The Coastal Post - February, e rese

PR Feb 97

Audubon Events

On Saturday, February 8, at 9:00 a.m. there will be a half-day field trip to discover water and shore birds in Novato in the marshes, wetlands, woodlands and weedlots. Meet at Park & Ride at 9:00 on the north side of Atherton Avenue and the east side of Hwy. 101. Gil Thomson is the leader. There is no charge. Call 388-2821 for more information.

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On Friday, February 7, at 8:00 p.m. there will be a slide/lecture program on Australia by award-winning bird painter Hans Peeters at Richardson Bay Audubon Sanctuary, 376 Greenwood Beach Road, Tiburon. No charge. Call 924-7146 for more information.

Trial Set For Licensed Cannabis Dealer In Arizona

A firm trial date of January 27, 1997, has been set in the case of State of Arizona vs. Richard M. Davis. The trial is to be held in Maricopa County Superior Court, Mesa, Arizona, before Judge Brian Ishikawa. Mr. Davis was arrested for selling Cannabis on January 27, 1996, at Superbowl XXX, in Tempe, Arizona. Charges against Mr. Davis include three felony counts of sales of Cannabis and one felony count of possession for sale of Cannabis.

The Arizona Department of Revenue issues a Cannabis Dealer's License and Cannabis Tax Stamps as a part of the Luxury Tax Codes (See supporting documents). Some twenty states have Cannabis tax stamp laws in the U.S., but only Arizona issues a Dealer's License, which has been in the Arizona law since 1983. The prosecutor, David Flader, has moved to suppress the dealer's license and character witnesses in the case. No rulings have been made on these motions.

Curator of the USA Hemp Museum, Mr. Davis came to Arizona after Judge John R. Barclay, of the Northwest Phoenix District Court, dismissed charges against Peter Banker Wilson for possession of Cannabis, because Mr. Wilson was in possession of an Arizona Cannabis Dealer's license and had paid his taxes. Mr. Wilson's case is on appeal.

Mr. Davis is being represented by Phoenix attorney Michael Walz, who handled the Peter Wilson case before Judge Barclay. Mr. Walz can be reached at (602) 254-8861.

We invite you to check out the website at:

http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/richd.htm

or soon to be located at

http://www.hempmuseum.org

A First of Its Kind Directory Indexing More than 30,000 Health Websites

Using the internet to research health-related issues or diseases has just become simpler and quicker thanks to HEALTHFINDER, the first and only Internet search tool and directory dedicated exclusively to locating healthcare resources on the Internet.

Identifying and indexing over 30,000 health-related websites, HEALTHFINDER has been designed for consumers and healthcare professionals as a starting point and simple tool to quickly locate and retrieve information on the latest research in diseases, treatments and other health related subjects, in addition to related products and services.

In light of managed care, individuals have become more health conscience and are increasingly looking for health-related information to help them understand their clinical diagnosis, make informed decisions and research ways to feel better and live longer. The ease of use of HEALTHFINDER and ease of information retrieval will make it a popular site with the general public. The HEALTHFINDER search tool is found at http://www.health-connect.com and is free to all users.

According to Henry Racki, Managing Director of Health-Connection, LLC. and the creator of HEALTHFINDER, "The existing popular search engines have numerous websites in so many different subject areas that retrieving specific query results is frustrating, time consuming and filled with multi-duplicate results. HEALTHFINDER sorts and indexes only health-related websites and presents the results in a concise and easy to retrieve format without duplicates", he added.

The first section of HEALTHFINDER; The Internet Diseases and Conditions Directory, will to be opened for use next week. It will provide users with a tool to quickly locate, review and retrieve the latest information about diseases and conditions via the Internet.

HEALTHFINDERs 48 Directories comprise is the largest database of healthcare related websites on the Internet, currently indexing and cross-referencing over 30,000 health related websites. The Disease and Conditions Directory alone has indexed and referenced over 150 diseases and sub-categories and referenced over 6,000 disease and conditions-related websites. The Directory will become one of the busiest and most valuable areas on the Internet because it targets the subjects precisely and provides the most complete list of reference websites presented in an easy to review format.

health-connect.com is The Digital Information System and Internet search tool dedicated to the Healthcare Industry. It was created as an Internet communication system to assist healthcare professionals in finding and exchanging information. health-connect.com seeks to provide healthcare professionals and buyers the best starting place and research tool to locate healthcare information, products and services on the Internet.

Since its inception in 1996, health-connect.com has become extremely popular with thousands of healthcare professionals visiting the website each day. The most popular feature are the Health Industry databases that have been providing valuable contact information for those searching for healthcare providers, facilities, products and industry associations and organizations around the world.

The health-connect.com is owned and managed by Health Connection, LLC, a Connecticut Limited Liability Company that is a partnership of health industry associations and DIS Systems, LLC. It is maintained and updated by DIS Systems with the help of the partner associations who are dedicated to keeping this resource open for the benefit of healthcare professionals and the general public.

For more information on HEALTHFINDER and how to use it, visit the Health Connection Website at www.health-connect.com or contact us by e-mail at [email protected] The HEALTHFINDER telephone number is 860.258.4960 and the fax is 203.258.4967.

Mandatory Exams And Immunization For Kids

To protect the health of every student in school, California state law requires that every child entering kindergarten/first grade must have a health examination no earlier than March of the year preceding kindergarten entry. Some health care providers give this exam free of charge.

Every child must be immunized for polio, DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella). Two new requirements for school year 1997/1998 are hepatitis B, which must be started six months ahead of school entry, and a second dose of measles vaccine.

Call Department of Health and Human Services' Immunization Clinic for more information: 499-6888.

Republican Officers Elected

Members of the new 1997-1998 Marin County Republican Central Committee took their oaths of office January 8 at the Committee's organizational meeting held at Marin Country Club in Novato.

They are Chairman: Edmond McGill of Novato; Vice Chairwoman: Heather Flick of Belvedere; Secretary: Bea Giusti of Mill Valley; Financial Director: Frank Tallarida of Novato; and Treasurer: Gene Swanson of San Rafael.

New Loan Program For Homeowners

DPS Mortgage Corporation is offering a new loan program to assist homeowners, in the form of a second trust deed designed for homeowners who used a low down payment program to purchase their home and may not have built up much equity. This deed allows a combined loan amount of up to 1.5 times the home's actual value.

Through debt consolidation, monthly payments can be cut by more than half, and create a potential tax deduction. Borrowers can apply by calling 1-800-655-5313 and may be able to receive funds in as little as 15 days.

Post Office: Unfair Competition

The Coalition Against Unfair United States Postal Service Competition claims the post office is competing with private industry by offering their Pack & Send service.

Exclusive privileges and exemptions give the Postal Service unfair advantage over private industry, says Thane Croston, owner of Handle With Care Packing Store. "The Postal Service has a government-sponsored, $100 million annual advertising budget that would make most Fortune 500 companies green with envy. Adding insult to injury, my own tax dollars are funding the marketing efforts of our competition." The Post Service is also exempt from full compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. "Essentially, the Postal Service cannot be fined for unsafe and debilitating working conditions," Croston says.

When the Postal Service makes a profit, it is not required to pay corporate taxes or issue dividends. "Should sales slump or expenses increase, the Postal Service can increase the cost of postage to counter decreased sales or increasing expenses, without concern for loss of business."

The biggest advantage the Postal Service has is its access to deep pockets. Facing an end-of-fiscal-year cash crunch in 1996, it sought and received a $1.5 billion loan from the U.S. Treasury's Federal Financing Bank.

Contact Croston at 457-1234 for more information about the fight against unfair competition.

Self-Learning

For anyone hoping to master new skills and abilities on their own, the words of Art Niemann may have a dramatic impact. He says the world's most successful people depend on their continuing ability to teach themselves new subjects; that pre-school children learn on their own; and formal education can no longer assure anyone of a good job or job security in a time when most workers face several career changes in a lifetime.

Niemann's book, The Ultimate Lesson: 10-Point Guide on How To Teach Yourself Anything is available in major bookstores or by calling 1-800-555-1439.

False IDs, False Convictions

In 24 of a sample 28 cases involving Americans who were released from prison in the last few years based on DNA evidence that proved their innocence, eyewitnesses had made false identifications from photo spreads and lineups. No one knows how many may be unjustly jailed every year.

New research sponsored by the National Science Foundation is now enabling understanding of the circumstances that lead to false identifications and helping to find ways to reduce these occurrences.

Particularly troublesome, says Gary Wells, a psychologist at Iowa State University who has conducted NSF-funded research, is evidence that an objective question, such as "How certain are you that the person you identified is the person you saw commit the crime?" elicits a similar response regardless of whether the eyewitness' memory is accurate or not.

This discovery surprised Wells and his team, who hoped a direct question would counteract police influences on an eyewitness' memory. They knew that confidence can be manipulated easily if witnesses receive information about a suspect after making an identification. Casual remarks made by police station personnel administering suspect lineups or photo spreads can bolster the confidence of an eyewitness and distort the witness' memory.

Once memory has been distorted, a straight-forward cross-examination often fails to produce an accurate recollection. Eyewitnesses began to change their answers to questions about how much attention they had paid to the suspect, and how good a view they had of the suspect's face.

Wells believe stronger steps are needed to inoculate eyewitness' memories. "Part of the solution is to require blind testing, where the person administering lineups or picture spreads does not know who the suspects are," and therefore cannot bias the witness.

Accreditation Awarded

The Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Institute in Greenbrae has been awarded the certificate of accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. The award to Drs. Diana and Francis Parnell is given in recognition that nationally recognized standards of quality health care have been met. The Institute is at the forefront of non-invasive treatment for skin irregularities.

Patient Survey: Faith Most Important

Four doctors interviewing 101 patients admitted at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City with dual diagnosis of alcohol/drug abuse as well as mental illness found that the patients view spirituality as essential to their recovery, whereas the nursing staff underestimated both the patient's level of spirituality and its importance in their recovery.

When asked to rank 11 items the doctors presented as factors which they believed might be helpful in recovery, the patients listed "inner peace" first, "belief in God or a Higher Power" second, and attending AA meetings fourth. Staff thought patients would rank belief in God much lower, ninth on the scale of values, and believed "good stable housing" and "appropriate government benefits" would rank first and second.

Such a wide gap between how patients and medical staff view the role of spiritual belief in treatment is all too common, noted Dr. David Larson, president of the National Institute for Healthcare Research.

Patients listed the desire for "more groups focused on spirituality," and "more access to religious services," as second and third, behind "more access to doctors." By contrast, the nurses thought patients would prefer better food, improved rooms, and better movies. Clearly, the staff did not fully understand the needs of the patients.

The researchers concluded, "Spiritually-based self-help groups would not be difficult to provide, and could become an important form of treatment."

Teen Center Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to help as Teen Center Mentors at the newly-renovated teen center in downtown San Rafael, to provide teens with support and friendship, and assist with supervision and guidance, as well as to help the staff keep the center running smoothly.

Volunteers are also needed to help with special events, field trips, errands and clerical work. Training and orientation will be provided. The center is located at 1115 Third Street in San Rafael. For more information, please contact Marin Interfaith Youth Outreach at 453-8645.

Land Trust Announces Purchase

The Sonoma Land Trust and the Coastal Conservancy have announced their successful acquisition of 86 acres of key Sonoma Coast open space properties located along the Sonoma-Marin County line adjacent to the Estero Americano estuary near Bodega Bay. The plan is for the property to be owned and managed by the Sonoma Land Trust as an agricultural open space preserve.

"The Estero Americano is one of the most important biological areas on the entire Northern California coast," said Richard Charter, Executive Director of the Sonoma Land Trust. "We extend our appreciation to Mr. Tom Hepper of Santa Rosa, the seller of the property, for his generous philanthropic contribution and conservation intent which made this transaction possible."

Hepper said, "This has always been a special area to my family because of the wildlife and natural beauty. We felt strongly that it needed to be preserved."

The Sonoma Land Trust utilized its own land acquisition funding reserves for the project, supplemented with a grant of $150,000 from the Coastal Conservancy. Michael Fischer, Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy, said, "The Estero Americano waterway is a part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and lies with the United Nations Central Coast International Biosphere Reserve. It is a secret, hidden, quiet fjord with a unique landscape and precious habitat." Additional funding for the project continues to be sought by the partner agencies in the form of open space funds, grants for wetland restoration on the site, and public contributions.

For more information, contact Richard Charter, Sonoma Land Trust (707) 526-6930 or Dick Wayman, Coastal Conservancy (510) 286-4182.

Care of Aging Parents

A support group for those caring for their aging parents will be offered Monday evenings, from 7-8:30 p.m., January 27 through March 10 (no meeting February 17) by Jewish Family and Children's Services, 200 N. San Pedro Road, Suite A-230, San Rafael. The cost is $75; $112.50 per couple. Subsidies are available.

Caring for an aging parent can be stressful and may trigger feelings of anger, guilt, resentment and anxiety. Jeanette Kadesh, specialist in geriatrics, will facilitate the six-week group, providing emotional support and information. Discussion topics include juggling conflicting responsibilities and needs, exploring the psychological effects of aging, finding and coordinating services, and dealing with our own aging process.

Enrollment is limited and pre-registration is required. Call 507-0564.

Teens And Drugs

A drug talk will be given on Wednesday, March 5, from 7-8:30 p.m., at the San Geronimo Valley Cultural Center, 6350 Sir Francis Drake, San Geronimo by Dr. Darryl Inaba, director of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics and Drug Detox program.

Dr. Inaba is one of the most popular and well-informed speakers in the addiction field, having over 25 years experience with the Free Clinics.

West Marin Community Outreach, an out-patient alcohol and drug program, is sponsoring this event. Call 663-8231 for more information.

AIDS Test

A free and anonymous AIDS antibody test will be offered in Stinson Beach on Wednesday, February 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., by the County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services. The procedure consists of information, a blood test, and a one-week follow-up for results and counseling. Call 499-7515 to make an appointment or to have your questions answered.

Garage Sale Guide

The Garage Sale Handbook, a Businesslike Approach, by Peggy Hitchcock, provides a step-by-step guide to turning excess possessions into profit, offering tips on proper preparation, advertising, selecting and displaying merchandise, pricing and security, customer relations, two-family and young people's sales, record-keeping and hints for shoppers. Order from Pilot Books, 127 Sterling Ave., POB 2102, Greenport, NY 11944 or call 1-800-79PILOT; $7.95 per copy plus $2 postage and handling.

Poison Control

On January 1, the University of California launched a new Poison Control System that will provide consistent, high-quality and cost-saving service statewide.

Beginning on February 12 , callers will be able to dial a new 800 number for advice in poisoning emergencies. Callers will also be able to access the new system using any of the state's six existing numbers.

In the past, the state's six regional centers have suffered from a lack of stable funding sources. In a Blue Cross-funded report last year, the National Health Foundation recommended the formation of a single, unified system that would provide coordinated service and have a reliable funding base.

Last summer, the University of California received the state's sanction to move forward. In the fall, it was able to obtain seed funding from the state to cover operating costs for the first two years, or a little more than $5 million a year. This is substantially less than the $6 to $7 million annual cost of operating the state's previous six regional poison centers. Cost savings will result from reduced administrative costs, use of high-tech computer and phone software to improve efficiency, standardized guidelines to handle calls, and streamlined data collection.