The Coastal Post - January, 1996

PR Jan 96

Waterfowl Excursion

A field trip, sponsored by the Marin Audubon Society, to the Las Gallinas Sewer Ponds will be conducted Monday, January 15 (Martin Luther King Day). Meet at the parking lot at 9 am opposite the sewage treatment plant, 300 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael. There is no charge.

Join Carter Faust, incomparable birder, and enjoy the multitude of birds wintering on these hospitable ponds. A salt-water lagoon, marsh and tidelands entice a variety of birds to feed and roost there. Viewing is excellent, as the birds are close-in. This is an ideal trip for beginning birders as well as those who know well the chances of seeing some rarity. Don't let the location deter you. This is one of the most favored spots for great vistas, easy walking and a terrific outing!

Call 461-8199.

Birdseed And Feeder Sale

Marin Audubon Society is accepting orders for seeds and feeders. This sale is a major source of funds for the Audubon Society's educational programs, lectures, field trips and conservation efforts. Orders can be picked up on Saturday, February 10, from 10 am to 3 pm in San Rafael. Delivery without charge is available for orders of 50 pounds or more.

Enjoy discovering the many varieties of birds found in Marin and around the Bay Area by enticing our feathered friends to your back yard with superior seedsblack oil sunflower seed for chickadees, goldfinches and titmice; pure millet mix and Niger thistle for songbirds. There are a variety of feeders to choose from.

Call 454-7843.

Report On Date Rape

The National Institute for Healthcare Research reports that one out of seven undergraduate women in a study at a Midwestern university indicated that their first sexual experience was forced upon them.

The study, titled "A Retrospective Study of First Sexual Intercourse Experiences Among Undergraduates, was published in College Health, Vol. 43.

Researchers questioned 272 undergraduates averaging 20 years of age concerning their dating and sexual behavior as well as their opinions about forced sex and its risk factors. Over 85% of the females and 90% of the males had experienced sexual intercourse, with the average age of first intercourse around 15. Dating was found to have started, on average, six months earlier.

Of the sexually active students, 14% of the women, but only 1% of the men, reported that their first sexual intercourse was against their will. Most of the cases of forced sex involved either a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

The strongest predicative factor for those who forced sex on another person was that they did not belong to a traditional religious body. Wanting to "be like others" also increased the chance of initiating forced intercourse.

When questioned concerning which factors enhance a person's motivation to force sex on someone, two-thirds agreed that thinking that sex is expected by the other person was the primary reason. Other factors mentioned often by the students were having friends that initiated date rape, flirting or teasing, feeling led on, a partner's physical build, and being sexually aroused.

In the face of these findings, the study's authors urged both high schools and colleges to place a strong emphasis on acquaintance rape education. Since the attitudes of one's friends often encourage date rape, they said, "encouraging men to stand up to peers who express rape-supportive beliefs would seem to be an important aspect of programs to prevent rape."

Bay Area Homelessness

The Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness and Housing released its annual statistics on the numbers of homeless families in the nine countries of the Bay Area.

Key findings:

A minimum of 21,825 families in the region, consisting of 64,699 parents and children, experienced at least one episode of homelessness between October 1994 and September 1995.

Bay Area family homelessness remains too high. The statistics do show a slight 3% decline from the previous year, but this may be due to a tightening of eligibility standards for Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Homeless Assistance Program. Homeless service providers, such as shelters, report no decrease in family homelessness.

The slight decline is heartening, but will likely be sharply reversed by federal proposals to cut AFDC nationally by up to $82 billion over the next seven years and block-grant the program to the states.

Unless California commits to maintaining AFDC payments to families at current levels and eligibility for all those who currently have it, Bay Area family homelessness will likely once again increase dramatically. This expected increases will be badly exacerbated by a new law, effective January 1, 1996, that changes eligibility for the AFDC-HAP from once every 24 months to once in a lifetime.

Lower Fees For BAs

There's good news for Marin students who already have a bachelor's degree, yet want to continue taking college classes. College of Marin per-unit fees will drop from $50 to $13 beginning January 1. A typical class is three units, making the typical course cost $39 instead of $150.

The state Legislature imposed the higher fees on degree holders three years ago. The result was that about 3,500 COM students stopped attending.

Students with advanced degrees take courses to enhance their skills in new technologies. Evening classes make attendance convenient for people who are unhappy with present employment and seek skills to make changes, or who want to take classes for personal growth.

Student sign-ups begin January 3. The spring semester starts January 22. Class schedules are available at both the Kentfield and Indian Valley campuses, at libraries and most bookstores.

The Admissions Office will be open January 2457-8811, ext. 7722.

Rose Trophies Awarded

The Marin Rose Society has announced the recipients of the Society's two annual trophies, one to Gail Trimble of San Rafael, and one to Lidija Grzac-Treadway of San Anselmo.

Trimble is the recipient of the John and Idell Muzio Perpetual Trophy, which is awarded to the highest point winner of the monthly rose shows.

Grzac-Treadway is the recipient of the Harry Stebbings Perpetual Trophy, which is awarded to the second highest point winner of the monthly rose shows.

For information about the Rose Society, call 461-9300.

Direct Student Loans Threatened

If Congress prevails in its attempt to cap direct student loans, some 2.2 million college students attending more than 1,200 schools would be kicked out of the program within the year, and some 6,000 more schools would be denied the chance to choose direct lending.

Under direct lending, loans are issued from the federal government to students through their campus financial aid office, by-passing middlemen.

Repayment plans are based on the borrowers' income and adjusted annually.

President Clinton is negotiating with Congress for a seven-year balanced budget plan that assures continued access to higher education through direct lending.

Cow Patty Pageant

Northern California's most popular paddle race takes place Saturday, February 3 on the Estero Americano in West Marin. Canoes and kayaks of all configurations are welcome.

Race organizers promise to uphold Cow Patty Pageant traditions with silly awards, sloppy time-keeping, obligatory visits to the Patty Shrine, uncooperative tides, utterly unpredictable weather, and a no-host, post-race pasta feed.

The event is sponsored by the Sequoia Paddling Club with a $2 voluntary contribution for pre-registrants, $3 the day of the event. Contributions of any amount are welcome; net proceeds are donated to conservation organizations.

To enter and receive directions, send a SASE to Ms. C. Patty, 216 E. Villa Garden Drive, Mill Valley 94941.

Single Mothers' Group

A support group for pregnant single women and single mothers will be offered Thursdays, January 18-March 7 from 7-8:30 pm at a fee of $70 for the eight sessions and $35 for child care.

The group is sponsored by Parents Place Marin and held at the Bernard Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael.

Pre-registration is required. Call 563-1041.

Creamery Recognized

Straus Family Creamery was recently named as a winner of the 1995 Waste Reduction Awards Program for packaging milk products in reusable glass bottles. Straus began packaging its milk products in glass two years ago after the family farm converted to organic practices. A one-dollar deposit on each bottle encourages customers to return bottles to their grocer. The bottles then go back to the creamery for cleaning and reuse.

"Each bottle, which is made of 40-50% recycled glass, is used an average of 10 times. This makes our packaging costs much cheaper than one-way disposable cartons and at the same time there is a lesser impact on the environment," said Albert Straus, owner and manager. Additionally, Straus has redesigned his bottle-washing equipment to use 90% less water.

The Straus family was also honored in 1995 for their "Pioneering efforts in the development of sustainable agricultural practices in Marin County, by Dominican College, and featured on the PBS series "Green Means"a program about ordinary people making positive contributions to the environment.

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 pastthe 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 pastor 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.

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