coastal Post - November, 1995

Foolish Gun Arguments

I am indebted to John F. Saiz of Sausalito for his September letter that so eloquently restated and reinforced the main points of my column and letter. I also applaud his diligence in demonstrating once againand so spectacularlythat anti-gun bigots who have no valid arguments to refute pro-gun statements invariably choose the ad hominem route of attacking the messenger rather than the message.

Many thanks, John. You did well on both counts.

* * *

In clearing out some old files I came across an astounding, and apparently unanswered, Coastal Post letter of December 17 from Mr. Joshua S. Klein of San Anselmo, responding to an earlier letter from Mr. William T. Wetzel.

Mr. Klein, in his assiduous attention to detail, wrote that in a recent year guns had been used in 9,766.6 murders, 63,787,621 aggravated assaults and 36,882.618 robberies. Thats a grand total of 110,436.86 cases in which guns were used for just three different crimes.

We are fortunate indeed to have citizens of such diligence in our community who actually go to the trouble to carrying murders and crime totals out to two decimal places, and assaults and robberies out to three. No doubt those fractional crimes do help clarify the picture for us all.


San Rafael

Who Profits, Who Cares About Hospital Merger?

Re: The proposed new and larger facility for Novato Community Hospital

Two things bother me: First, hospitals are merging. California Health Systems plans to join Sutter Health, which merges California Pacific Medical Center, Alta-Bates Medical Center, Marin General Hospital and Mills-Peninsula Hospitals with Sutter Health. This will regionalize care, meaning patients will go to a different hospital depending on their problem. For instance, you might go to California Pacific for an organ transplant but Marin General for obstetrics. How the hospitals will interact in this new configuration will presumably be determined by Sutter Health, and what niche Novato Community will be given is unclear. Therefore, can a larger hospital for Novato be justified?

My second concern is that Novato Community Hospital is already part of Sutter Health. To me, this means it is a private hospital. So how can the taxpayers be asked to foot the bill? Isnt that a little like Kaiser asking for tax money to build them a new facility? I doubt anyone would be interested in feeding Kaisers coffers in this way. The question then is: If a new hospital is built, who owns it and who controls itthe citizens of Marin, or Novato Community Hospital/Sutter Health (soon to be Sutter Health/CHS)?

There is a lot here that is puzzling and worrisome; not the least of which is, will patients get the care they need at any hospital, and who pockets all the money?


Corte Madera

More On Amalgams Wanted

Thank you for the letter from Silver re. the dental amalgams. I think he is calling attention to something we should all know more about. I would like to hear more from him. In fact, why not more for all of us readers? Would an article be possible?



Negative Watermelon Reward

Please tell Kirby Ferris to cheer up. Farmer Jones did have to stop growing watermelons and he did abandon his farm and move away. However, Farmer Jones never did sell the farm, and sometime after leaving the farm, he found out about farm subsidies. Farmer Jones is now paid a handsome sum for not growing watermelons.



Suppressing Consumer-Friendly News

Re. Leveraging power, the Unabomber, Senator Packwood and car dealers

Strange bedfolk? Is anyone surprised to read that Senator Packwood acknowledged in his diary dearest the greasing of the legislative skids for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)? Or that the Federal Trade Commission recently quietly sanctioned 44 South Bay car dealers for restraint of free trade when they retaliated against the San Jose Mercury News for publishing a consumer-friendly story, A Car Buyers Guide to Sanity, which received scant coverage in any Bay Area newspapers except for perfunctory newswire reportage of the New York Times bylined story? Or that the anonymous Unabomber receives so much news and editorial space in every newspaper in the world? Certainly murdering people by mail is a cowardly and dastardly act, and one which negates any good which might otherwise be in his or her ideas.

Considering the billions of dollars in inflated profits that some elements of the car industry milk from unsuspecting consumers by lying, cheating and stealing; by such practices as grounding, flipping and turning, double-dipping, artificially shorting supply, curb-stoning, lemon-laundering; nondisclosure of defects and hidden damage repairs on new cars; invoice tampering or falsification, price gouging, unchecked profit creep; removing fuel, bumpers or other items present on the vehicle at the time of sale; and a plethora of other unfair, manipulative and often fraudulent sales and service practicesthe overall impact on society, our economy and our families is merely a difference of degree.

And we permit this to occur to sell a product of considerable expense which nearly everyone needs at least once every five or six years, and a product which needs constant expensive maintenance. Dont expect to see A Car Buyers Guide to Sanity again unless you go to your library to retrieve it.

Sex harassers, mail-order murderers, some car dealers and manufacturers, whores and pimpsstrange bedfolks traveling in overlapping circles? (Excuse me please, I apologize for libeling and slandering whores by including them in this group.)

Buying a car or opening your mail: keep your eyes and ears peeled folks, for its still CARveat Emptor! And it will remain so until everyone demands FAIR CAR SALES and SERVICE legislation that is authorized in the public interest rather than by the NADA in its own interest.


San Rafael

Not Ordinary News

My husband passed away April 24, 1995. He used to enjoy reading your paper, and so it is in his memory I will re-subscribe to it. It is an interesting paper and gives news one does not find in the Independent Journal and Ross Valley Times.


San Anselmo

Fluoride: Ineffective Industrial Waste

Fluoride is a by-product of the aluminum industry. Fluoride ingested does nothing for tooth decay in adults, since the surface of their teeth has finished growing and is not receiving anything from the blood supply. It needs long contact with the teeth to have any effect on the surface. It does have a little effect on protecting teeth in growth, since the surface is under construction (so to speak). This means that fluoride does nothing for teeth in anyone over the age of 12 or so. This can be confirmed by research and the multitude of information from organizations that have been fighting fluoride in drinking water for the last 20 years. The aluminum industry has created the biggest fraud since the oil industry's two fake oil shortages. They have even fooled the dentists. Some dentists have seen the truth, though, and have come over to the anti-fluoride movement. I might add that more and more people today drink filtered or bottled water, making the addition of fluoride to water an even bigger waste of money.

Has anyone thought of the consequences of dumping this industrial waste in the environment, i.e., ground water, rivers, streams and oceans, and the effect on the wild life? Also, what about the effect of exposing the people who are sensitive to it? The stories of fluoride rotting and discoloring teeth in children and adults are true. The problem with tooth decay in children is refined sugar. They eat or drink it all day. (I did as a child as well.) Take away the refined sugar and you will cut down the tooth decay, but of course we are talking about another powerful lobby, who spend millions "disproving" the rumor that sugar is the main cause of tooth decay in children.

Does it make any sense for the State of California to require local water companies to contaminate the drinking supply with an industrial waste?

Think about it!


Forest Knolls

Depression Stigmatized

National Depression Screening Day was in early October, a noble idea. However, as a sufferer of depression for several years, I'd like people to know the potential pitfalls of seeking treatment for depression. I have experienced all of these from helping "professionals":

1) patronization

2) intolerance

3) indifference

4) psychiatric drugs with extremely unpleasant side effects

5) rudeness

6) disrespect

The primary purpose of National Depression Screening Day is most likely an opportunity for those of the "helping" professions (psychiatrists, psychologist, therapists, social works, mental health counselors) to create business for themselves, not so much to really "help" sufferers of depression. From my experience of seeking treatment for depression, I believe one can be risking tremendous social and personal disparagement by seeking treatment, and I advise extreme caution to those who seek treatment for this greatly stigmatized disease. Good luck.


San Anselmo

Waco Dirt

Paul M., a tax client, has told me a couple times that he has no tolerance for cults. (As in for shame and ha, ha on People's Temple in Jonestown and the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas). Paul tells me about every one of the latest Janet "Nero" attempts to demonize the Branch Davidians.

"Well! Turns out that one of the survivors of Waco has told all. Seems she was only 10 years old and that Koresh person made her watch while he had sex with others. He also raped her."

Let me share the various comments which I've heard relating to that FBI/BATF exercise in government force:

"Let's take a look at Brigham Young's track record. Considered to be a cultist for sure. Brigham Young had multiple wives, some of whom were under the age of 16. So, therefore, technically it was statutory rape."

Kirk Lyons, Plaintiff's co-counsel in Waco lawsuit(s)

(Today's Mormon Church (Latter Day Saints) is second only in wealth to the Roman Catholic Church headquartered at the Vatican in Rome, Italy.)

"My god, that FBI/BATF Task Force attacking a church compound with storm troopers terrorizing... Shooting in there to kill with automatic weapons. Exploding stun grenades. Government forces surrounded that church compound with razor wire, then sent in combat tanks to crush buildings, to rupture the gas linesand then they started that fire by lobbing in tear gas detonators. Burning to death everyone inside, not only Koresh, but the women and children, too! That's certainly no way to correct Koresh. Seventeen little children perished in that Waco fire, oh, so helpless, so small... How did they deserve to die? Janet Reno certainly should have resigned when she offered to. I don't wonder why the media was kept two miles away..."

"Serves 'em right. Got exactly what they deserved. Gawdam insane, cultist, white man with guns." (Actually more than one-half the Branch Davidians were women and children; the FBI produced only two rifles in court as evidence justifying our government's atrocity against the Davidians.)

"Sheeit! Awwe, come on... Children have sex. If the neighborhood dog, the candle, and her girlfriend got some, why not Koresh?"

"Wow! Ya mean to say he didn't charge for it? Man, oh man. That's kinky! Voyeurism. Down there in Mexico and over in France, ya gotta pay rent for a peephole to watch 'em [engage in sexual relations]."

"About all I can say is, what was the mother doing when all those sex orgies took place? Holding the towel? The mother was right there the whole time."

"Kids and sex. Reminds of of that corny old joke. Little girl nine years old wants a watch for her birthdaywhen she turned ten, they let her."

J.J. Scot

Menlo Park

Redundant Buck Research

I read your articles protesting the Research Center for Agingin full agreement. The fact is that 27 U.S. centers are already researching aging; the results of their accumulated research can be rapidly transmitted by present sophisticated telecommunications. One building would suffice to contain their discoveries (if any), theories, videoswhatever progress the centers have contributed.

I hope the 27 centers don't have seminars on "Why Do We Age?" "Why Do We Die?" (I laugh when I read Buck Center scams.)

Buck Center health bulletins are just hashed-over stuff everyone knows.

I can contribute $25 to beat the rip-off. Who do I mail to?


41 years on Calle Sierra

Stinson Beach

Only Cockroaches Left Alive

Mother Earth is not fragile. She's beautiful and resilient. The oil we pull from her will not kill her. We can turn this black gold into pesticides, herbicides, plastic, clothing, even dishwashing liquid. This will not harm her in the least. What it will do is kill life as we know it. That means all life, from me and you to the tiny busy ants on your walkway.

What is lacking at all levels of government is the truthkill habitat, and you kill every living thing except possibly the cockroach.

We need clean air, clean H2O and clean food. If our environmental laws are only written to protect fish and owls, we are not getting the whole message. We are endangered, and we are not on the list.


Stop Buck Aging Center

This Election Day, voters will have an opportunity to prevent the Buck Center for Research in Aging from continuing to deceptively squander Buck Trust funds. It is a simple, logical fact that page 17 of the Will of Beryl Buck says, "The trust shall always be for exclusively non-profit charitable, religious or educational purposes, and none others." It is also a simple, logical fact that the medical research facility proposed by the Buck Center is considered a scientific purpose, and not a charitable, religious or educational purpose as called for. These terms are all defined within the Code of Federal Regulations.

We need charitable programs that will offer seniors direct medical and social servicesespecially in home care as an alternative to nursing homes (where medical circumstances would allow). We need educational programs that will teach people the benefits that proper nutrition, regular exercise and a healthful environment can have on longevity, and how a healthier society will help reduce the rising costs of health care. We need to stop construction of the $100 million medical research facility proposed by the Buck Center.

We can accomplish these goals by voting "No" on Marin Measure A and voting "No" on Novato Measure B. Your help in resolving this matter would be appreciated. Thank you.



Parnell Seeks Support For MCC

At the urging and with the support of many friends and colleagues involved in education, I am running for the Marin Community College Board in the upcoming election on November 7.

I would appreciate your support for my campaign.

The College of Marin is facing a crucial time in the next five years. The major issues facing the community college district are declining enrollment, decreased funding and under-utilization of existing facilities, especially the Indian Valley campus in Novato.

These are some of the same manageable issues that I dealt with successfully during my eight years as a trustee in the Ross School District. Now the students who were then in elementary school are college age. Enrollment at the college is down 9% over last year.

Since funding is based on enrollmentas it is in K-12 districtsa significant financial impact will be felt. Programs and resources will need to be evaluated for cost efficiency. Prudent fiscal management will be mandatory.

I want to use my time, experience, integrity and independence as a trustee during this challenging time. It would mean a lot to me if you would again show your support as you have done for me in the past. I intend to run an active campaign, making sure my name and message are seen by Marin votes in this election year.

But, I need your help to be successful in this campaign. Your endorsement and any contribution you can give will go a long way toward this goal.

If you have any questions about my campaign or are interested in getting involved, please call me at 461-1036 (days) or 459-0771 (eves). I hope to hear from you soon since this is a very short campaign.



Third Party Movement

By way of introduction, I am enclosing information about the Patriot Party of California, which held our second annual statewide Convention on September 23 and 24 in Los Angeles. We have been holding local organizing meetings throughout the state over the last few months, in Silverlake, Sacramento, Glendale, South Central Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks, Davis, West Hollywood, San Diego and San Francisco.

The National Patriot Party was founded in April, 1994 by a broad grassroots-based coalition of independents with a new political vision who agreed to move beyond the old categories of right/center/left. We threw out the labels such as "conservative" and "liberal" and united on the issues of the most concern to the American people: more democracy, fiscal responsibility, less government and letting the people (not the parties) run the country.

Most political analysts agree there will be a third party for the 1996 elections with a major Presidential candidate. Polls are showing that a majority of Americans favor the formation of a third political party. In addition, only 12% of those who voted Republican in November did so because of the Republican platform (CNN/Time magazine poll, Nov. 11); the remainder voted to express their frustration and discontent.

State organizations are affiliating with the national party. The Patriot Party of California was formed last September and is growing. We are currently seeking ordinary citizens who want to run for local office as independents and have initiated a statewide voter registration drive to obtain permanent ballot status in the state. I am hopeful that your publication will inform readers of this developing movement to expand democracy by giving citizens more options.


Los Angeles

Taxes And Employment

No thoughtful person will fall for the "Scam on America," which is the claim that by cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, the number of jobs will increase, full employment will result.

Quite the opposite is likely.

1. Wealthy people already enjoy all the consumer goods they want. Any increase in their wealth due to tax cuts will most unlikely go to buying more consumer goods, the market that makes the wheels of commerce turn. Instead, their increased income will more likely go to the purchase of stocks and bonds, widened acquisition and ownership of companies, real estate, politicians (through PACs), power and privilege.

2. Cutting taxes for the wealth must be made up for by taking more from the middle class and the poorwelfare cuts and decreased social services. These people, who must spend all or most of their incomes on food, transportation, clothing, etc., will have less to spend.

Cutting public services to make way for cutting the taxes of the wealthy results in layoffs of millions of park employees, teachers, doctors, scientists, social service workers, stenographers, truck drivers, custodians, etc.

Without these as paying customers, consumer goods businesses will suffer as their sales drop. They will be forced to lay off workers, who will also be unable to buy so many products. Sales drop even further. More layoffs, etc.

Tax breaks do not motivate employers to hire more employees. Business people hire in order to get help in filling increased orders for their goods and services. When their sales start to decrease as a result of cutting public services, would you expect them to further increase their costs by adding to their payrolls?

Not only will businesses cut their work forces, but declining sales means that they must hold off on buying new equipment. Manufacturers and distributors of equipment must start laying off workers.

With the rise of unemployment due to shifting resources from the money-flow of consumerism into the stagnant pool of money ownership, poverty increases, and along with poverty, crime.

The same mentality that calls for taking from the poor and giving to the rich has only one answer to crimeincrease the penalties. Build more prisons.

Even so, advertising's lure for spending, coupled with poverty and desperation, will lead to illegal get-rich-quick activities, outweighing the fear of punishment. Crime will continue to increase.

Fans of tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy have no concern for ending poverty, but are determined (with the applause and votes of unthinking, frightened, not-so-wealthy followers) to maintain law and order.

We may again see money sponsorship of militias (law-and-order vigilante groups, usually cloaked as "patriotic organizations") directed to get rid, not only of criminals, but of those accused of being "soft on crime." Human rights, peace, world order, and environmentalist activists and organizations will be targeted, along with, possibly, educational institutions as weakeners of correct "American values."

Silver-tongued "saviors," claiming the special sponsorships of God Almighty," will emerge, demanding more law and order, more patriotism, urging fear and hate of those deemed "different" or "soft on" the different.

Jobs and opportunities to win glory as patriots will be offered to many of the poor. Their jobs? Monitoring and racking down on "trouble-makers."

To maintain their positions of privilege and power the rulers or big business and industry will not hesitate to loose poisonous clouds of hate and fear among the people.

The world has seen such a sequence before (1920's rampant Republicanism, leading to the great world depression of the 1930s), unfortunately neither experienced nor remembered by much of our population.

(It Can't Happen Here, a novel by Sinclair Lewis about the coming of fascism to America is "must" reading today for those who can find a copy still in print.)

Fortunately, while elements in the U.S. government are trying to move in this direction, there are other forces beginning to emerge. These comprise the developing embryo of a global revolution of CARINGcaring for human beings as members of one speciesthe Human Family, caring for the one environment that cloaks us all, caring for the diversity of life forms.

Because Caring is a positive force, true to the heart of life itself, this revolution will be won, not by mutual enmity and violence, but by the abandonment of goals, loyalties, and policies leading to destruction.

Nationalism, racism, tribalism, sectarianism will give way to world community.

A world economy dominated by selfish acquiring, quest for wealth, luxuries, power, and prestige will be replaced by an economy that seeks first and foremost to lift people out of poverty and its attendant sickness and crime.

Be prepared for the coming convergence of activists and organizations working for peace, human rights, healthy environment, wildlife conservation, health, and education into one powerful global movement to replace the dominance of acquiring with a world community dominated by CARING.



Stinson Beach Fire District Candidate Speaks Out

Since Stinson Beach will not have a "candidates' night," I thought it would be appropriate to provide a brief statement on my candidacy for the board of the Stinson Beach Fire District. I have also enclosed a copy of my statement that was in the sample ballot.

I wanted to tell the public I decided to run because a number of friends asked me to, and because I felt this board would benefit from gaining a new perspective. The three incumbents currently running have each been on this board from 10 to 20 plus years. The person with the greatest number of years works full time and is out of town almost every day. Another will be building his own house for the next year or so and is a self-supporting contractor. The third person manages a large community with all the complexities of a lawsuit and other real estate difficulties. He is on many community committees.

The picture I am offering shows that this is not an election to unseat some unscrupulous member, nor a problem of fiscal irresponsibility, but rather a situation where this five member, all-male board has become comfortable in their niche and may not look beyond their immediate, month-to-month training or maintenance needs.

In my biographic sketch I said I have served as a catalyst for the Disaster Council as well as for the West Marin Health Project since coming to Stinson Beach six years ago. New people do bring new perspectives and energy as well as, in my case, time! As a retired teacher-trainer I would like to see our board develop a plan for a more comprehensive fire education program for our local school and expand our Disaster Newsletter, which I write for the neighborhood response teams, so it can become an educational tool for community awareness of potential dangers that exist in our hillsides. By the time this article goes to press, our Fire District will have acquired a new fire truck. For many months there will be comprehensive training for all our volunteers. Our Fire Chief, Kendrick Rand, is an experienced, conscientious worker, but he will need help to assure us that all bases are covered. I am able to provide that help, not on the technical details, but on the logistics.

I am ready, willing and able to make a substantial contribution to our SB Fire District Board. Your vote for me will provide a new energy source and a new perspective.

Questions? 868-0303.


Stinson Beach

Assimilate Or Go Home

I was stunned to read in the IJ of the Latino students "demands" at Tomales High School, and I was horrified at Principal Patterson's comment that, "Assimilation is not our goal. We don't want them to lose their culture or their language."

I certainly don't want immigrant peoples to lose their language. Rather, all American children should be learning several languages. The world is getting much too small for America to continue its lax attitude toward becoming a multi-lingual people. It's something we can no longer afford to do. We also cannot afford the special classes given in Spanish for which the Latino students clamor, and I am shocked they would demand resources we do not have. Where is their regard for their chosen country? In general, the bi-lingual program has become far removed from what it was intended to be when it was set up in the early sixties. Never was it designed to cover the lengths to which Latino students would take it. One would think a little gratitude would be a part of the immigrant mental vocabulary.

As to assimilation, I absolutely expect immigrant people to assimilate and become a part of this culture when they come to our country. If they do not wish to assimilate and become an American, why do they come here? Simply to use us, our resources and the opportunity we offer? This is unacceptable; something in return is reasonable and expected. My message: If you don't want to join us, please go home.




Thank you for printing my letter. There is one mistake, but that one mistake changes the entire letter. On line 13, first word "including" should read "excluding." I am hoping you have the letter and file to verify. I honestly would not complain if it did not contradict the purpose or reason for the letter.


San Rafael

Typesetter's Note: With apologies, the line in the October issue letter entitled "Three Strikes Inhumane" should read: "Already many counties (excluding Marin) have adopted their own guidelines for a third-strike offender, not imposing a third strike if the charge is not violent."

Good And Bad Public Transit

I don't drive a car because I can't afford to financially or emotionally. I stopped driving in 1992 because I felt both homicidal and suicidal behind the wheel.

I live in Marin County and the bus system is pretty good here. I see two groups of people on Golden Gate Transit busescommuters and the socially disparaged (usually on separate routes). "Disparaged" for me means people cast out of mainstream society for one reason or another: poverty, illness, handicap, race. Greyhound is the same; it's bad news, and I'll never take it again. Amtrak for me has always been very mediocre.

The automobile rules in America, and it always will. I don't miss driving, because if I were still driving I'd be dead or crippled or in an institution of some sort. In California, highway infrastructure continues to expand far ahead of mass transit. Systems like the light rail in Sacramento and San Jose and BART are nice, but they're provided primarily for white-collar commuters. Society only provides mass transit beyond commuter service so the "disparaged" won't riot.

The fact that I don't drive simply disparages me with the general population. If you grow up in the suburbs, you're taught that public transit is for losers and freaks. People literally kill others for a car.

But I accept this. I accept that the automobile will always rule in America. I'll use the systems that I likeGG Transit, BART, Sacramento and San Jose light rail, and I'll avoid the systems that I think stinkGreyhound, Amtrak, Cal Train. And if I cannot survive in auto-dominated America, I'll have to haul my ass to some country where I can take rail and bus transit and not be considered a freak.


San Rafael

Buck Aging Supporters Not Needy

As a matter of principle I have consistently opposed the Buck Center for Research in Aging, and urge a note of NO on both Measures A and B:

Although Mrs. Buck's will designates the money to "Marin's needy," I have seen very little interest by the Buck Center in what Marin's needy wanted in terms of how their money should be spent.

Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but I don't feel that most of those pushing for the Buck Center are particularly "needy," and hence I fail to see what gives them the moral right to advocate spending such lavish sums of money on tennis courts, swimming pool, high-priced consultants, lawyers, and architect and PR hype.

The very garishness of it all makes me feel embarrassed in a world already too full of crass materialism and greed.

No, my dear Marin and Novato friends and neighbors, I will not support a Taj Mahal white elephant, a reverse Robin Hood raid on Mr. Buck's largesse! I cannot be part of such an ethical parody.

Give Marin's needy their money back. It was willed to them, not to us. It is not ours to spend.

Vote NO to Marin County Measure A. Vote NO to Novato Measure B. NO MORE GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD.



Write-In Candidate

To the 78 voters in Mill Valley, call your friends. I'm running for election to the Mill Valley City Council (as a write-in candidate).

You know the real story.

Tell it true, tell it all.

Abe Lincoln lost 12 or 13 elections, so I promise not to be too disheartened if I lose once more.


Citizens Action Party To Preserve the Constitution

Mill Valley

P.S. Support from Senators Boxer and Bradley, and Congressman Dornan, ACLU, Individual Rights Foundation, Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Editor's Note: Mr. Bondarenko called to say he had found out he didn't live inside the city limits and if elected could not serve on the Mill Valley Town Council.

The Free Press and The Judges

The only thing I know about Judge Beverly Savitt is what I read in the newspapers. The only exception was a bout of jury duty under her rather schoolmarmish nastiness. But what could be expected from a former divorce lawyer?

What I remember most, however, as I sat among the encaptured panel, was a curt greeting by the Judge followed by a completely out of left field lengthy speech regarding newspapers! No one knew what brought this on, but suddenly we found ourselves sitting there in rapt attention, well-feigned (we might as well have been shackled) listening to a personal vendetta sermon that had nothing whatsoever to do with legal matters at hand.

In fact, it was a fiery spittle-flying hissyfit aimed at journalism in general and the local papers in particular.

The furious tirade was so mean-spirited, so Newtish, that it left the incarcerated panel truly perplexed. She even ended with the dreary cliche that we couldn't ever trust what we read in the papers! I was recently reminded of this when Judge Ito barred anyone from serving on the OJ jury who "regularly read newspapers," thus guaranteeing a bozo ill-informed, three-hour snap decision.

Okay, creeping tabloidism aside, the Honest (?) Judge Savitt certainly can't be right about all the papers most of the time. And I'll immediately counter-cliche her with Thomas Jefferson's warning that a nation of newspapers without government is preferable to a government without newspapers.

If you think about it, her pontificating sounded not only pompous and aristocratic but damn un-American. And why she was taking the court's expensive time to launch into a personal stemwinder, I'll never know. A captive audience is all I can surmise. Yet we sat there not earning one dime and were force-fed by a tax-gobbling judge making at least $107,000 minimum of our tax dollars. Naturally, when the trial began, the jurors were to make a pittance of her majesty's salary.

Well, now she's retiring and leaving us the jailhouse we voted against but had rammed down our throat by her highness. I'm reminded of the bromide that a judge is only a lawyer who knows the governor. (But a divorce lawyer? Egad.) We all wish Mr. Boren, her replacement, the best. But come on, how much worse could he be than BS?

But before I leap to the rooftops singing "Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead," remember these stinging words when judge voting time rolls around "Critics Decry Judges' Secret Meetings To Draft New Ethical Code."

What? Secret meetings? You bet. This is in connection with the new disciplinary system for judges who can currently get away with anything they want, their code of conduct, their enormous salaries, etc, being manipulated by an outfit called the California Judges Association, the judge lobby. These concealed meetings are in direct contempt of voters' final decision (last Fall's Prop 190) thereby escaping public scrutiny of their actions. Sort of like the doings that led to B. Savitt's jailhouse porker.

Let's see if you can guess, Judge Savitt, where the above stinging words came from? Why, it was a headline in the newspaper, of course! (Page B-9 in Sunday before last's Brand X) I know you and many judges would love to have a shadowy, uninformed, censored society where you could get away with anything you want, including preposterous pay raises, but it's not going to work in the piercing light of truth that good newspapering creates.

Lord, oh Lord. Where would our poor old democracy be without a fiesty free press? Sometimes flawed, yes. But utterly essential to an open free nation. Case closed.



ChangeNot Incumbency

The current election for Marin Community College trustees should be a call for change in keeping with the national mood. Incumbency should be seen for what it isthe power of resistance to change. It is time to recognize that trustees should be more than rubber stamps for stodgy educational programs and administrivia.

A new majority on the College Board would help to modernize the cumbersome two-campus system. Political changes in the Stale Legislature are bound to cause changes in educational funding and a demand for greater educational productivity by educators and students.

Women who have been active in creating awareness of change are a good example of what is needed. Let's take Basia Crane, who is the only teacher running. Over the past decade she has actually worked in schools all around Marin County. Retired journalist Betty Machado is the only candidate from Novato who has been active on the Marin County School District Organization Committee. These are ladies who have taken the time to really know public needs.

When you cast your ballot this November, think of the changes that will take place as we usher in the new century. Do you want to vote for incumbents whose proven track record shows a shrinking college and a history of declining interest in youth? A new majority can revitalize a college system that has slipped into the shadows of what was once the educational mainstream.


San Anselmo

7:red alternative to the sewage tA   '




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