The Coastal Post - December, the six-day event.

Letters Dec 97

Donations To The Coastal Post

I'm going to try to get Kirby Ferris' article on Communism to high school debating classes-worth my sub. Here's a pat on the back.

GLORIA DUNN

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Here's a buck for every year I've read your paper (3). Here's for a two-year subscription.

MATT TROMBLEY

San Anselmo

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Here's one from me and $19 for the 19 flakes who don't have an envelope.

HAWK (J. WESTON)

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Thank you, Coastal Post!

MICHELLE LOGAN

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Here's our five bucks.

SALLY & VICTOR TORRES

Kentfield

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Keep up the good work. Cheers to you and your staff.

BARBARA DOLAN

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Thank you for all your hard work and sacrifice in creating an alternate forum for news and opinions that otherwise may not have been made public.

I must say that the article about every reader sending a dollar to support your paper inspired me to do so. It reminded me how much I value it. I have been perusing your publication for ten years so, here is a dollar for each year.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.

PETER McALLISTER

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Yes! You are worth at least a dollar a year. You are indeed the most reliable source of truthful reporting about controversial issues.Thanks so much for sticking your neck out so consistently where no one else will.

Let us know how this goes, so that those of us who want to can send more money. You require so little!

SCOTT & LEE SUTTON

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Here are two bucks from subscriber and reader, respectively. Let's stay in the (happy) black! Keep the good stuff coming. We need you!

REGINA & EDDA NICHOLS

San Rafael

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Thank you for the best paper in Marin, if not the world!

LOREN & MARGIT

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Thanks for all you do for our environment! I enjoy your publication

SILVIA LANG

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Keep up the great journalism!

M. SLADE

Unsigned Messages With Money

Keep up your work on informing us about how Jews dominate political America.

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Here's my buck-hope it helps. The best of luck to your endeavor.

PAT T.

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Great idea! Here's $2, since I can pay that much and we know other freeloaders won't send in their $1. Thanks for your/our paper!

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Instead of a buck, I'm sure you will accept a check for $10. We love reading your paper!

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You should ask for $2 minimum by check. The post office is not above politics and losing letters. I've had sad experiences.

RCD

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I have always appreciated your paper. I am sorry this is all I can give. "Fight the power."

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I have enclosed five dollars towards your operating costs. Please excuse the check, but I wanted to send a little more than a buck. Your paper is great and it is a wonderful giver of educational information.

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Here's a dollar for myself, my husband and a few of our friends. Thanks for keeping the paper going.

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Go Don!

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Super idea. I am paid until the year 2000. Hurray

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I hate it when organizations request $25, $50, $100, and don't send anything.

I derive information from your paper and $1 is acceptable, plus I can afford that amount as a widow on limited income.

Good luck! I hope you reach an amount over your needs to keep out of the red.

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Dissing The Military

What's with the hoof-in-mouth disease afflicting those braying female Assistant Secretaries of the Army?

First we had Army's Assistant Secretary Helen McCoy on national television speaking of her goal to "demasculinize" the Army.

Now comes Assistant Secretary Sara Lister contemptuously derogating the U.S. Marines as "extremists."

Who do those Clinton appointees think bear the brunt of past and future wars? Attitudes like theirs in high places can jeopardize the security of the nation.

FIELDING GREAVES

Lt. Col. U.S. Army, retired

San Rafael

Riggs Exposed

In the matter of the use of pepper spray on the against-logging protestors, Congressman Frank Riggs' approval of "cruel and unusual punishment," his trumped-up charges for the young people who posed no threat to anyone, his association and referring to Theodore Kaczynski's future federal court case, this country's loss of face in regard to President Jiang-Zemin and the Chinese people, and Senator Dianne Feinstein's humanitarian approach when she went through the very same experience (She was in her office. She was angry. She wanted them out, but she did not want them hurt, she likes people, and they left not hurt.) are reasons why Mr. Riggs will be facing a recall and Mrs. Feinstein will be running for Governor.

ED KING, IV

San Francisco

Constitutional Rights Violated

The right to protest the actions of government is part of the freedom of speech guaranteed to every American under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment is guaranteed to every Americans under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. But don't tell this to the sheriff's deputies of Humboldt County or the police officers of Eureka. They don't want to hear it. Anyone who sits down in the office of Representative Frank Riggs, paid for by the taxpayers as is his salary, is in danger of having his or her eyes put out by pepper spray by the above-mentioned police with the approval of Frank Riggs. Who is indispensable to our system of justice, the protesters or Frank Riggs? That's an easy one, and it ain't Frank Riggs.

But if you want to see real murderous violence, just totally remove the protections of our Constitution and what do you get? Genocide against the people of Iraq. In 1991 we indiscriminately slaughtered thousands of Iraqis because we had the unstoppable power to do it and we felt that the holy grail of our oil investments were in some way in jeopardy. Must American imperialism always be permitted to play God?

HAROLD HELLER

Mill Valley

Call Torture By Its Name

Command Responsibility

The sadistic behavior of the Humboldt police in the recent confrontation between young, dedicated environmentalists and profit-hungry lumber interests in Northern California should open the eyes of America to the deteriorating moral values of this country's agents of the law. The despicable swabbing of liquid pepper spray directly on the eyelids of non-violent protesters demonstrating to save the future of this country is totally condemnable. These are tactics used in totalitarian societies which have no place in the United States of America.

There is a frightening pattern that is emerging here in the way our law enforcers are discharging their responsibilities in the performance of their job. It is with total disregard for the limbs and lives of the citizens whom they are sworn to protect. It is beginning to be apparent that the troops are getting a different indoctrination than what they got from the police academy that trained them, once sent to the field and given their marching orders. The structure of command in law enforcement is very much like in the military. The whole organization operates under the universal doctrine of command responsibility. The soldier carries out the order of his immediate superior who in turn assumes full responsibility for the consequences of that order.

But is this true with our law enforcers? Does the high command assume full responsibility for the actions of their subordinates? Did the Rohnert Park high command assume full responsibility for the death of Mr. Kuan Chung Kao? Did any superior step forward to exonerate the officer who gunned the poor man down? They gave the beleaguered officer some lip service in his defense but that was all he got. If found guilty, he will be on his own. Where is the doctrine of command responsibility here? If the high command defends the actions of the erring officer, it follows that they should be willing to go with him all the way and be ready to assume full responsibility for his actions.

Congressman Frank Riggs, for instance, is eager to speak out in favor of the Humboldt police, justifying their barbaric behavior, but does he have the courage and willingness to assume full responsibility for the consequences of their action? The FBI is presently investigating the incident. If the officers are found at fault, will the honorable congressman be willing to resign his office in congress and own up to the whole mess? I don't think so. He feels pretty comfortable with the present arrangement where he serves his constituents by swabbing pepper spray on their eyelids if they try to frustrate the hidden agendas of his bank-rolling friends in the lumber business.

It is time for the buck privates of law enforcement to wise up and stop executing orders from the higher-ups if they will be left alone holding the bag in case of mess-ups. They are actually ending up as patsies, and it is their families who suffer. It is reasonable to conclude that no smart agent of the law will do what the Humboldt police did to those women in Humboldt. It is also logical to assume that an intelligent police officer will not carry out an order if he/she knows (based on his/her training) that same is flawed. The ability to make these decisions is what makes police officers our communities' finest. Efforts, however, to compromise these long-established traditions in law enforcement have started. Candidates for the police academy who exhibit very high IQs are automatically disqualified. As a result, we are beginning to have more Humboldt incidents and more law enforcers less qualified to be our communities' finest.

Let us fight all sinister designs by people with hidden agendas to reduce our proud law enforcers into some bungling robots that are easily controlled by greedy vested interests to do their wishes at the expense of honest, law-abiding and patriotic citizens.

ANTONIO R. SERNA

San Francisco

Save The Renaissance Faire

Let me be as objective as possible in presenting the situation regarding the Black Point property known as the Renaissance Faire. Spieker Properties bought the 238-acre property, knowing the zoning would have to be changed, in order to develop the site into an 18-hole golf course and 3 single-family residences. They took a gamble. They had no idea that they would be delayed, at considerable cost, for eight years. It is a risk developers face, especially in areas such as Marin County, one of the most environmentally-sensitive areas in the country. Spieker Properties is a highly-respected company that does good work. Unfortunately, the property to be developed is fraught with controversy.

The perspective of the opposition is as follows: Who needs another golf course? Golf course attract a limited number of people. Golf courses are the worst polluters of the environment, using extreme amounts of chemicals to keep the greens green. In fact, the highest death rate next to firemen are golf course workers, as they inhale the toxins that they administer to the greens, mostly at night time. The water surrounding the course is heavily polluted, impacting all life forms, humans, wildlife and all flora.

There will be 53 families living on the site in homes exceeding $600,000, an elitist development. The dedicated area will be used by the residents, not the public. This dedicated area is mostly a ruse; it will be used and enjoyed by very few.

The opposition contrasts the golf course and homes with what has been the use of property historically as follows: There is compelling evidence that Sir Francis Drake not only landed at Black Point, but spent considerable time at the site because it was perfect for all of his needs, the safest, most protected area with easy access. There were abundant natural resource materials from fresh water to timber for re-outfitting his ships, all the game, fruits and vegetables he needed. If one were to study early maps and topography, it becomes one of the most logical sites on the entire San Francisco Bay for any mariner. There are oak trees on the property that are to be cut down that predate Sir Francis Drake, some over 500 years old. If you could hear, the trees would talk to you and confirm the residency of Drake.

For the last 20 years, the site has been the home of the original Renaissance Faire which uses the property eight weeks a year to celebrate and educate 150,000 people on the mores and folkways of our ancestors. Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world have been educated and influenced by the Living History Center, the parent of the Renaissance Faire. It is hard to calculate the impact on Marin County, let alone the world. There are approximately 1,500 full-time participants at the Faire who spend over $12 million per year in Marin County. There are part-time jobs for everyone. The diversity of jobs has impacted and educated both children and adults more effectively than most routine jobs that are few and boring by contrast to the richness of the Faire.

If the Faire goes, so goes one of the richest and perhaps most beloved cultures of our times. The Renaissance Faire is an icon and should be preserved. Not only does it generate enormous revenues for Marin County, but it makes Marin, and especially Novato, unique. The Marin County Renaissance Faire is the original and most loved, over and above all of its imitators.

It is true that the property had to be sold to pay bills. Then the company was sold to a corporation that is now in financial difficulty. It is the people, not the corporation, that make the Faire. The Faire can operate perfectly, if not burdened by bad management. There presently exists an organization willing to continue the annual Renaissance Faire, if given the chance.

FRED BAKER

Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Living History Center

Mill Valley

Thanks And Advice

To the many voters who felt as I that this present council has drifted from one that listens to their citizens to one that embraces special interest groups, I am proud to have had your confidence and your vote on November 4th.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. My only regret is that we did not win the office. But in a sense, we did win. Our message to the Mayor was clear. Things are not what they should be in Novato.

To Ms. Ecklund, I would offer my congratulations, but I would hasten to add that you received 36.6 percent of the vote on November 6. Clearly, 63.4 percent of the voters in this city did not agree with your leadership and did not want to return you to office. Had there not been four candidates that essentially split the vote, you might not have won. (Source: Registrar of Voters based on the total numbers of votes cast.)

Therefore, I would ask that you consider this and do all that you can do to re-establish your credibility with the citizens of our city by listening and considering all of our concerns before you decide on any issues before you. It is one thing to say that yours is a "can-do City Council," and that you are a leader who "gets things done." It is certainly another when your deeds seem to favor a select few.

To Mr. Henderson, I would say that you should be your own man. You should resist the notion that all is well in Novato and that there is a need for you to agree with everything this Council has done in the past or will do in the future. Clearly there is a danger in that position. Remember that the people of this city elected you to your office, not the present Council. You are answerable only to the citizens. Be worthy of that charge in both deed and word.

I would ask both of you that you serve with honor and integrity when considering any issue before you. Novato, its citizens and our precious environment should be first on your agenda. The citizens and Novato deserves no less.

JOHNNY LaROSA

Former City Council candidate

Novato

Privatization

International capital investors have made the decision to take over any and all public services throughout the world. That includes all public services in this country. By using their press, they attack public services at every corner. They play up all government deficiencies to get us to seek remedies such as private ownership instead of government-run public services. They attack the schools and want them to be run by businesses, thereby destroying the public school system as we know it. This, of course, means our taxes will go not only for the teaching of our children but to profiteers. Schools will be run for profit and we know what that means.

They want to take over the hospitals. They grabbed Marin General and many other hospitals in the country. They are even taking over prisons. The privatization drive doesn't stop here. For a smaller nation to obtain a loan from the international financiers, they must privatize all their public services.

I don't know what we can do about it, but we can keep our eyes open. When it comes around we should be aware and voice our protest.

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Golden Economic Age

Let's look for a moment at this so-called golden economic age. Should we give a certificate of achievement to an economy when roughly 13 million people are unemployed and underemployed? Should be give a badge of good health to an economy when wages and household income of three quarters of the American people have stagnated for 25 years? And this hasn't changed during the Clinton years. Since 1993, wages and salaries have declined for four consecutive years. Should we pronounce an economy fit when poverty visits the homes of nearly 40 million people and nearly one in two African-American, Latino, Asian, and Native-American families-not because of their own doing, but because of the doings of the system of capitalism?

Should we give a four-star rating to an economy when as many as 35 million working people are locked into jobs paying less than $15,000 a year? Should we say that an economy is in A-1 shape when more than 25 million people are at part-time jobs? Should we give a superior job rating to an economy when 12.6 million workers are condemned to a yearly income of $8,840? That's $3,000 less than the poverty level for a family of three. Should we declare an economy first-class when racial minorities, women and immigrant workers are systematically locked out of higher wages, higher skilled jobs and channeled either into low-wage, low-skilled jobs or into the ranks of the unemployed? Should we give a gold star to an economy when its spokespeople say that it will function properly only if entitlement programs like welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, to name a few, are entirely eliminated? The answers to these questions are obvious. The U.S. economy gets a failing grade.

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Thumbs Down On A Balanced Budget

The House of Representatives will vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution on February 24, a measure that President Clinton said "could cripple our country in time of crisis-and force unwanted results such as judges halting Social Security checks or increasing taxes."

This measure is part of the ultra-right assault on the Constitution and would undermine the principle that Congress controls the purse strings. Rep. Ron Dellums (D-Calif.) points out that the entire drive by the right-wing for a balanced budget comes down to who will pay. History shows that Wall Street and its agents in Washington will always seek to balance it on the backs of the people. The balanced budget is a cover for attacks on the entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare, and to cut funding for occupational safety and health and environmental protection. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that the budget is out of balance for two reasons: Not enough money coming in and too much going out for wrong things. Nor do you have to be a genius to figure out the solution. First, there is not enough money in the pot, put more in and as Jesse James would say, "get it from those that have it." If the rich were taxed at the same rate today that they were in the '70s, the budget would be balanced overnight, with plenty to spare.

Second: if you're running a little short, cut out the fat-whacking the military budget in half would be a good start. There was never any justification for blowing hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons that don't work to fight wars that can't be won. There's even less justification now.

Third: Put people back to work by passing the Martinez Jobs Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act. Every percentage point increase in the unemployment rate costs the federal government $50 billion in lost taxes and increased benefits.

COLEMAN C. PERSILY

San Rafael

Beating And Killing Is Excessive Force

It was with great sympathy I read of the death of Brian Possner at the hands of the Novato police on October 22. This incident is especially significant to me as my son, George Arlow, was also beaten by the police in the course of arrest. He was treated at the emergency room in the community hospital in Novato immediately after his arrest and subsequently spent one week in the hospital because of the injuries to his ribs. I was present in Judge Boren's courtroom in the Superior Court of Marin County on August 22, and was greatly disturbed to hear the prosecutor, in Judge Boren's courtroom, describe my son's injuries as minor and that there was positively no police misconduct! The court records will reflect my comments expressing my concern and fear by the prosecutor's apparent approval of police abuse which he and the Court apparently condoned.

Now a man is dead at the hands of the Novato police because he refused to identify himself! Is it possible that Mr. Prossner would be alive had the Court and the Prosecutor cared enough to consider my very justified concerns about excessive police force?

By comparison, Mr. Prosecutor, you are absolutely right! My son's injuries were very minor considering the length to which the police are allowed to go in making an arrest. I am sure, according to the justice system as carried out in the Superior Court in Marin county, no evidence of police brutality will be found.

In my opinion, to allow even one over-zealous police officer to use excessive force is an insult to the majority of our men in blue who are brave enough to perform their duties with the greatest integrity, courage and valor.

This letter is written with the deepest sympathy and respect for Mr. Prossner's family and friends. If we choose to let his death go by unnoticed, he will have died for nothing. We must take time to think about the power bestowed on police officers who should be held accountable for their actions. To live in a law-abiding society, we certainly must have law and order, but first we must have respect for the men we entrust to carry out their duties without unnecessary force. The Old West slogan "Wanted: Dead or Alive" apparently still exists in Marin County.

THERESA ARLOW

Half Moon Bay

Prose Poem

Here now, outside this Southern California town of Temecula, where tract houses sprawl out by the metric mile into vast exurban replication, where the town center is a simulated old town, complete one hopes with mighty showdowns at the olde saloon, where the setting sun lights up the desert valley with colors just this side of Disney, here now just outside, one sits in a lamplit solitary stupor of dry air and heat, and pines nostalgically for the damp shroud of Tomales Bay fog.

The magnitude of silence here in the desert-for it is a silence that expands geographically-is such that one is lulled into a kind of false revery of solitude, forgetting the life-in-death of the desert landscape-for the desert is alive. And one hears the lonely rush of dry-heat wind and thinks of lapping waves, and sees-but can never see, can never contain or know-the vastness of pure, unpeopled space. And one thinks of the ocean, the sea, the bays of West Marin, and suffers a mild wave of what Pessoa called saudade, a kind of sadness, nostalgia, loss and solitude all in one.

Yes, it is your roving voidante letters, your faux "Whitman in the outhouse," as one of the your readers has so named me, here for awhile in Southern California, having arrived by the Jules Verne Steamship Balloon, fueled in part by the hot air of so many literary endeavors. (Finally, use-value to talking out of one's own ass!)

And so I find the moon here is the same moon as there. We know this already, we've already known it forever, and it is still astonishing. Each crisp night one forgets-one never forgets, but it is as if one forgets. And then up-out there, shines the loneliest light that is not its own, the desert or ocean or harvest or TV moon. And it reminds us-one never forgets, but it reminds us-of who we are and are not, of our grandiose smallness.

We in our faux-utopias of no place and everywhere, always just here now, one small person alone in vast desertscapes of forgotten time or alone together in bustling cities hunger for a purity of light, for roadways that ascend, for nights that never end, for something larger than our meek selves to burn into memory, into every unforgetting, into moontime consciousness, the knowing-unknowing that whispers itself through desert or tide-lap or neon buzz, and as always, words fail us.

Solitude travels, whether alone or in crowded spaces, and though the subtle epiphanies of the West Marin landscape are not portable save as memories, there is something in the salt air that clings to skin and deeper to bone and breath and breadth of vision, something in the briny depth of consciousness that clings like barnacles to any who leave. So perhaps this is just a love letter home, earmarked especially for my imaginary friends-that is, friends-in-imagination-Miss Hattie McGraw, fervent epistolario, resident barfly-or is it gadfly?-and poet-philosopher, whom I only know in sympathetic daydream. And I wonder as I write this, as the moon banks slowly across my window-a squared circle-how we all, in the end, can be alone together.

T. BARTLEBY JONES

Temecula

War Resisters' Day

Veterans' Day (originally "Armistice Day") should be looked at from the perspective of our one human family. We should extend its meaning to include honoring the veterans of all wars, from whatever side.

On all sides were those who were husbands, lovers, and fathers (and many participating women). Some vets were cruel, but most were well-meaning. Some were proud of their great cause and loyal to their nation, fatherland, blood, religion, culture, way of life.

Some fought reluctantly, unconvinced of the righteousness of their cause, but coerced by threats of imprisonment, dishonor, ostracism.

All were trained to kill and destroy. This they had in common, along with the fact that they were husbands, lovers, teachers, artists, farmers, etc

On the same day, in order to fill out the picture of those who served, I suggest that a twin celebration should simultaneously be observed to include those who upheld human life as more sacred than any national or other sectarian sovereignty.

Often persecuted, despised, and imprisoned, clinging to the courage of their convictions-their more universal loyalty-surely, these also should be honored by all humanity.

How about a Veterans' War Resisters' Day?

GUY W. MEYER

Inverness

Dear Rep Woolsey

I appreciate hearing from you concerning campaign finance reform. Too many of our citizens are not aware of the positions of their elected representatives.

I can also agree to your opinion that there should be investigations of both parties concerning campaign finance reform. I also believe the Democratic party is in lock-step in their partisan effort to discredit the other party. The primary violations concern the President and Vice President and the contributions by foreign governments in trying to influence our electoral process and gain preferential treatment. There appears to be a concentrated effort by the Democrats to shift the emphasis on campaign finance reform instead of finding out who broke the law.

Finding and punishing the perpetrators should be the major goal in campaign reform and would send a powerful message to all politicians in the future.

I believe that campaign investigative hearings are absolutely necessary and should not only place the blame on responsible parties but that they have to be followed up on by holding the responsible individuals accountable!

Holding people responsible has meant nothing to the current administration. Until they are held accountable they will continue in their irresponsible ways. Current laws have been broken by persons in very high positions-they should be impeached!

By the way-would you please tell me what actions are being taken against Representatives McDermott of Washington State? It appears that he committed a felony in the handling of the scanner tapes. Please let me know what is being done about this crime. Maybe a fine of $300,000 would be justice, as long as it does not come from campaign funds!

PAUL ROBINSON

Santa Rosa

Growth Junkies

"If we build it, they will come."

Growth is destroying Marin's quality of life. We're being manipulated by growth junkies in the State legislature, on the Board of Supervisors, on some of our City Councils. Our public officials, like kids before Christmas, are seeing visions of sugarplums-in the form of new opportunities to impose more taxes-in every new development proposal, in every new high-rise building, in every new housing tract. Our public officials are growth junkies. They've got to be stopped, given treatment, rehabilitated.

Many developers are essentially con men at best, interested to exclusion of all else in their own quick in-and-out action for the fast buck, then moving on to victimize some other community with the devastation of uncontrolled growth. They have no permanent interest in the community, little or no care for the devastation they leave behind-leaving it for us residents and our posterity to contend with, and to pay for.

Medical people call uncontrolled growth cancer. Uncontrolled growth of our communities is a cancer upon the land and our society that steadily and progressively eats up our substance.

In the last decade Marin has been inundated with more huge new shopping malls, destroying small businesses which have been the backbone of our commerce.These malls result in increasing vehicle congestion, pollution, need for public services and more of our tax dollars.

The Pied Piper developers promise more jobs-temporary construction jobs, bottom pay scale jobs, in Burger Kings, at Taco Bells, as supermarket sackers, and the like.

Each new lane built on Highway 101 to ease traffic congestion is filled to capacity almost before the pavement is cured. Highway widening is a permanent no-win battle. Progress is poison, growth in poison.

Building more residential tracts brings more people, cars, traffic congestion, air, water, and noise pollution, more children requiring more water and sewer use, road widening, schools, teachers, hospital beds, doctors, dentists... All of that in turn demands still more growth, and more congestion in all aspects.

And of course it all brings more crime requiring more police, courts, lawyers, jail space, again increasing the need for more utility capacities.

All of that combined means ever more cost to taxpayers. And because taxes never cover total costs but always require additional public subsidies for so many government services and to pay for the inevitable cost overruns for all new public goods and services, it means increasing our taxes still more. Growth is more taxes.

Growth has already turned San Jose into L.A. on the Bay. Growth is swiftly turning Santa Rosa into L.A. North. Do we want San Rafael and Novato to be next?

It's time to draw a line in the sand and say No more! We need firm growth boundaries, a moratorium on growth.

MILES VETUS

Free Abu-Jamal Rally December 6

Robbie Mesropol is said to have declared Mumia Abu-Jamal to be the most important/controversial political prisoner on death row since his parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were executed 44 years ago. I expect he will elaborate that premise at the December 6 rally in San Francisco.

The Danish Parliament recently joined others in Europe and elsewhere (40 MPs in Japan, for instance) asking for a new trail for Mumia.The City Councils of Santa Cruz and San Francisco (the later against steep opposition) have also passed similar resolutions recently and others have announced their intention to do so soon.

Two years ago, Mumia's scheduled execution in Pennsylvania was suddenly cancelled, assuredly due to the world-wide protestation of it. Over 100,000 people rallied in the streets of Italy, and a million pieces of mail from around the world are reported to have poured into Pennsylvania Governor Ridge's office in support of a new trail for Mumia.

I've not seen or heard this stated anywhere, but I'm fairly certain that Mumia is the most famous Death Row prisoner in the world today. He's got a pretty good PR team, top-notch lawyers, writers and political activists, human rights organizations, reformers and radicals, poets, professors and preacher-all protesting the abuses of a justice system which denied him a fair trail to begin with and continues to not rectify that error.

The coalition in support of Mumia has grown significantly (Recognizing the symbology of his circumstance, Mumia actively campaigns only for the universal abolition of capital punishment), and I imagine its number is now somewhere in the scores of millions worldwide.

Over $20,000 was raised for Mumia's defense fund at the Mission High School August 16 rally, where a capacity crowd of nearly 3,000 wildly-enthusiastic supporters jammed the auditorium to hear Leonard Weinglass, Alice Walker, Ron Kovic, Angela Davis, Geronimo Ji-Jaga and 30 or so other speakers from a wide spectrum of causes speak about Mumia and a host of issues which connect us all to him and each other.

Midway through the evening a stunning, petite, well-dressed, silver-haired, civil rights lawyer-type sitting next to me turned and with moist, smiling eyes, exclaimed, "I think this is an historic moment we're witnessing." As people started leaving after the last speaker, she said, "I think I see some of the San Quentin Six-I used to work with them." As we parted, I watched her carefully mount the stairs to the stage, cane in hand, to greet them.

August 16 was the last of nearly a dozen Solidarity marches, rallies and benefits for Mumia I'd been to in the past two years around the Bay Area (I've missed a few). And for the past three months I've attended nearly weekly meetings in preparation for the coming December 6 rally. Of the 50 or so attendees at these meetings, only three of us are Marinites, so this is part of my attempt to notify the rest of Marin about the rally to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, end the death penalty, and stop police brutality.

The march will assemble in the Panhandle, Oak and Baker, at 11:30 a.m., and proceed shortly thereafter to U.N. Plaza, 7th and Market, to begin the rally at 1:30 p.m.

The rally will feature a couple dozen or so speakers (five minutes or less), including aforementioned Mesropol, Ramona Africa, Ossie Davis, Bear Lincoln, Angela Davis, Nellie Wong, Christina Vasquez and other poets, artists and activists. Musical entertainment will include African Roots of Jazz, Dr. Loco's Rocking Jalapeno Band, hopefully The Comrades (they were great at Geronimo's homecoming celebration in Oakland), and others.

Similar rallies will be held in many cities around the world, including at least a half dozen in the U.S., the most important one being in Philadelphia, where a People's Tribunal will "try" the legal establishments in that city (D.A., Supreme Court, Governor) which have so maliciously persisted in denying Mumia Abu-Jamal a just trial.

R. H. "KAI" KEIGWIN

Novato

Consent Initiative

Thanks to Governor Pete Wilson, our next statewide ballot will include an initiative requiring that unions get written consent from their members before using union funds to support or oppose candidates or legislation.

Next, please may we have an initiative requiring that corporations obtain written consent from their shareholders before using corporate funds to influence elections or lobby for or against legislation?

Somehow, I'm not holding my breath.

ANNE WEST

Inverness

Fair Isaac-Too Much Traffic

After reviewing the environmental impact report on the 400,000 square foot corporate headquarters of the Fair Isaac company in downtown San Rafael, I have concluded that the City Council should put this matter to the San Rafael voters, via a special election or the next general election in November, 1998.

The impact on more traffic traveling south on Highway 101 during the morning and evening commute will horrendously affect commuters from Terra Linda and Santa Venetia, as well as other county residents traveling along the 101 corridor.

Imagine, too, the impact of between 500 and 1,200 cars containing Fair Isaac employees traveling in and around the area of Lincoln and Second at the very time that eastbound traffic converges toward the San Rafael transit center and the entry onto 101.

Further, imagine the impact of construction to expand Second Street and how that activity will slow down commuting residents of San Anselmo and Fairfax. Visualize the impact of a shortage of parking spaces between 200 and 300 slots (take your best number), which this project sorely lacks, and the effect that would have on adjoining San Rafael neighborhoods.

Regardless of how many ride-sharing plans that Fair Isaac might or will design, once this project is underway, there is no guarantee that traffic congestion will not occur. This project affects us all and would greatly alter the topography of San Rafael. I urge citizens of San Rafael to contact both the mayor and the council members and encourage them to place this project on the ballot. Let the citizens of San Rafael vote on this project.

GARY FORD

San Rafael

Suspicious Of Anonymous

If Anonymous has already lost his job at AOL and if what he says is true, then why doesn't he go public? What does he have to lose? What difference would something like this make to his divorce proceedings? Does he think that there is no one else smart enough to detect the "cookies" in the code besides him? If his allegations are true, then there is a solid basis for a suit against AOL. His story really smacks of hoax and hysteria.

CHRIS MILLER

Petaluma

AOL Hoax

A friend of mine picked up your current issue while we ate brunch in Point Reyes Station, and shared your front page article with me, "When Is a Cookie a Very Bad Cookie?," regarding an alleged "cookie" feature in AOL V4.0 that allows the on-line service to monitor and access each AOL user's computer system remotely.

I'm glad to report that the basis of this story, like many before it, is a hoax. Since the internet gained popularity, and likewise the larger on-line services like AOL, CompuServe, Prodigy, and Genie, there've been unsubstantiated rumors spread by mischievous types who gain-well, I don't know what kind of satisfaction you'd get from spreading virus and chain letter hoaxes. It must be a barrel of giggles judging from the care that goes into spelling and grammar in these sorts of anonymous e-mails. [Wipes excess sarcasm from keyboard.]

Once injected into the net community, virus hoaxes and similar e-mail chain letters, tend to proliferate, based on a lack of skepticism and understanding. What begins as a small mailing can infect the mailboxes of millions of users, most of whom forward them in a sincere effort to spread the word about some new threat. Alas, the virus in question...is the e-mail itself, acting as what has been called "a thought virus." They usually exhibit three features: The Hook (it could happen to you), The Threat (your hard drive will start playing The Brady Bunch theme) and The Request (send this message to everyone you know, and anyone you don't know).

The "AOL Bad Cookie" story that you received was reported on ZDNet News in early October. It has also been documented by the Computer Incident Advisory Capability (based at Lawrence Livermore National Lab).

I'd like to invite you and your readers to periodically review the CIAC, George Smith's CRYPT newsletter, and Rob Rosenberger's Computer Virus Myths home page to check out any suspicious stories that may descend upon your e-mail box. I also maintain pages related to virus hoax mail

("e-v-mail") and other computer-related shenanigans. Above all, I encourage you to seek confirmation from reliable sources of these rumors when you encounter them.

If it sounds just too nefarious to be true, it probably is.

DAVID SPALDING

Korova Multimedia

Novato

Call To WWII Vets And Their Families

I would like to bring to your attention Florida State University's Institute on World War II and the Human Experience. As the Institute's Director, I have undertaken a project entitled "To Preserve a Legacy." With the aging of World War II veterans, I and others are deeply concerned about the loss of these men's and women's insights into that "Good War." In particular, as I am sure you already know, it is all too common to have these brave veterans' memorabilia either discarded or hidden away where no one can use

it. Even in the few instances where letters, diaries, and the like are donated to a local institution, it is all too likely that they go from the veteran's attic to the institution's basement, never to see the light of day again.

Here at Florida State University we have set up the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to do research and teaching based on the average person's experiences in World War II. Our archive is devoted to nothing else and is run in connection with the University's M.A. program in Public History (Archival Studies). The basic goal of the Institute is to collect and preserve the memorabilia (i.e., letters, diaries, photographs, etc.) which give a uniquely valuable insight into the way the war was actually fought. Through no other means can the testing and survival of so many millions of valiant American citizens be brought to the attention of generations which today know far too little about what was at stake and the sacrifices made.

Would you please bring this effort to the attention of your friends as well as to veterans everywhere. Please ask them to consider donating their memorabilia to the Institute and in so doing to help preserve this legacy of America's, and their, greatness. Do consider making such a donation yourself and helping to preserve this irreplaceable tradition. Should you wish to see it, I can send you as many copies as you would find useful of the brochure detailing the Institute's work. You can also visit our home page (though it is still under construction) on the web at http://www.fsu.edu./~ww2. If you have a personal home page, we would appreciate if you would establish a link with this site. I think you and your friends would be particularly interested in the photographs donated by one of Patton's photographers which are to be found there, photographs which were almost lost due to neglect and lack of interest.

I would like to express my appreciation of your cooperation in this effort. I and those I work with would also like to thank you and your fellow GIs for all that you have done for this country.

BILL OLDSON

Professor and Director

Institute on World War II & the Human Experience

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL 32306-2200

Tel. (850) 644-9541

Fax (850) 644-6402

e-mail: [email protected]

Internet And Free Enterprise

Is America still the Land of Opportunity? Does small business still have a chance today? Can we compete on the internet on an equal basis with big corporate America? Is the internet our new hope, our new horizon, for owning our own business and being self-sufficient, like the new settlers coming from the East to the West, looking for new opportunities? For all of us, who ever thought of being self-employed, I sure hope so.

How many times have you driven through your town and seen another small Mom & Pop shop of many years be driven out of business by corporate America? How many of you were cut short from your retirement after long and loyal service? This isn't progress, it's degradation. This is just another way the family structure is being pulled apart and destroyed.

The very fabric of our country was woven by blood, sweat and tears from just plain, good folks helping each other. Families fighting together for liberty, equality and justice for all people. Our country's opportunities should never be just for the rich and powerful corporations. They're not the one's who'd have to do the real fighting in time of war and God forbid if they had to get their hands dirty.

It's still up to us, to fight together against this kind of America. Let's take our country back peacefully by helping to support small business in America. Don't let our country be completely taken over by big corporations.

They're still going to try and buy our Senators, but we don't have to support them. The internet is our new hope for a fair and equal playing field. Choose wisely who you decide to support with your hard-earned money.

God bless us all and God bless America, the Land of Equal Opportunity!

KIMBERLY KOUF

Kouf Enterprises

[email protected]

Simac And Breast Cancer

In response to Mr. Simac's characterization of Marin's female population concern with breast cancer as a "distorted fear," I must say the fear is not at all distorted-it is a healthy one, the fear of death! Marin has had an inordinately high incidence of breast cancer and I believe our fear is a well-founded one. If it were prostate cancer that had such high numbers, I believe Mr. Simac's characterization of the fear of it by men would not be that of a pathological one.

We women in this county do not view our anatomy as "alien entities with evil intent", we are well educated people with a realistic view of the potential for lethal cancers, whatever their cause, to kill us! The high incidence here happens to be of cancer of the breast. Mr. Simac, search your heart (and prostate) for any signs of distortions in your view of women and their concerns (well-founded) for their lives.

MEG BRIZZOLARA

San Rafael

Peace For All Ireland

Is Ireland justified in throwing bombs at the British? Ireland and Scotland didn't even exist before the British arrived. They where a bunch of warring clans, killing each other off; not even able to defend themselves from foreign invaders such as the Moors. Then came the British and gave national identities. Under British leadership, the warring tribes came together as nations. Ireland eventually deemed itself capable of independence and the British left, though apparently too soon. Ireland is now a Communist land, not a democracy.

The majority of North Ireland wishes to remain part of Great Britain. They voted to remain part of the British Commonwealth. But South Ireland, not being democratic, not respecting majority rule, throws bombs at them! How long will the British put up with Marxist terrorism?

The Marxist have done a clever job in shifting the root cause of the violence from government onto religion. This is because Communists hate religion. Those loyal to Britain are usually Protestant, and those who identify more with mainland Europe in Ireland are usually Catholic. There seems to be a naturally occurring pluralism there. The Marxists have used this to keep the focus off their brutal system of government and placed the blame on religion. (They have made a similar shift of focus elsewhere in the world.) Violence in Ireland will cease when both sides convert to a democratic form of rule, irrelevant to any religious change that may take place. Then our naturally-endowed brotherly love can be expressed from both sides for a change.

The terrible atrocities we saw in the movie Braveheart are only one side of the story. With the signing of the Magna Carta, England was the only democratic nation in the world at that time. Always on the cutting-edge of democracy, England led the world with the new form of government until the U.S. took over this role. Democracy is part of the developing solution to atrocities, not a throw-back to some ancient Scottish Dynasty. Braveheart almost destroyed Parliament, the most democratic organization in the world at that time. That would have thrown all sovereignty back to the King. When democracy was still weak in the world, the British throne did commit terrible deeds. Yet the solution requires democracy. When Britain was defending Europe at a very high price from Napoleon dictatorship, they felt beneficiaries of British colonialism should help by doing their fair share also. When resistance was met and the casualties of war increased, they became more and more brutal themselves. Yet they never really did receive the help needed from their neighbors. The Marxists have always used this as an excuse to attack British democratic leader of the old world and to continue the violence in North Ireland against them. What is really under attack is parliament and democracy.

The most democratic countries are the least to blame for atrocities. The least democratic are the most dangerous. For this reason, England is most to be praised in the old world. Many Irish even went so far as to side with the Nazis in WW II. Spying in Britain for the Germans and supplying Nazi U-boats with food and fuel off the coast of Ireland was not too uncommon in those war years. Whose side should you be on? So let us also tell the other side of the story when discussing world history.

RICHARD MOSS

[email protected]

From Seattle With Love

As you know, my family moved to Bolinas in 1970.The eldest of five kids, I was one of the first paper delivery boys for the Bolinas "Hearsay News," a small town newspaper-I don't know if it exists anymore. I also remember the Point Reyes Light and Coastal Post. It's been a long time since I have lived in Bolinas. I have been living in Seattle for the past year, and still visit Bolinas every Fourth of July. For the past 11 years, I have been working in the computer industry, and currently work for one of the world's largest computer companies (I won't mention any names, but many refer to us as "The Evil Empire.")

To be honest, I have not read a "real," physical newspaper in years. Seems like I've been sucked into our "high tech" society, and get most of my news from the internet or TV. However, a good friend and life-long teacher of mine, Dave Duffin, just sent me the November issue of the Coastal Post. The passing of the "Mayor" of Bolinas article was highlighted. I was sad to hear of the Mayor's passing. He was always gracious and took the time to say hello. After reading this article, I found it impossible to put your newspaper down. Wow, this is really good stuff! I was also pleased to see that your paper was on the internet, thus proving that there is worthwhile material there.

I just wanted to write and say thanks. I miss Bolinas, Smiley's, the school, my childhood friends, the beach, Marin County and a good newspaper, like the Coastal Post. I will definitely be reading the Post on a regular basis from now on. In addition, you can count on me for sending in my dollar (if not more)!

Keep up the good work, and I will pray that the Coastal Post is around for a long time to come.

GREG QUINONES

Seattle

P.S.-God speed, Mayor!

Solar Colonization Mission

In my younger years, I was the Officer of the Deck on the USS Simon Bolivar, a ballistic missile submarine that was, at the time, the most powerful warship in recorded history. In my advancing age I am trying to start The John Foundation as a nonprofit venture that will grow into the most powerful organization in recorded history.

The goal of The John Foundation is to build an open, global, enduring, self-sufficient, and politically independent system that will fund several projects with the potential for wide public interest.

Its "book-end" projects are The Alpha Association to detect, intercept, and divert life-threatening asteroids and comets on Earth-impacting orbits and The Omega Society to launch many one-way ark-type solar colonization missions.

To acquire the funds necessary to achieve its purposes, the foundation will develop a systematic approach for the large-scale organization of small business.

Details can be found in a book entitled The Noise from the Airport by John and J.J. Anthony, which can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.gwi.net/tjf/ on the Internet.

A free introductory brochure is available from The John Foundation, 24 Oak Grove Ave., Bath, ME 04530-2205.

LEON J. NEILHOUSE

[email protected]

Great Dichotomies Of Mind In CP

November was a great issue. I especially enjoyed the dichotomy between Frank Scott's article explaining how the world is controlled by the mega-corporations (those paragons of capitalism), and Kirby Ferris' article lamenting our apparently communist government.

It appears to me that the only thread of common ground between these two articles is in the problems created by the imbalance of power. In Marx's demented system, everyone was an equal...in poverty. All the power was held by the state. This thinly-veiled dictatorship finally collapsed. Yet, at the same time, the mega-corporations are consolidating their power and control over global affairs through GATT, NAFTA and the WTO.

Just as the old Soviet Union suffered from an imbalance of power under their regime, it seems intuitively obvious that we will suffer some negative repercussions if the current trend toward corporate control continues, as it will create a system where the vast majority of the power will be concentrated in the hands of a few. Interestingly, economic theory indicates that the best social conditions are created by fair and open competition between organizations which are approximately equal in power.

Tying these threads together, it appears as though the world would be much improved if there were a more equitable sharing of power. But how are we to achieve this? Who will do the balancing? I don't think we can expect the corporations to give up any power on their own. As these same corporations (judging from the changing tax laws in their favor) pretty well have government in their collective pocket, I don't think we can expect any help from the government. So what are we to do?

The range of "solutions" thus far have not been very promising. Some take "action" by voting corporate-sponsored representatives into office, as if one will do better than another. A few people will boycott a corporation now and then. A disgruntled individual might join a militia. Some people complain about NAFTA in the press. These tactics do allow individuals to feel like they are accomplishing something, but in the end, they accomplish little.

The bottom line is that conventional solutions do not seem to be working. If these are the best we can come up with, then we might as well get used to living in the United States of McDonald's. Or plan our vacations to include a visit to the People's Republic of Nike.

It has been my good fortune to be educated in newer and more innovative methods of large-group consensus building. These methods (such as Marvin Weisbord's "Future Search" model) provide a framework for people to come together, discover common ground, build working relationships with others and take effective action. The system is set up so that everybody can hear everyone else's ideas, plans and suggestions but no single view is allowed to dominate the proceedings. This is no cakewalk-it requires the participants to do some serious mental work over two to three days. In the end, however, multiple courses of action can be defined which are interlinked to apply pressure to the problem at optimal points of leverage. Additionally, this is all accomplished with an awesome level of buy-in from the participants.

This "Future Search" is not a pie-in-the-sky romantic ideal for collaboration. This is a tried-and-true process which has been used in numerous community and business situations locally and across the nation. As difficult as it may be to believe, it is possible for people with divergent values to work side by side for the betterment of all. I have seen it happen. This kind of collaborative effort is what is truly needed.

Sadly, it is the opposite of what is happening in today's increasingly polarized society.

For the people of this nation, and indeed of this world, to gain any portion of power which can balance the power held by the corporations, the people must take action. Not just one kind of action, either, but a variety of actions as broad as the spectrum of our population, as coordinated as D-Day and as effective as our determination.

STEVE WALLIS

Dynamic Solutions

Petaluma

[email protected]

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