The Coastal Post - December, 1995

PR Dec 95

Jennifer Harbury To Speak

Jennifer Harbury's determination to discover the fate of her Guatemala guerilla husband, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, resulted in a major shake-up in the CIA and the unprecedented firing of army officers in the Guatemalan military. Her struggle mobilized human rights and Guatemala interest groups worldwide, providing a focus for a long history of governmental abuses.

On Tuesday, December 5, at 8:00 p.m. Harbury will speak at Angelico Hall, Dominican College, Acacia and Grand Avenue, San Rafael. Tickets are $15.

The talk, a benefit for the Marin Interfaith Task Force on Central America, will be preceded by a reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Creekside Room.

Harbury, a Harvard-educated lawyer, was suddenly plunged into the headlines while trying to determine the whereabouts of her husband. After his disappearance in Guatemala two years ago and her unfulfilled requests for help in finding him, she staged several hunger strikes including one in front of the White House.

Now, as a result of her efforts, and with the help of Congressman Robert Torricelli, she has finally learned the terrible truth: not only was her husband captured, tortured and killed by the Guatemalan army, but his murderer was in the employ of the CIA.

Harbury's heroic campaign of discovery has caused the new CIA director, John Deutch, to admit that the agency violated U.S. law by failing to apprise Congress of its ties to Colonel Alpirez, who is implicated in the murders of both Bamaca and U.S. citizen Michael DeVine. Deutch has been compelled to fire two senior CIA agents connected with Guatemala operations and to demote eight others.

The story is still unfolding and Jennifer continues her struggle for justice. She points out that she is only one among thousands of women whose loved ones have been murdered by the Guatemalan army. Her aim is to stop these crimes and to end CIA complicity in human rights abuses in Guatemala and all over the world. To this end she has filed suit in Federal Court to force the CIA to release all documents related to her husband's case.

For more information, call 924-3832.

Homestead Valley Crafts Fair

Homestead Valley's Annual Holiday Crafts Fair will take place at the Homestead Community Center, 315 Montford Avenue, Mill Valley on the weekend of December 9 and 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

High-quality but affordable handmade crafts including jewelry, fused glass, fabrics, sculpture, ornaments, wreaths, table decorations and more will be on sale, and refreshments will be offered, all in an intimate atmosphere and beautiful setting. Call 388-9916.

Free College Guide

Paying for College, a free guide published by Sallie Mae, the nation's largest provider of higher education financing, provides useful tips on coping with tuition and other college costs. The 20-page primer is a particularly valuable resource for explaining federal student loan programs. Call 1-800-806-3681.

Pottery Sale

The West California Pottery will hold its annual Holiday Sale on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 1115 West California Avenue in Mill Valley. Functional stoneware, as well as primitive pit-fired pieces, will be offered. Refreshments will be served. Call 381-2695.

Guide Dog Cards

Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. is once again offering their ever-popular holiday cards, this year featuring four puppies from four breeds, among packages beneath a holiday tree. Boxes of 10 are $10. Call 1-800-269-1283. Credit cards accepted.

Committee Positions Open

The Marin County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services is now accepting applications for citizen membership on its Trails, Bikeways and Fair Committees. These Committees represent three of seven standing committees of the Marin County Parks, Open Space and Cultural Commission. Particulars for vacancies in each committee are as follows:

Trails Committee: Three vacancies for individuals representing the interests of hikers, mountain bicyclists and equestrians respectively. In general, the committee works toward the development of trail policy for lands of the Marin County Open Space District. Citizen members serve a two-year term.

Bikeways Committee: One vacancy for individuals representing the interests of commuting and road cyclists. This committee examines potential for developing and funding bikeways throughout Marin County. This citizen member will serve an interim term of one year.

Fair Committee: At least one vacancy for individuals representing the community. The Fair Committee reviews Marin County Fair activities and makes recommendations to the Commission.

Applicants should possess considerable knowledge and personal experience regarding issues relevant to each committee. Successful candidates will be formally appointed to committees in January 1996. Application materials may be obtained by calling 499-6387 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Administrative offices are located in Room 417 of the Civic Center. The deadline for submitting applications is 4 p.m. Friday, December 15.

Eating Salmon Helps The Heart

One serving of high oil content fish each week can reduce the risk of cardiac arrest by 50-70%, according to an article released in the Journal of the American Medical Association. David S. Siscovick, M.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, assessed the cardiac benefits of a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid which is found in high concentrations in fresh, farm-raised salmon.

Bach Chorale

Winifred Baker conducts the San Francisco Civic Chorale and the Winifred Baker Chorale with orchestra in Johann Sebastian Bach's magnificent Mass in B Minor Sunday, December 10 at 3 p.m. in the Angelico Concert Hall at Dominican College, 50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael. Tickets are $10, available at the door, or call 453-8853.

Homes Tour de Noel

St. John's Episcopal Church in Ross will host its eighth annual Christmas House Tour Saturday, December 9 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

You are invited to visit four elegant and historic homes in Kentfield and Ross. These lovely houses range in style from Tudor to Mediterranean to contemporary. All have lovely garden settings and are filled with fine art, exquisite furnishings, and a warm and welcoming Christmas spirit.

You are also invited to enjoy lunch in the parish hall and to shop for unusual and handmade items in the Christmas boutique. Parking is free and shuttles are provided at the church.

Proceeds from the tour help fund St. John's Community outreach programs. Tickets are $20 at the door, $18 in advance or for groups of 10 or more, $17. Call 456-1102.

MUTA's Awards/Election

At its annual membership meeting, the Marin United Taxpayers Association awarded the first of its planned annual awards for best managed, worst managed and most improved public agencies in Marin County from the perspective of the taxpayers.

Awarded the Certificate for Best Managed Public Agency was the North Marin Water District, which has consistently run a tight, unbloated organization and has provided water at reasonable rates for many years.

Most Improved was Marin Municipal Water District for reducing its budget, lowering water rates and improving communications, while eliminating bureaucracy, cutting costs and improving delivery.

The booby prize for Worst Managed went to Marin General Hospital, whose debt increased to nearly $53 million in recent years since being leased to a private health care firm. It has reduced staff and cut quality services to patients while increasing the costs of those services remaining. It even got into national news in U.S. News and World Report (October 2) because of fat contracts it gave two of its own board members.

MUTA makes these awards annually so that the taxpayers may know about and reflect upon the work of our "employees."

MUTA also announced the re-election to the board of five incumbent directors and a former director.

Elected by the membership to new three-year terms were incumbents John Conkle of Corte Madera, Howard Creighton of San Rafael, Steve Gibson of Terra Linda, Fielding Greaves of San Rafael, Fred Raab of Novato, and former director Alice Vipiana of San Rafael.

New officers are attorney Nancy McCarthy of Ross, elected president; science writer and editor Fred Raab, re-elected vice president; freelance writer and film-TV actor Fielding Greaves of San Rafael, re-elected secretary; and Bionomics Institute executive director Steve Gibson of Terra Linda re-elected treasurer.

Alioto Files For Senate

Supervisor Angela Alioto filed papers declaring her intention to run for the California State Senate seat being vacated by Senator Milton Marks (D-San Francisco).

"I am running for the State Senate to be an activist legislator for the citizens of the 3rd Senate District. It is my intention to make State government work for the people of California," Alioto said. "My record as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors clearly shows that I have provided effective, progressive leadership on the issues important to the people of San Francisco. I have fought to protect vital health and social services, I have fought to protect and promote small businesses, I have worked to fight violent crime, protect our environment and voted against increased taxes. As a member of the Board's Budget Committee, I worked hard to balance our city's budget without cutting services.

"I want to bring that energy and commitment to Sacramento. I will challenge ineffective policies of the past�the obsolete politics that limit our ability to grow and move forward. I will add something that the State Senate desperately needs, another woman's voice. There are only three democratic women senators of 40 democratic senators.

"The voters will have a clear choice in this election. They can either choose someone who represents the old-style machine politics of the past�or they can support a candidate with a record of proven accomplishments who will represent a clear change in direction and commitment for our future."

Anti-AARP Resolution

On November 12 the California Republican Assembly endorsed a resolution submitted by Seniors Concerned About Tomorrow director Robert Weinmann that called for abolishing the non-profit status of the American Association of Retired Persons.

The convention of nearly 400 voting delegates unanimously adopted the resolution that urged both the California Legislature and Congressional Delegation to support the abolition of the non-profit status.

Weinmann said, "For years AARP has been a for-profit organization making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. They use federal grant monies to lobby Congress, and they don't represent the concerns of their membership. It's time for AARP to play by the same rules, and pay the same taxes as any other for-profit business."

SCAT was organized to represent the true views of senior citizens and to point out the hypocrisies of AARP.

For additional information, call 707 584-5898.

Scrooge To Ride GG Transit

Scrooge will spend the holidays in San Francisco this year at the Charles Dickens' London Fair, Pier 45. During his visit, he will travel aboard Golden Gate Transit, offering commuters a good old-fashioned "Bah Humbug" and complimentary GG bus tickets. His itinerary is as follows:

December 7: Afternoon northbound Route 74 serving San Francisco to Santa Rosa; December 14: Afternoon northbound Route 54 serving San Francisco to Novato/San Marin; December 21: Afternoon northbound Route 24 serving San Francisco to Fairfax.

Good Things Come In Small Packages

The Sixth Annual Mini Show opens at Bolinas Museum on Friday, December 1 and runs through January 13. There will be a reception for the artists on Sunday, December 3 from 3-5.

The show is a benefit for the museum and miniatures from over 100 artists are available for sale. Hours are Thursdays from 5-7, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5.

Whale Watch Certificates

This coming holiday season, Oceanic Society Expeditions is offering a whale of a holiday gift: Whale Watch Gift Certificates for full-day and half-day cruises to witness the mighty gray whale migration. Their southbound journey past San Francisco coincides with the holidays, making this a uniquely seasonal gift.

Oceanic's expert naturalists lead each trip and give informative talks of gray whales and on the conservation efforts which brought them back form near extinction. All trips are aboard safe, Coast Guard inspected and certified vessels which feature indoor cabins and outdoor observation decks.

Departures are Saturdays and Sundays and on select Fridays and Mondays, December 26 through April 28. Certificates for full day trips of six and one-half hours departing from San Francisco are $48. Half-day trips of three hours depart from Half Moon Bay and cost $32. A companion volume, The Oceanic Society Field Guide to the Gray Whale is available for $7.45.

Call 474-3385 M-F, 9-5.

Petaluma Celebration

Share the Spirit, an open-air holiday celebration including local singers, dancers and actors, will take place Thursday evening, December 7, in historic downtown Petaluma from 5-8.

The event is free. Victorian garb is encouraged. Call 763-9177 or 762-938 for more information.

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