The Coastal Post - May, 1997

Letters May 97


Look to the stars! And I don't mean on your TV set. What extensive networks of meaning we ascribe to those haloed pinpricks of light that dot the black fabric of West Marin night skies! What strange urge compels us to read our imagined fates in the interstices of cosmological happenstance?

Hitch your wagon to a star, Marshall Applewhite may have well advised, all the better to carry one's flesh-body to the gates of heaven. Sly: "I want to take you higher," and if pot won't do the trick, why not purchase a ticket on the astral plane? Rime, the ancient West Mariner, and you will find a flesh-body writhing in weariness, yearning for a flight of fancy. "Keep your feet on the ground and keep on reaching for the stars"-was Kasey Kasem from West Marin? What more succinct understanding of West Marin ontology might there be, than this peculiar wedding of Earth Mother and Our Father who are in Heaven? How many have their existential fortunes tied to the earth-be it Land or Sea-and yet in the flash of a comet's tail would give it all up to lasso a shooting star in hopes of having their fortune towed.

The dearly departed Allen Ginsberg, now hitchhiking no doubt through his own galaxy of peaceful mischief (i.e., blessed Nothingness), might have years ago declaimed to the stars: Hail Bop!-finding angel-headed graced here on Earth, be it in meditative transcendence or a saxophone's riff. Allen was never one to turn away from the flesh-body, I daresay, and I find more hope in his vision of "transcendence" than anything Applewhite or other stargazers might find in heaven's gait. Worship, if ye must, the temple of the flesh-body, and look homeward, angel!

* * *

I believe the Pt. Reyes Light hired some bastard grandson/daughter of Wittgenstein to edit the Sheriff's Calls section: This week a man reported an act of vandalism to a vending machine. No news on what the vending machine did about it. The deputy did later "give advice," however. What advice, and where might I get some?



Exodus From Sausalito Schools

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things..."

I am a proud member of Sausalito's Project Homecoming. The name refers to the fact that every day more than 200 of our students, both black and white, go elsewhere, anywhere, to get away from our public school system. We want them here in our community.

We have the worst schools in Marin County, and we spend the most money: $13,000 per child. Our test scores are lower than the Oakland school district, where they spend approximately $3,000 per child and have over 50,000 children.

What does Oakland have that we don't? They have a school board that listens. Their meetings reflect the diversity of their members, who have opinions on issues (i.e., they heat up!). They take responsibility for the job they were hired to do. It's democratic, and it can be cumbersome.

By contrast, our school board is autocratic. In visual terms, imagine a fortress. There are thick and high walls with people on top pouring hot oil down onto anyone with the temerity to differ or add input.

No one comes to the meetings anymore. These lines from The Walrus and the Carpenter comes to mind: "But answer came there none/And this was scarcely odd, because/they'd eaten every one."

In actual terms, there is no discussion. The vote goes like this: aye, aye, aye, aye, aye. Bang! Down comes the gavel. Next item. It's quick. As the records from the superintendent's office demonstrate, it is not working for the good of the school.

We have no other recourse than to remove these five board members from power. Some people say, "Oh, no, you can't do that. You'll hurt their feelings. You might embarrass them."

I say, "Since when are five people more important than the current 200 enrolled students? And all the students of the last 24 years, when the quality of education there began its decline? What about the city's reputation?"

What about the conspiracy of silence? We need to be out in front of Mollie Stone's collecting signatures. We need to be in the same spot where the nurses stood with their petitions to recall Marin General's hospital board.

Why aren't we there? Because of intimidation, as when there successfully gathering signatures for the recall, we were asked to leave by the owner of the store because two women complained. The owner told us the issue is too controversial.

Our rights of free speech are suppressed! Is that legal? Who will stand up for the children in this town?

I believe Richard Riley, the U.S. Secretary of Education, when he says: "We cannot and must not tolerate failing schools... If ever there was a time to come together for the good of our children, it is now."



Electromagnetic Towers: You Get What You Vote For

There is already one electromagnetic communication tower at the Bolinas Fire Department. At this writing, it is not known if this tower is a necessary part of the Fire Department. It is leased by Sprint and Cellular One, who pay the Fire Department a yearly lease fee (maybe $12,000). Because the placement of this tower has been so easy (no vocalized opposition, etc.) Sprint and Cellular One have gone through the permit process locally (BPUD and Fire Department) again with little fanfare, and just last week (April 10) were approved by the Planning Department at the Civic Center. For this honor the yearly lease fee of $23,000 will be paid to the Fire Department. At the Monday night Fire Board meeting in Bolinas (April 14), a representative from Cellular One was there to finish signing documents and wrap up the last tidy details.

This means we will have a second electromagnetic tower at the Fire Department, right by the Mesa Park playing field. Aside from its unsightliness, the towers emit electromagnetic radiation, an invisible pollutant with questionable results to immune systems, young people and cell structures. In spite of federal, state and county assurances, there are many more questions than answers regarding the net effect of additional electromagnetic energy upon the human body.

"Over the past 50 years, we have more than duplicated the changes in frequency and strength of micropulsations that may have been associated with past species die-outs... Our artificial reversal is much greater in extent and has occurred in a much shorter period of time than any naturally-occurring reversal. The scientific evidence reviewed (in the book Gross Currents) leads to only one conclusion: the exposure of living organisms to abnormal electromagnetic fields results in significant abnormalities in physiology and function." (p. 17, Gross Current: The Perils of Electropollution, the Promise of Electromedicine, Robert O. Becker, M.D., 1990)

Were you notified about the second tower going in by the Mesa Park playing field? Officially, yes, i.e., in the Hearsay, with announcement of the meetings posted, with unitemized agenda items in small print. Did you see it? Inadequate notification as a basis for stopping the permit process does not hold water. Are you worried about the fact that a second large tower will be co-located right by the Mesa Park playing field? ("co-location" is preferred by all officials involved: minimizes hassles and shortens the permit process). Do the unknown health effects of electromagnetic radiation on your and your kids' immune systems bother you?

"The fact is that every power line and electrical appliance produces an electromagnetic field that radiates out from it. And every radio and TV signal that our devices receive has gotten there by means of a similar field given off by the transmitting station. This has resulted in the unseen contamination of our environment with electromagnetic fields of frequencies and powers that never before existed on this planet." (p. 19). The health hazards don't bother the feds who have passed a law making health hazard concerns by the public an insufficient reason for stopping the permit process. Does it bother you that the second tower is of absolutely no use to anyone except the people receiving the $23,000 yearly rent, and the stockholders of the communication corporations involved (and of course the cellular phone users passing through)?

What about the growth issue? In a town that supports no growth, does this new addition to the landscape and the cellscape create growth precedents? (In San Francisco, a church got the tower permit process stopped on the slow-growth measure that had been passed by the voters a few years back.) Maybe Bolinas folks just don't care.

Of most concern to me is what could be construed as a cavalier attitude on the part of our local elected officials; even those who might be concerned about the medical-health implications seem to shake it off either with silence or a "it's b.s. These towers have been proven to be fine," when in fact there is no such proof. On the contrary, to those who would listen, there are more questions than answers. "When questions of safety arose, the questioner was placed in the position of seeming to be irrationally against progress. However, the reason that questions of safety arose was that despite the theories, biological effects were noticed." (p. 190)

Being told that the electromagnetic emissions from the current tower are way below government standards does nothing to reassure me that the government officials know what they are talking about. And upon what do I base such lack of confidence? Recalling nuclear power plants and how the federal government met with corporations, and that it was corporations who told the government a certain level of radioactive emissions were part of the process; and it was upon that basis that the feds set the standards for "routine radioactive emission" as "within acceptable limits." Recalling the Gulf War, the Vietnam war, government platitudes, ineptitude and just plain lying. Thinking: why would I have any more faith in the good intentions of the locally-elected officials to protect the public health before their pocketbooks and their cohorts?

The second tower has been approved by our local officials quietly and rapidly, without any extended discussion or public input. And it's been done in the name of money and "good deals" by people we know and work with. The appeal process is expensive ($500) and by the time you read this article, we will have passed the deadline for it (five business days from April 10).

The permit for the second tower is for one year. There is a petition drive being started to ask the Fire Department to put on the November ballot an advisory poll: do we want this second tower? Perhaps at the polls informed citizens will be able to make their concerns and their voices heard. If you are interested in signing the petition or being part of the petition drive, please call Citizen Action at 868-1359.

We are a town of busy people with our ears turned inward. When we hear the rring-rring of a neighbor's, tourist's or passerby's cellular phone, will it be at the ultimate cost or our health and the well-being of the children?



Ross & MGH

I appreciate the interest that the community has expressed in supporting the access to treatment of our mentally ill citizens in Marin County. I would like to comment on the article in the April 1 Coastal Post by Georgia Sears entitled "Health Care District Focuses on Mental Health Services."

MGH and Ross Hospital began discussions several years ago when we both had strong patient census. We looked at the trends in the industry, realized that we would see the Average Length of Stay dropping at both facilities, and that this would mean that we would each have a lower census. In an effort to be proactive and prepared for this lowered census, we decided to see if we could combine programs in some way.

One possible combination of programs would entail placing all Adult Psychiatric Patients on Unit A of MGH and Unit B of Community Mental Health. Another option is to place all patients in the Ross Hospital building. Each of these options involves moving office space and treatment space to other locations in order to maintain an adequate number of beds to meet the needs of the mentally ill adults.

Ross Hospital has seen an increase in the number of admissions to its services as a result of an aggressive effort to obtain Managed Care Contracts. Ross has never engaged in "aggressive marketing."

No decisions have been made about who would manage the proposed consolidated service. When the staffing patterns of MGH and Ross were recently compared, we determined that we might be able to eliminate one half-time position. The current staffing models between the two units are very similar. It is true that Ross pays staff less than MGH. It is also true that if we paid the same salaries that MGH pays, we would have to close our doors, because we would not have enough money coming in to pay these higher salaries.

The issues that MGH and Ross are facing are identical to the issues that all psychiatric health care providers are wrestling with, and if you are a small provider, the issues become more pronounced. Both MGH and Ross run relatively small programs; we wanted to join forces to achieve economies of scale. No issues have been decided.

As we move forward in the process, we will be asking representatives from all of the stakeholder groups to be involved in charting the development of any potential consolidation. There will be time for deliberation so that we can make the right choices.

At my first meeting with Hank Buhrman two years ago, we both stated that we wanted to do what was best for the citizens of Marin County. We have continually reaffirmed that we want to provide services to our mentally ill residents in a manner that will allow us to survive for the long term. We must not be wasteful in our expenditure of limited resources.


Chief Executive Officer

Ross Hospital

The Buck Center's Politics

The Buck Center's usual smoke and mirrors act is being attempted in Mary McEachron's editorial (IJ, April 13) where she claims that "Five separate geological firms have confirmed that the Buck Center's chosen construction site is geologically stable and would not constitute a threat to life or property."

Those of us who watched in dismay as the Buck Center sailed through final environmental review approvals because of former Gary Giacomini's political muscling know McEachron's statement is false. Each one of the geologic reports performed concluded that Mt. Burdell is geologically unstable. Even with the greased slide through planning procedures it was clear the project would need extraordinary construction efforts and mitigations which one planning commissioner estimated would cost from six to ten million dollars. (Note that that is six to ten million fewer Buck Trust dollars for research and for Marin's needy.)

If the mitigations, however costly they may be, are not sufficient to maintain the slopes of Mt. Burdell, then construction should be halted now, not later.

Yet, when concerned citizens call for a halt like this, what is the Buck Center's response? Their counsel, McEachron, writes an editorial about land stability that is not proven and calls Buck Center critics "rodent activists." There is nothing new about Buck Center spin doctoring and demagoguery: It's the same unethical behavior the Buck Center exhibited throughout the land use review process no matter what the topic under discussion. It exemplifies the lack of responsible decision-making needed in a project of this scope,a lack that goes way back, and questions challenging Buck Center decisions should be answered now:

The Buck Center's board of directors approved the purchase of 488 acres of unstable land at Mt. Burdell despite the fact that Salem Rice's report was available and on record. Why did they shirk their fiduciary responsibilities?

The Buck Center paid an inflated price over market value for this unstable land. Why? And who gained from it?

Having purchased the 488 acres, much of it level in comparison to the current building site, the Buck Center then chose to build its massive structure within 200 feet of its property line directly above homes at Partridge Knolls. Why was the choice made to put good scenic views ahead of safety?

To accommodate their frivolous, view-driven design, the Buck Center budgeted uncalculated millions on construction techniques and mitigations to build an imitation cliff 150 feet high to accommodate the design. Why did the court-appointed Special master and the Marin Community foundation shirk their oversight duties and allow this waste of charitable dollars?

City officials of Novato proceeded with annexation of the site and blocked a local public review of the environmental studies for Novato citizens. Why? How long do they intend to wait before studying the Buck Center environmental impact report data?

In addition to approving over 99,000 sq. ft. of high containment laboratory space, Novato approved the siting of the Buck Center's industrial hazardous waste holding facility for radioactive materials and biological wastes on unstable land without adequate emergency road access plans in place. Why were these foolhardy decisions made and what can be done about them now?

It's time to find the cause of sliding at Partridge Knolls. And it's time to find answers to the questions above. Halting construction of the Buck Center is the sensible thing to do under these circumstances. Homeowners at Partridge Knolls should not be discouraged by the Buck Center's tactics, and should preserve their right to seek reparation for damage at Mt. Burdell. Even if heroic and costly engineering techniques can succeed in riveting the Buck Center lab building to bedrock at Mt. Burdell, what good is it if all soils around it slide away? It's time to stop and assess the situation without Buck Center rhetoric.



In Memoriam: Alfonso Molina

It is for me a moment of indelible sadness to learn that Alfonso (Al) Molina has passed away. He was a man of great understanding, confidence, humor and caring, with an intrinsic sense of the natural world. His life's work was to share that knowledge with others.

For almost four decades he led groups of College of Marin students to the wild, windy, remote and wet places of our coast, and managed to instill a sense of wonder and camaraderie into his student.

He had a tenacious way of getting people to sit through the technical parts of Marine Biology and Botany by keeping his presentations brief and cohesive in the lab, and allowing students to explore the actual specimen material on their own. Then he would review the genus, species, families and ecological classification of his course while people were in the field, and had their attention riveted by the exquisite collages of the tidepools, marshes, forests and deserts he trekked.

Passing his classes and getting good marks was predicated on a basic knowledge of the course, and a few of the details he'd highlight, doing an interesting class project, and of course, getting up at 5:00 a.m. to meet your carpool a couple of days a month to catch the tides out at Pierce Point, Chimney Rock, etc.

As all good teachers can discern the talents and difficulties of each person, he could take a widely-different group of people and develop a rapport with his students which drew out the best that each person was able to give. He constantly wove a fascinating blend of stories about nature and humanity using intonation in his voice that was without parallel. There was a quiet side to him also, which you had to respect.

I know that he worked hard to get from his beginnings in Stockton (on the high school football squad), through a tough stint in the U.S. Army, and taking a degree in Botany at Humboldt State. His tenure at College of Marin was among the longest of any on the faculty, and I feel that he was the best person in the whole world for doing what he did for COM's curriculum. Let us hope that the future will bring a similar individual to our Community College system. Perhaps with his passing an effort can be made to encourage learning among some persons of like caliber who wish to tell the tales of life to future generations of Californians.

I would urge the College of Marin Board to consider changing the name of the Bolinas Marine Lab to the Molina Marine Lab.

Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.



Limit Three Strikes

My name is Bradley Van Dyke. I'm presently an inmate at High Desert state prison in Susanville. A friend of mind, Mark Adams, suggest I write to you and ask that you publish this information on Three Strikes.

A new bill is being introduced this month by Senator Barbara Lee from Oakland. The body of this bill is to have the Three Strikes law amended to serious or violent felonies only, not petty crimes. Other inmates and I ask for your help and support in getting this information out to the public, because your paper reaches out to so many people who believe that the Three Strikes law is cruel and unjust.

Also, I would like to know if your paper would publish the information of the Marin Civil Grand Jury investigation findings regarding police misconduct, such as filing false police reports, lying to a judge to obtain a search warrant affidavit, police intimidation of defense witnesses to not testify. All this and more happened in my case, but I'm just one of the lucky ones to have proof enough to get the Grand Jury to investigate my case.

The citizens of Marin should be made aware that they have some very bad police officers working in Marin.


K-17445 D5-116-U

POB 3030

Susanville CA 96130

Not How You Play The Game...

From Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson, coach of the Chicago Bulls:

"Our whole social structure is built around rewarding winners, at the perilous expense of forsaking community and compassion. The conditioning starts early, especially among boys, and never stops."


National Decline Towards Inferiority

America, in her decline, has become a nation whose government, institutions, and culture deliberately favor the inferior. And Affirmative Action is one of the worst examples of this most insidious form of discrimination.

What the recent ruling by the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring Proposition 209 constitutional really means is the beginning of the end of giving away one-dollar jobs to fifty-cent people at the taxpayer's expense. And that's what all the fuss is about!

We owe Ward Connerly, Gov. Pete Wilson, and many other Californians who fought so hard to get this proposition passed, the thanks they deserve for not giving up on the right all Americans have to be treated equally under the law.

Given the chance, Americans will always choose what is right for our country. Our national decline is neither inevitable, nor irreversible.


San Rafael

Care Shared With Whom?

Some time ago one of your letter writers advised anyone going to Marin General Hospital bring a caretaker. How true that is!

A friend dying of cancer complicated by pneumonia was placed in "Shared Care." Translation: no care. Friends, including myself, did what we could when visiting her. My experience was there wasn't a nurse when one was needed.

Mercifully, my friend died. Could she have survived with adequate care?

Henry J. Buhrmann, hospital administrator, could well stop siphoning money to Sacramento Sutter headquarters and spend that money for nurses if he chose to do so.



Drunk Drivers Not Funny

I realize Stephen Simac meant his "Sexy Cars, Greasy Sluts, Magic Carpets" to be humorous, but t'weren't humorous, Stephen. To smirk up your sleeve over someone driving with "a few drinks under his belt," simply isn't funny. Nice that your friend has overcome his suicidal tendencies, but what concerns me more is the people he didn't do in while driving in a drunken condition.

And, as a cost of those collisions, you completely overlooked the human costs of serious, life-impairing injuries or death. If you doubt the harm of such injuries, come and spend a few days with my head-injured son who was hit by a drunk driver with no insurance.

It has been my experience that the poor, "who can least afford automobile insurance," are often the most likely people to cause accidents where others are maimed or killed.

While I agree there is much that needs to be done about our transportation system as well as our ideas about transportation, and I thought your article contained some good thinking on the subject-please forego the sympathetic pat, pat on the head for drinking drivers. It only encourages them to believe that it's okay to drive in a drunken state, when it isn't. The costs can be much too high for other people, like my son.



Support Jobs For Needy

We read in the media lots of stories about down-sizing, layoffs and unemployment. In addition, we read about all the welfare cuts, laws which require people on welfare to obtain employment, but no provision for jobs or child care.

A bill has been introduced in Congress to provide federal employment to the jobless and the needy, along the lines of the WPA during the Depression. It is HR 950. About 40 members of Congress, including our Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, have endorsed the bill. In addition our own Board of Supervisors have unanimously endorsed the bill. The bill would be financed through reducing the military budget and the corporation giveaways. I urge that you write letters in support of the bill. If you are a member of any organization, get the organization to support the bill.

It may not affect us who are retired, but it would be good for our children and grandchildren and help them get rid of the fear of unemployment and economic chaos.


San Rafael

Looking Towards The Skies

A friend, knowing of my interest in cloud reporting, passed along a copy of the April Post with your article on the NASA conference. Nice scoop, there, folks. Congrats.

I've been researching this topic for six months off and on and was planning to do an article for Earth Island Journal.

Now that I've seen your piece, I wonder if we could reprint it, with all due credit, in the Journal. I particularly like your press analysis. I was on the Web just last week trying to find any information on this conference. I knew NASA was doing two parallel studies on jet contrails and that results were "forthcoming," but somehow NASA itself didn't seem to be very forthcoming.

The EIJ staff all expressed delight in discovering the Coastal Post. Among other accomplishments, Earth Island Journal is the only publication in the U.S. whose entire staff is made up of Project Censored Award winners.


Earth Island Journal

San Francisco

Open Letter to the Marin County Board of Supervisors

We, the undersigned, request that the Marin County Board of Supervisors direct the County Agricultural Commissioner to place a moratorium on the issuance of permits for "Livestock Protection Collars," containing the highly toxic poison, Compound 1080, in Marin county.

I. Compound 1080 Technical Bulletin facts:

Within the official Technical Bulletin for Compound 1080, produced by the USDA ADC in 1993, it is said that: "Compound 1080 is highly toxic to warm-blooded animals, including man, when taken LP collar contains approximately 2 to 6 lethal doses for a 150-pound man" (Technical Bulletin, page 2, 1993). "Compound 1080 is hazardous to domestic animals including livestock and pets. Dogs are particularly susceptible. As little as 0.1 ml of an LP collar's contents may be fatal to a 25-pound dog. Dogs could be poisoned by scavenging the carcasses of collared livestock" (page 2). "Pen studies have shown that an adult sheep can be fatally poisoned by

eating forage containing as little as 1 ml of 1080 solution from LP Collars" (page 2).

II. Compound 1080: risk to non-target wildlife, threatened and endangered species, companion animals, the environment and public health and safety:

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal Damage Control program (USDA/ ADC), which is administering the Livestock Protection Collars (LPCs) in Marin county, freely admits that Compound 1080, the poison contained within the Livestock Protection Collars, is "highly toxic to most warm-blooded animals" for which there is "no effective antidote" (ADC "Facts About Compound 1080" fact sheet).

The official label on the collars states, Environmental Hazards: This pesticide is very highly toxic to wildlife. Birds and mammals feeding on carcasses of contaminated livestock may be killed. Keep out of any body of water...The use of 1080 in the Livestock Protection Collar has been determined to pose a hazard to several endangered species." It is because of the threat these collars pose to state and federally listed threatened and endangered species that LPCs have been banned or restricted in sixteen counties in California.

Even the ADC, the very agency promoting the use of this poison, admits to the potential environmental dangers posed by Compound 1080, which is classified as a "super" toxic poison by the USEPA. In the Final Environmental Impact Statement carried out by the ADC in 1994, it is stated that Compound 1080 is "relatively insoluble in most organic solvents" and "might therefore be expected to leach from surface soils" (page 274).

Because the toxicity of Compound 1080 presents a threat to non-target species, including endangered and threatened species, scavengers feeding on contaminated carcasses, humans and companion animals, and because the mitigation measures proposed are not adequate to reduce that risk, we believe these collars should be prohibited for use in Marin


III. Lost, leaked, unretrieved collars pose hazard to wildlife, human health and safety and the environment:

The poison-filled collars, worn around the necks of sheep, are supposed to be "target specific" and kill only the attacking coyote. However, the USEPA and the ADC admit that secondary and indirect poisoning to other species (including humans) and the environment can occur as a result of:

1) Leaked collars: Guy Connolly, a researcher commissioned by the USDA to carry out an in-depth study of LPC use in the United States in 1993 found, that a significant percentage of collars are punctured by vegetation or barbed wire and end up designated on ADC field reports as "missing" or "empty with contents leaked" into the environment. In addition, Connolly found that "Collar users usually do not record the amount of toxicant lost from each punctured collar" (Livestock Protection Collars in the United States, 1988-1993, Guy Connolly, page 28).

2) Lost collars: Livestock Protection Collars are secured around the sheep's neck with a Velcro strap. It is known that sheep can snag these collars on shrubbery, fencing or other objects and pull the collars off, leaving 15 ml of 1080 solution to contaminate the surrounding environment. Lost collars also pose a human health and safety hazard, as children may especially be inclined to handle a stray collar found in a sheep field or pasture.

3) Unretrieved, poisoned carcasses: Connolly found that "Research experience has shown that virtually every coyote that punctures a collar succumbs to the toxicant, and that most wild coyotes killed by 1080 collars are not recovered (Connolly 1980)" as quoted in the Livestock Protection Collars in the United States, 1988-1993, Guy Connolly, page 26. The poisoned carcass then becomescarrion for other birds and mammals, potentially causing secondary poisoning to non-target species.

These facts clearly indicate that the use of Compound 1080 is dangerous not only to wildlife but also to humans, as a lost or punctured collar presents a public health and safety hazard. Children are especially at risk of exposure

if they come into contact with a lost or punctured collar or a lamb wearing a punctured, leaking collar.

IV. Cruelty of collars:

Compound 1080 is a highly toxic, slow-acting poison with no antidote that causes a prolonged and painful death to its victims. It takes up to seven hours for coyotes and other wildlife to die after ingesting the poison, following a series of convulsions, cellular breakdown, progressive depression of the central nervous system and cardiac arrest.

V. History of misuse and abuse of Compound 1080:

Compound 1080 was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1972 because of its deadly threat to non-target species and its history of misuse and abuse. Only in 1985, through intense lobbying from the livestock

industry and the ADC, was 1080 re-approved by the EPA for use in livestock protection collars.

VI. Inaccurate and insufficient record keeping of use of Livestock Protection Collars:

Historically there has been a trend of insufficient monitoring and record-keeping of LPCs in those states where LPCs have been legalized. States such as Texas, where LPCs have been authorized for use, have been found to keep inconsistent and contradictory records of LPC use within the state. In 1994, the Texas Center for Policy Studies found that the Texas Department of Agriculture inspected only 50% of LPC users and failed to make required inspections during the previous four years. There is no reason to conclude that supervision will be any better in California.

VII. Availability of other methods of predator control:

Sheep ranchers in Marin already have a number of effective, non-lethal methods of predation reduction such as the use of guarding animals (including special guard dogs that are bred for this specific purpose, llamas, heifers and donkeys), noise aversion, improved fencing, shed lambing and siren/strobe devices. Not only do the ranchers have these non-lethal methods available to them, but they also have a number of lethal predator control devices and methods at their disposal. They also are able to have an ADC agent, free of charge, come to their ranch and use any one of the following lethal methods: trapping, M44s (sodium cyanide capsules), snares, denning (the removal and killing of coyote pups from dens with barbed wire hooks, fumigants and incendiary devices) and shooting.

Livestock protection collars are not replacing any of these lethal or non-lethal methods. The toxic collar is just one more additional lethal method being offered to ranchers to kill coyotes in a growing arsenal of weapons used against this misunderstood, much maligned species.

We believe that if the people of Marin knew that such a toxic poison was being used in our county, they would oppose its use in areas where they live and recreate. Use of Compound 1080 today is ecologically destructive and

ethically unjustifiable, especially given that non-lethal methods exist and have proven highly effective for managing problems between predators and livestock. We urge you to call for a moratorium on the use of Livestock Protection Collars, containing Compound 1080, in Marin county.

Sincerely and on behalf of our Marin county members,

Animal Protection Institute (Sacramento/ Larkspur, CA), Sierra Club (Marin, CA), In Defense of Animals (Mill Valley, CA), Humane Society of the United States (Washington, DC), The Marin Humane Society (Novato, CA), Earth Island Institute (San Francisco, CA), Animal Legal Defense Fund (Petaluma, CA), Fund for Animals (New York/ San Francisco, CA), Friends of Animals (Darien, CT), Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (Davis, CA), Mountain Lion Foundation (Sacramento, CA), Ark Trust (Sherman Oaks, CA), Predator Defense Institute (Eugene, OR), Predator Project (Bozeman, MT), Wildlife Damage Review (Tucson, AZ)

Additional Note: To express your views regarding use of Livestock Protection

Collars in Marin County, please contact the Marin County Board of

Supervisors/ 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903 Phone: 499-7331

Fax: 499-3645

Camilla Fox

Wildlife Program Coordinator

Animal Protection Institute

Larkspur, CA

ReachOut Wants To Grow

I would like to request an article about my Web site ReachOut. This Web site is located at I created this site to promote community service in the Los Angeles area. This site indexes organizations categorically. The categories include, Animals, Children, Homeless and more. Each category gives a list of organizations names with a link to a separate page about that organization. Currently, each individual page lists a description about that organization as well as available volunteer opportunities and contact information.

In order to greater expand the usage of this Web site, it is necessary that people know about it. I feel the best way people can be informed about helping out in the community and finding information about volunteering in their own interests is through using a site such as this. People can easily find out what opportunities there are to help and where they can help. I would love it if a paper that so many people read every day would help to promote this site and community service in the Los Angeles area. Also, more organizations will want to submit their information to ReachOut if they read an article about it. I have mailed over 60 organizations about ReachOut and many have replied, but it would be better if there were even more organizations included, for they need all the help they can get. I am also considering adding a section where people can submit their own experiences working and volunteering with the different organizations. There are just so many things that can be done, but I feel that people ought to know about it first.

With your help, I believe I can include many more cities in ReachOut. For, with some support, I am sure that cities such as New York, Chicago, and others will be helped as well, with ReachOut: America. My goal, of ReachOut: America, can only be possible with your help. As a major part of the media, I have come to you, after all the work I have done, to help me out. I feel I have done a lot of work, and this work can be benificial to the entire nation, but it will only work, if people know about it. This is the reason why I so desperately seek an article, or your support, so that your readers can help their communities using ReachOut.

I appreciate very much your consideration for helping expand ReachOut, and helping to promote community service in our city. I am a sophomore in high school, and with greater publicity to the site, it will help to generate a greater support. If you would like any more information, please feel free to contact me at 310-441-9204 or [email protected] Thanks again for any support that you can provide.

Ravi Sarin

[email protected]

Utility Regulation A Joke For Consumers

I am disgusted by what passes for utility deregulation. Consumers were sold on the idea by promises of lower rates: "regulated utilities are spendthrifts whose profits are unnaturally high." Never mind that utilities are compelled by their regulatory agencies to adhere to particular accounting practices, adopt particular business practices, and justify every penny of their rates. Californians have subsidized the PUC's determination to support minority businesses regardless of cost and to develop alternate fuel vehicles. While those may be desirable activities, their costs are hidden in our utility bills.

Deregulation has begun with endless planning and decisions by the regulatory agencies (at taxpayer expense), and mergers of existing utilities. We can look forward to advertising, layoffs by utilities, duplicate facilities, reduced safety (afterall, a needless cost when you are competing on price), more service interruptions (caused by deferred maintenance and upgrading), fewer utility firms (because of mergers), and price-setting. We will end up with less that costs more. And what about the two particularly awful scenarios: One, nuclear accidents (a likely result of cost cutting measures in maintenance and safety) and two, bankruptcy. Consumers will be left at mortal risk in the first instance and without a utility provider in the second instance.

Who is going to be able to accept or reject utility plans to construct energy production and distribution facilities? Who will issue building permits? Individual cities? Who wins in the deregulated environment?

Consumer choice means to me uninterrupted service at a fair price, profits invested locally, supplies and labor purchased locally, and no environmental damage. Frankly, I feel I have a better chance of meeting these criteria with a PUC controlled by the voters.

Susan J. Dorey

San Rafael

"Nelson Mandela Quote"

One of your web pages attributes the quote "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, etc." to President Nelson Mandela. I have written to the African National Congress. They have stated, quite emphatically that President Mandela did not author those words and he did not use them in any speech. The correct attribute is to an author and lecturer named Marianne Williamson in her book "A Return to Love" on page 165 of the 1992 Hardback edition.

Gene Menzies

[email protected]

Amazed To Find...

I was amazed to find such a cogent, articulate local paper. How you doing out there? Keep up the good work. I do freelancing every once in while. If there's ever something of interest to your paper happening in Berkeley, let me know. I'd be psyched to write a piece or two.

Josh Parr


[email protected]

New York City And Bolinas Connection

So inspired was I by the quality of writing and spirit in your paper, I wanted to write something for you. A strange affinity between the 'cultures' of Bolinas Bay and our beloved NYC gripped me and my wife. We read your paper aloud the rest of our recent journey up Rt. 1, noticing how both have enclaves of authenticity where people are still real: a distinct sense of place- that bay is unique. People in my part of NYC feel that way about our neighborhood-a commitment to history-we live in time as well as space, TV destroys that, an awareness of ethnic identity- where we come from as well as are, not just one undifferentiated suburb.

The piece I enclose conveys these, showing how the Coastal Post perspective is to be found here in the big city, too: disaffected toward contemporary life only to find a richer, deeper world. Should space constrain using it for May, I hope you might use some reportage from NYC in the future. Genuine people need to join together, before artificiality, dividing our protest against cheap modernity, conquers our contribution.

David Jess

[email protected]

New York, NY

P.S. Re: your piece on Easkoot. Who were (are?) the Druids of Bolinas? The reference assumed a local knowledge I crave. Like New Yorkese, that sense of groundedness in a local place! We need to connect from across the continent, I feel. Here's my piece:

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