The Coastal Post - September, 1997

Letters Sept 97

In Memory

I received your letter about renewing my subscription, and enclosed you will find my check for $24 to cover another enjoyable year receiving your paper, the Coastal Post. I don't subscribe to any other Marin newspaper because I have found the Post to be the one and only that covers news having to do with Stinson Beach regularly. I spend one weekend a month there and truly enjoy it.

For a person who doesn't drive, it is a tough trip to make from where I live, which is Sonoma. I have to take four buses to get there, yet it's well worth it, and I always spend the night at a motel. I have been to your town several times, yet only once to the beach, which wasn't too long ago, and being a collector of seashells, I loved it there and found quite a few real nice ones. I respect the fact that Bolinas is a private town, and I feel honored to be able to get the Coastal Post in the mail.

I heard the tragic news about the death of Michael McDaniel, so there are two things I want to do in his memory-one is to keep the seashells I found in a separate collection in his memory, and then each year I will renew my subscription to the Post in the memory of Michael McDaniel.

DENNIS O'NEIL

Sonoma

Mediation Procedures

A question has been raised about the August 12 Marin Healthcare District's closed session related to its mediation with the MGH Corp. I, like William Quimby, the mediator selected by the parties, am an experienced commercial mediator. Both of us are actively affiliated with the mediation panel of the American Arbitration Association. Your editorial leads me to question whether you are aware of customary procedures regarding mediations in general, and all of the circumstances of this particular mediation.

Under the law, mediation is treated as an extension of the settlement process in connection with existing or anticipated litigation. It has proven to be an extremely useful tool in resolving disputes without the necessity of a full-blown trial. Of the many factors attendant to a successful mediation, three of the most important are:

a genuine desire and interest on the part of all parties to resolve their differences;

full confidence in the ability, integrity and neutrality of the mediator;

total confidentiality.

The last criterion is extremely critical to the process. It is the cornerstone to providing a forum in which all parties can be candid regarding their respective positions. Additionally, they can be much freer in their face-to-face discussions, as well as in confidential separate caucus sessions with the mediator (an essential component). Most importantly it permits the parties to suggest proposals for settlement, which, if not accepted, cannot come back to haunt the offering party in a trial or in the media.

Consequently, in order to substantially increase the possibility of a mediated settlement, it was most appropriate, customary, wise, and in the best interests of the community at large for the mediator to propose that the parties enter into a contractual confidentiality agreement.

I would also point out that the Brown Act disclosure requirement, one of the alleged excuses for the giveaway 1985 lease, specifically provides for closed sessions with respect to potential litigation.

If memory serves me well, the Marin IJ, the Board of Supervisors and other prominent community voices, have strongly urged, and in some instances pressured, the District Board to attempt to mediate its differences with the MGH corporation. One need only go back to late 1995 and the CHS/Sutter merger arrangements to find an example where openness would have been most appropriate. The community voices for full disclosure seemed quite mute at that time.

Thus it seems quite unfair under such circumstances to now urge the District to violate its confidentiality contract with the Corporation and hold an open session with respect to its deliberations. During the open session of August 12, special counsel for the District offered to disclose the mediation briefs of both parties if the MGH Corporation would agree. To date, I am not aware of any response to this offer by the Corporation.

In addition, a letter to residents of the District from the District Ad Hoc Legal Committee re. concerns raised in the lease was available to all at the meeting and printed on the editorial page of the Saturday, August 16, IJ. In the past the MGH Corporation has been requested, with little or no success, from time to time, by community health care advocates, to make public some of its private deliberations and information to help remove the cloud of suspicion about certain aspects of its finances and patient care decisions.

The District Board has proposed to meet with the Corporation in an additional session if certain conditions are met. Hopefully, this can lead to a fair resolution that is in the best interests of the community.

ALLAN BLAU

Mill Valley

Gun Ownership Reduces Crime

No surprises here. Gun-banner Barbara Boxer and anti-self-defense advocate Harry Moore have both declined to respond to my open letters asking them certain questions on their "junk gun" phobia. They know they don't have facts on their side, but only their own mindless hysteria.

Government at all levels should concentrate on keeping criminals in prison, and if more prisons are needed, build them!

A May, 1996 survey by Harvard University professor Steven D. Levitt found that for each 1,000-inmate increase in prison population, the result each year was:

4 fewer murders

53 fewer rapes

1,200 fewer assaults

1,100 fewer robberies

2,600 fewer burglaries

9,200 fewer larcenies and

700 fewer auto thefts

Because of the cost of all those crimes, society saves $23,900 a year for each criminal kept behind bars.

Both the 1990 Kleck and the 1996 Lott-Mustard studies conclusively confirm that states with stringent gun laws suffer more violent crime, and states which have adopted "shall issue" concealed firearm carry laws experience a marked reduction in violent crime.

Every day, criminals on parole or probation commit over 1,200 violent crimes, including:

14 murders

48 rapes

578 robberies

612 assaults

According to a report in the American Guardian magazine, five years ago the National Institute of Justice launched the largest-ever survey of the cost-benefit factors of violent crime. Comparing the cost of incarcerating criminals with the cost of the crimes they would commit if not behind bars, it found that it is from three to 37 times less expensive to imprison criminals than to not imprison them.

FIELDING GREAVES

San Rafael

Dear Courageous Rescuers

My daughter and I are deeply grateful to you both for saving my life at high tide at the Bolinas sea wall, 3:50 p.m. on August 10.

Without the two of you suddenly appearing at my side, when panic and fatigue were beginning to overwhelm me, the surf would surely have taken me down. I have renewed respect for the ocean and its power, and because of your quick action, survived the lesson.

Peace be with you, Heroes of the Sea, brave, salted souls! Poseidon has made himself known! From two humbled landlubbers, our deepest thanks.

LINDA LARSEN

Novato

DAYLEN JONES

Mill Valley

High Noon In Novato

On Friday evening, August 15, "between 15 and 20 men with crowbars and tire irons faced off at The Square shopping center in Novato." What ensued that evening in the quiet town of Novato was public mayhem on a scale never before seen. In its aftermath, a young man was slumped on the sidewalk with a crushed skull in critical condition. Later that evening police responded to a nearby related stabbing and arrested three more men.

The perpetrators responsible for these incidents, and the disturbing increase in North Bay crime, are for the most part young Latino immigrants. A decade ago, Marin County had no gang activity, but today it's a whole different story. The Sheriff recently acknowledged that Marin is a haven for over 18 active and violent ethnic gangs-17 Latino and 1 Vietnamese.

Liberal Marin politicians, local immigrant rights community groups and their mouthpiece, the Marin IJ, do everything they can to suppress the obvious and ugly truth concerning rising county crime directly attributable to out-of-control immigration, but to no avail. Eventually, as Marin's citizens continue to be immigrant gang-banger victims and suffer the rising degradation of their communities and neighborhoods, all the good liberal king's men won't be able to put Humpty-Dumpty (the immigration goodness myths) back together again.

Until that fast-approaching day of reckoning, ignorant and apathetic Marin citizens will simply have to put up with the serious societal consequences of rampant immigration-safe in knowing, of course, that the "social justice" folks at the IJ will continue to under-report and stuff important stories such as the serious Novato fracas out of sight in its back pages.

* * *

Elvis For IJ Editor

If that wasn't Elvis' body I saw, whose was it? (IJ, August 17) was a piece of exploitative editorial trash that all too often is what the readership of the IJ has come to expect and endure from the wayward judgment of Editor Jeff Prugh. Everyday, ultra-liberal Prugh writes and/or governs what appears on the editorial page-and as if that's not enough-in this edition he shamelessly bores us with a huge half-page "Soapbox" article documenting his early exploits as a rookie Bible-belt reporter who views Elvis Presley's body on a slab and reminisces 20 years later whether his death was a hoax!

"A veiled woman dressed in black, flanked by a handful of men who wore menacing stares"; a death certificate stating the corpse weighed "only" 170 lbs. and was uncircumcised (Gee, thanks, Jeff for letting us know something we didn't know about Elvis!); mysterious phone calls-and finally young reporter Prugh's astute Freudian observation that "the body's head seemed disproportionately large and the skin remarkably smooth." With that comment, one can see the early development of the keen sense of media professionalism that would eventually land Prugh his current job at the IJ.

Ever the politically/culturally correct media personality, Prugh embarrassingly apologizes in the first two paragraphs, stating, "I never bought his records and never paid much attention to either his films of his blue suede shoes-me, I was listening to Fats Domino's music." You is/was so cool and hip, Jeff. You've really missed your calling. Do us all a really big favor-move up to media bigtime and get a job editing a cheap, greasy tabloid. Then you can write about flying saucers, too!

GARY E. JORDAN

San Rafael

Don't Blame The Victims

Full-page ads by the ADL and other groups attacking Arafat for bombs in the Jerusalem marketplace are a sham. Blaming the victims is a dangerous game. Any chronically-frustrated people, deprived of their land and water and employment, with homes demolished, protesting children shot in the street and fathers tortured in prison, will in time resort to violence.

Rafael Eitan, Israel's former general and now head of the Tsomet Party, boasted in the Knesset a while back: "We will harrass these Palestinians 'til they move like drugged cockroaches in a bottle."

Israel's on-going scenario-set the stage for violence, then shout "terrorism" while demanding security-will continue as long as the honest brokers in Washington look the other way.

EDWARD W. MILLER, M.D.

San Rafael

Youth Program Needs Funding

Since Fairfax is having such a tough time financially, and had to cut out its Youth Program, maybe Supervisor Harry Moore would like to ask his fellow supes to kick in the $17,000 needed for the program. After all, Harry went to bat for immigrants to the tune of $25,000, so why can't he go to bat for Fairfax kids as well? Fairfax and its children need this program. But of course, maybe the real truth is that there REALLY isn't enough money to go around after all.

JENNY HOUSTON

Fairfax

Oppose "Competition Killer"

An upcoming statewide initiative would dramatically impact voters in your area. The "Competition Killer" initiative would add up to 12,000 employees to the state payroll at a cost of $1.5 billion a year, delay vital highway, school and prison projects and shift control of capital projects from your local school boards, cities and county to Sacramento.

A broad, diverse coalition has formed to oppose it. Our coalition includes the California Taxpayers' Assn., California School Boards Assn., California Chamber of Commerce, League of California Cities, and many others.

If you have questions, please give me a call at (916) 774-9750.

ALBERT LUNDEEN

Taxpayers Fed Up With More State Bureaucracy

Candidate Seeks Answers

I am running for Novato City Council because I feel it is time for a change in attitude and priorities and direction of the City Council. With Ernie Grey leaving and Pat Ecklund's seat also available, Novato has the opportunity to take a new, fresh look at the major issues that confront us now and in the future. My priorities and interest lie primarily in finding the answers to the questions of urban growth, our ever-increasing need for better transportation, the rebirth and revitalization of our downtown and resolving the on-going problems with the Navy developments in major trouble (Bahia and Partridge Knolls) and a proposed controversial golf and upscale home development at Blackpoint, we need to be sure that our next decisions are the right decisions for Novato. In the next few weeks I will be out meeting the citizens asking for their input and ideas on these and other issues and when elected, my voice will be their voice.

JOHNNY LaROSA

Novato

No Junk Mail Via DMV Lists

There has been considerable news media coverage recently about the sale of information from Department of Motor Vehicle driver license and registration records. Some reports have been confusing and inaccurate and have caused public concern. I would like to set the record straight.

Medical information in DMV files is considered confidential and is treated with the utmost sensitivity and security. Prior to a legislative change to the vehicle code this year, it was not released under any circumstances to anyone. It is now provided only to law enforcement/parking authorities checking for suspected abuse of the disabled parking placard privilege.

Social Security numbers are provided only to the California Franchise Tax Board and government agencies involved in such activities as administering child support programs, establishing paternity, or providing aid to families with dependent children.

Since 1990, residence address information has been restricted for release to other government agencies, insurance companies and financial institutions possessing waivers signed by their customers. Addresses are provided to attorneys involved in motor vehicle litigation, to automobile dealers for registration transactions, and to manufacturers using the information for automotive safety recalls.

Finally, the law permits release of registration or driver license information to companies for research. Those receiving this information must agree under threat of criminal sanctions that no one on the list will be contacted, and that the information obtained will not be released in a way that identifies any person.

I would like to assure our customers that the department does everything possible to maintain record confidentiality and security. I can't emphasize enough that DMV does not sell address lists of any other information for the purpose of direct marketing or sales solicitation.

I hope this letter helps our customers clearly understand the department's role in maintaining driver and vehicle registrations, and its equally important duty to prevent undesirable intrusion into these records.

SALLY R. REED

Director

The Enemy Is Us

Who needs "hard news"? With the brilliant and courageous letter writers, which the CP encourages, we get far more stimulating discourse that we'd get from some New York hack. We Americans should be careful not to claim all the moral high ground when suggesting that imperialism and colonizing are not kosher. (Run the clip on Viet Nam or Desert Storm for a refresher.)

But the BIG problem seems to escape scrutiny even by the intrepid Simac. That is US. Too many of us. We (especially Americans) are chewing up the earth's bounty-air, water, forests, field-at an alarming and accelerating rate, while the quality of life descends for the masses.

TOM CHESTNUT

Don't Blame The Government

Steve Kubby's letter titled "Fix The Program, Not The Symptoms," caught my interest.

He writes: "California legislators pass 12,000 laws each year... How many of these new laws will only cause more harm and misery to the ordinary citizens?"

He cites the core problem: " 'We the people' have lost our constitutional control over government."

I often hear folks blame the government. But we have a representative form of government. If you elected a representative that's issuing bad laws, it's your fault.

Too often I hear about folks who voted for and elected someone on the basis of the candidate's charisma, their pretty or handsome face or figure, not for their integrity and whether he or she would be a good representative, representing the voter's views, and voting for and issuing new laws that benefit ordinary citizens.

Some of the 12,000 new laws will cause us more harm and misery. It's our fault!

JULES SCHINLDER

Novato

Plutonium In Space

I have given Senator Barbara Boxer a copy of Steve Simac's article about the 80 pounds of plutonium being placed aboard the rocket scheduled by NASA for October blastoff-placed in her hands when I saw her today at a gathering in celebration of her many years serving us in Washington DC.

I asked her, "Barbara, do you know about the 80 pounds of plutonium they're about to shoot off a in rocket from Florida in October?"

She said, "No, I don't. Why would they want to do that?" I said, "Here's an article about it. They're sending the rocket to some planet and then it comes back to Earth to orbit a few times to pick up speed before going to another planet, and the plutonium is for that part of the trip," and I made little movements with my hands to illustrate the going, coming, and orbiting as I spoke and pulled your newspaper out of my pocket and gave it to her. She thanked me, said she would look into it, and asked me to give the newspaper to her staff person, Jordan, so she wouldn't have to carry it around. I found Jordan, who was pleased to receive the newspaper, and attached my card to it.

As I was leaving the gathering, she once again assured me she would look into it. Barbara has a history of being concerned for the environment, so we'll see what she does with it. None of us will be happy campers to be poisoned if the thing explodes and all that plutonium vaporizes into the atmosphere.

Thanks for the good reporting!

JAMES M. CLOUD, Ph.D.

San Rafael

"Soy Cubano" September 10

For over three decades, the United States has embargoed all trade with Cuba. How the embargo, tightened by Congress during the past few years, has harmed the life and health of the Cuban people will be shown by the Marin Interfaith Task Force on Central America at a video and slide show presentation at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 10 at Redwoods Presbyterian Church, 110 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur.

The 30-minute video, "Soy Cubano," which focuses on the critical need to exempt food and medicine from the embargo, is narrated by author and activist Alice Walker and produced by Global Exchange and the Hisperian Foundation. Environmentalist Lucie Levine will show slides and speak about her recent one-month trip to Cuba to learn about Cuba's conversion to sustainable agriculture.

Both the video and slide show confirm a lengthy report made earlier this year by the American Association for World Health, whose honorary chairman is former President Jimmy Carter. The report detailed how the inability of Cuba to obtain U.S.-made medicines, medical equipment and food due to the embargo was having a devastating effect on the health of the Cuban people, especially pregnant women, children and the elderly.

In the wake of this report, a bi-partisan group of House members has introduced HR 1951, the Cuban Humanitarian Trade Act, which, if enacted, would exempt from the embargo trade in food and medicine. Most of the Bay Area representatives, including Rep. Lynn Woolsey, are supporting the bill.

Refreshments will be served at the event and donations at the door are requested. The church is wheelchair accessible. For further information, call 924-3227.

JAN BAUMAN

Larkspur

French Ranch Bad for Valley

Our beautiful, rural valley is under siege. A moderate amount of development is perhaps inevitable, but the proposed changes to the already approved French Ranch Master Plan are totally unacceptable. These changes will severely damage the open, rural character of the San Geronimo valley, and are in violation of our Community Plan of the Master Plan of Marin County. There are so many problems with these proposed changes. Where to begin? The total disregard of the EIR on the French Ranch property is a good example of what's going on. Just a sample: The Open Pit Sewer Treatment Facility is entirely built upon designated wetlands (next to the San Geronimo school campus, which will also use it), including a 12-foot-wide asphalt road around the facility, large dry pits for extra storage, maintenance buildings, a surrounding berm last reported to measure 14 feet high, and undoubtedly, a cyclone fence to keep the children out. Unreal. If this sewage treatment facility cannot be put in an appropriate place, perhaps something else should be arranged. The school does have other plans in place for their disposal needs.

Another unbelievable proposal that has been presented is the equestrian facility: only 15 horseswith no pasture! Any horse person knows that this is an unlivable situation for horses. This cannot possible by a viable business.

Finally, the developer has decided that EIR-designated, prime agricultural land is better for building eight or nine homes. This is a small, intimate meadow where Mr. Burman, the developer, wants to construct a suburb of three low-low income homes and five-six "market rate" (moderate income) homes. All of the other home sites, which are reported to be in the million-dollar range, on the French Ranch property, are nowhere near this meadow. Despite the fact that it has been suggested repeatedly, the developer is obviously not interested in mixing the low income properties with his million-dollar homes. This is forced economic segregation. This is not in keeping with our San Geronimo Valley community values. These are only a few of the many problems with the developer's proposed changes to the French Ranch Master Plan. Volumes have been written already, detailing the disasters surrounding these latest contortions to the project.

It feels as if there is a dark cloud hanging over our heads. All of the other developers are waiting to see how much they can get pushed past the county, and just how much residents of the San Geronimo Valley are willing to fight. Our family has joined together with many other residents to form the "Save the Valley Committee." We are adamant that no one will take advantage of the San Geronimo Valley and its community. We recommend that the developer's proposed changes be rejected, and that the original French Ranch Master Plan be upheld.

All concerned citizens should go to the Supervisors' meeting regarding French Ranch on August 5, beginning at 2:30 p.m. It is important for all our community to have an impact on our future; we just cannot leave it to others.

Join us.

THE BELSKY FAMILY

San Geronimo

Opposes French Ranch

The drastic changes proposed to the French Ranch Master Plan by the developer evoked a significant response from the community. From the time period of July 31 to August 8, District 4 Supervisor Steve Kinsey received the following contacts from the public: 98 phone calls in opposition to the developer's changes to the Master Plan, only 10 in favor the development, and 48 faxes and letters, all opposing the changes, zero pro-development. This is public information and was obtained from the County Supervisor's staff.

At the Board of Supervisor's meeting on August 5, of the 200 plus people who were there to oppose the French Ranch Precise Development Plan, approximately 150 of them were wearing "Save the Valley" stickers. These stickers were given out by the Save the Valley Committee to any person who wished to express their disapproval of the French Ranch Situation. There were 43 people who stood up and spoke out against the proposed changes to the French Ranch master Plan, while only 10 spoke in support of the developer's changes.

The numbers speak for themselves, regardless of what others might claim. The majority of the people are AGAINST these changes to the French Ranch Master Plan. And yet, at the Supervisors' meeting on the 5th, it was obvious to me that the Supervisors (except Chair Harry Moore) were not interested in listening to the people. Only Supervisor Moore mentioned his concern regarding the inadequate Environmental Impact Report that completely missed one endangered species, the spotted owl, and brushed aside a second endangered species, the coho salmon. None of the other supervisors even bothered to comment on this important environmental issue. If Supervisors Rose, Kress, Brown and Kinsey had been paying attention, and actually caring about what was being said, they could not, in good conscience, have voted to approve the developer's changes to French Ranch.

GLORIA BELSKY

San Geronimo

Don't Drink For Depression

Last year I wrote a letter to your paper in which I espoused the use of alcohol as a means of dealing with depression. It was a foolish, erroneous statement, and I would not suggest anyone try to "medicate" depression with alcohol.

Apologies.

A CP READER

Save Presidio Housing

Four hundred sixty-six housing units were left standing empty at the Presidio by the departing military. Like the units left at Hamilton field, these valuable housing units have remained empty for well over two years. A few blocks away, in Golden Gate Park, people without homes are camped out in the park and living and dying on the streets. Many of the homeless are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The vacant housing on the Presidio has been inspected and declared habitable by architects and housing experts. Rental of these units would produce a nice profit ($600,000 per year) for the Presidio Trust Corp. Despite an acute affordable housing shortage in San Francisco, bulldozers under direction of park managers have begun to destroy this valuable resource.

Nancy Pelosi, the author of Presidio legislation that redefined this public property and its uses, has been reported by the press as saying she is "helpless" to do anything about this situation. Her solution is to move the housing across town on barges to the Hunter's Point Neighborhood and replace it with native plants. Destruction or removal of the housing would preserve the exclusive nature of the Presidio and Sea Cliff neighborhoods for certain, but it would not help the people a few blocks away living in the park and irritating taxpayers in the Sunset district. Nor will it help thousands of hard-working Bay Area families including police and safety workers who are in desperate need of decent, affordable housing. I am surprised the Presidio planning group failed to come up with a workable plan for this resource. (No, park managers, destruction of scarce and viable housing does not count as a plan.)

Preserving home values is on the top of the list for most Americans, but somehow we have to figure out how to put people back on that list. The Presidio housing offers a chance to do something positive to help people move into affordable housing today. This is a problem that requires city, state, and federal cooperation. A mixed income community can be developed here by the city of San Francisco without threatening the property values of the surrounding community and the potential profits of anxious future corporate tenants of the Presidio. In fact, this is a perfect opportunity for local and federal cooperation and could be a model solution for housing and urban parks for the nation. This is not a decision to be left to the National Parks alone. With all due respect, I don't think the managers of a national park have either the experience or the skills or the vision to manage this new kind of entity.

Why preserve the housing? Because it offers "safe, decent housing where children can thrive." Because it is there standing empty and there is a crying need for decent affordable housing by working families. San Francisco has already offered $600,000 dollars a year in rental fees to the Park Service for the housing. Is the Presidio not supposed to be self-sufficient under its new charter? Is over a half-a-million a year income not a start towards self-sufficiency? Destruction of the housing and restoring native plants would cost the Presidio additional money and would generate no income. Critics have suggested that families living in these former enlisted quarters spoil the neighborhood and the park ambiance. Yet military families have lived here for many years with no adverse impact. To move the housing would not be cost effective. Why is it OK to rent out former officers' quarters for $3,000 and $4,000 per month and call it preserving historic buildings, while destroying perfectly good and usable enlisted housing? The only thing being preserved here is class bias and the perceived property values of nearby homes that have increased due to their proximity to a federal preserve. The public, according to recent opinion surveys by the Chronicle, does not agree with the management plan to destroy the housing. They favor the preservation of the existing housing. There has been little genuine public input. More democracy and less elitism is needed in the decision-making process.

The Presidio is supposed to be a new, non-traditional entity that will not depend upon tax dollars from the federal treasury but must adapt and survive on its own in a complex urban environment and generate its own revenues. You can't generate income planting grass as the Park Service proposes unless you live in more northern and rural areas of California.

Mayor Brown has shown the really courageous leadership on this issue. He has the foresight and leadership and a plan to make this a successful mixed-use facility. His plans should be given serious consideration by the management of this public facility. It has been said for evil to exist and grow, it is only necessary that good people do nothing. Let us not do nothing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do the right thing.

Interested groups must work together for the common good and to use this national and San Francisco treasure in an effective and responsible way. We all know that Phil Burton, the legislator who had the vision to make the transfer of the Presidio to the people of California possible, would certainly have agreed to set aside a small slice of land for affordable housing.

MIKE BURNS

Tiburon

"Me, The Lousy Cop"

"Well, Mr. Citizen, I guess you've got me figured out. I seem to fit neatly into the category you placed me in. I'm stereotyped, characterized, standardized, classified, grouped and always typical. I'm the Lousy Cop.

"Unfortunately, the reverse isn't true. I can never figure you out.

"From birth, you teach your children that I'm a bogeyman and then are shocked when they learn and identify me with my traditional enemy, the criminal.

"You raise Cain about the guy who cuts you off in traffic, but let me catch you doing the same thing and it's picking on you. You know all the traffic laws, but you never got one single ticket you deserved.

"You accuse me of coddling juveniles, until I catch your kid doing something. Then it's badge happy.

"You take an hour for lunch and several coffee breaks each day but point me out as a loafer if you see me having just one cup.

"You pride yourselves on your polished manners but think nothing of interrupting my meal at noon with your troubles.

"You shout 'foul' if you observe me driving fast enroute to an emergency call, but literally raise hell, if I take more than 10 seconds responding to your call.

"You're a witty conversationalist, but you bore me stiff at social gatherings with your vast knowledge of law enforcement.

"You call it Part of My Job if someone strikes me, but it's Police Brutality if I strike back.

"You wouldn't think of telling your dentist how to pull a badly-decayed tooth, or your doctor how to take out your appendix, but you are always willing to give me a few pointers on law enforcement.

"You talk to me in a manner, and use language that would assure a bloody nose from anybody else, but you expect me to stand and take it without batting an eye.

"You cry, 'Something has to be done about all this crime,' but of course, you can't be bothered with getting involved.

"And what about the guy that works all night making sure you didn't forget to lock up your business or home when you left on vacation?

"You've got no use for me at all, but of course, it's okay if I change a tire for your wife, or deliver your child in the back seat of my patrol car on the way to the hospital, save your son's life with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or maybe work many hours overtime to find your lost daughter.

"So, Mr. Citizen, you stand there on your soapbox, and rant and rave about the way I do my job, calling me every name in the book, but never stop for a minute to think that your property, your family or maybe your life might depend on one thing, me or one of my buddies.

"Yes, Mr. Citizen, me. The Lousy Cop."

Submitted by

M.B. ELLIOTT

Down With The Tobacco Cartel

Lies, damn lies and the tobacco industry! While members of Congress enjoy their recess, a $368 billion settlement deal is being engineered by the tobacco industry and resource-hungry national non-profit organizations to maintain the education-mutilation-carcinogenic cycle that keeps tobacco industry profits high and government socialism "productive."

The endless cycle of government-sponsored, taxpayer-supported nicotine addiction has been forced to the limit by volunteer clean-air activists and attorneys representing public interests against the most well-developed drug-pushing organization in the world. Though tobacco interests tried to show their face in Marin when second hand smoke ordinances were popular, they were laughed out of town. They moved back to Washington.

Now they have Clinton and the 100k+ top executives of national non-profits saying mum about a settlement which promises billions in their efforts to teach us about how we will die. The point is that the settlement guarantees that the tobacco industry will remain profitable at the expense of addicted individuals. This is the classic neo-industro-socialist formula: maintain a profitable industry while taxing individuals to create more jobs.

Tides are changing for the tobacco cartel, and this is their last-ditch effort to secure their profitable relationship with charity at the expense of those who are addicted to nicotine and those, too, who end up with cancer because of that.

No industry, much less the tobacco industry, should receive special treatment and immunity from lawsuits in exchange for agreeing to obey government regulations. Congress doesn't need the industry's permission, or a legal settlement, to regulate it-just the political will to take action.

Write or call your congressperson today to oppose any tobacco industry deal.

J.P. McCUBBREY

San Rafael

Bridge Not Platform For Protest

District officials of the Golden Gate Bridge District have abandoned both integrity and their responsibility for the proper and safe management of the bridge-our bridge, since we paid for it, and are still paying for it over and over again, despite having long ago paid for it in full.

They admit that the proposed Jesse Jackson march across the bridge may create traffic delays for us who own that bridge. They have the gall to suggest that the traveling public consider other means of crossing the Bay.

Those nitwit officials give aid and comfort to a racist carpetbagger, outside, professional agitator, giving him preference over bridge owners by giving him a permit to use the bridge for his racist political grandstanding, to lead a march of ragtag whining malcontents-

who seek special preferences for themselves at taxpayer expense

who are unwilling to abide by the democratic vote of the people

who are unwilling to recognize the authority of the Court of Appeals

who ignore the plain words of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

and who ignore and spit upon the dream of Martin Luther King.

Bridge directors who voted approval for Jackson's self-glorification claptrap charade should be barred from all public office forever.

FIELDING GREAVES

San Rafael

CP-Fresh Air

I like the letters and honest comments, as well as your regular feature writers.

I especially like Dr. Miller's articles on Israel. It's good to hear the other side. With the regular, controlled press, everything is pro-Israel and nothing against. Unfortunately, our major media is controlled by Israeli-firsters.

Your paper is a breath of fresh air, and a real service to the Marin community.

Check enclosed.

ROBERT COMAN

San Rafael

Small Towns Will Prosper With Hemp

One of the greatest challenges of America's current environmental, economic, and cultural crises is not in finding a solution but, ironically, in legalizing a solution. Such is the case with cannabis hemp, the misunderstood industrial dynamo that is cousin to the politically-maligned marijuana plant.

Because it's related to marijuana, our farmers are forbidden to grow it. Not so with the rest of the world. Everyone else is jumping into the global boom in hemp. Europeans even subsidize their hemp farmers, in a coldly calculated effort to capture the world market. It's hard to believe, but the United States is the only G-7 country that isn't either already producing hemp, or completing trials to determine the strains of hemp best suited to their climates.

Although all hemp in the U.S. must be imported, Fortune magazine has found that hemp is now one of the fastest growing products in the U.S. market today. The list of businesses incorporating hemp fiber and oils into their product lines has grown to include such heavyweight names as Adidas, Patagonia, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Kimberly Clark, and Mercedes-Benz. Hemp has hit the mainstream and is becoming a big-time player in the world marketplace again.

Following four years of testing plots, Canada is now poised for full industrial hemp legalization as of January, 1998. Canada will be joining countries around the globe capable of distinguishing between low-THC hemp and high-THC marijuana. Meanwhile, American political figures, having boxed themselves into a corner with overarching drug war rhetoric, are watching as this vital ecological and economic opportunity is passing American farmers by.

According to the USDA, the hemp plant is capable of producing four times more biomass for paper per acre than trees. Alan Bock, senior columnist for the conservative Orange County Register, wrote on October 30, 1988: "Since 1937, about half the forests of the world have been cut down to make paper. If hemp had not been outlawed, most would still be standing, oxygenating the planet." The Earth Island Journal states that the U.S. paper pulp industry harvests 12,430 square miles of forest per year. Orman Darby, the director of public relations for Georgia Pacific's pulp mill in Bellingham, Washington, is optimistic about hemp's future: "The fiber, the growing of it, has a very long and complete track record. Hemp is undoubtedly going to enter the paper stream in a big way."

Hemp fiber has been touted as an environmentally-responsible alternative to the cotton industry. Hemp fibers have eight times the tensile strength, and four times the durability, of cotton fibers. Critics of California's cotton industry point out that some 6,000 tons (12 million pounds) of pesticides and defoliants are used on cotton in a single year. Both the production and use of these chemicals have been linked to massive air and groundwater pollution. Hemp, to the contrary, requires little chemical intervention, and significantly less irrigation, than the water-intensive cotton industry.

The economics of hemp look very promising, particularly in a state as temperate and diverse as California. Potential jobs for a newly-legalized hemp industry will extend to include farmers, mill processors, retailers, engineers, agricultural scientists, plastics and composite experts, and many new industries from cottage level to consultants and high-tech research. Initial estimates call for 20,000 new jobs in the new hemp industry, with the final job totals sure to go up, as science takes a fresh look into this much-maligned and long-banned crop.

Growing hemp for seed oil may be the easiest first step for farmers entering this industry. Hemp seed is second only to soy beans in protein content, and exceeds all other food sources as the best source of oils rich in essential fatty acids. Hemp seed is well documented for improving the health, vigor and reproduction of farm animals. A typical seed crop yields 20-30 bushels per acre or 14-21 gallons of oil per acre. This would be a high gross for acreage which usually grows grains.

The products known as composites, including paneling, medium-density fiber board, trusses, and support beams, comprise the fastest-growing segment of the wood products industry. Washington State University's wood composite laboratory test results show that hemp is twice as strong as wood. A program of retrofitting timber mills could make California the world's leading exporter of hemp composite products.

In short, no other single issue offers so much promise of economic and environmental renewal. Hemp legalization is gaining fervent support from farmers, loggers, environmentalists, and captains of industry.

Hemp holds the promise of reducing deforestation, groundwater pollution, dioxin use, and dependence on foreign petrochemicals, while promoting bioregional economies, technological innovation, and environmental harmony.

ARTHUR SOBEY

Communications Director

Kubby For Governor

Unsubstantiated Claims By Ferris

While I enjoyed Kirby Ferris editorial, "Who Owns These Hands?," which appeared in the August 1, 1997 issue of Coastal Post, page 10, I have to refute one of his unsubstantiated claims.

Practically all his claims were correct. For instance, slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited by the 13th Amendment, as well as the Declaration of Independence; government is not authorized to deprive productive citizens of their wealth for the benefit of unproductive citizens as ordained by the Preamble of the United States Constitution and the 9th and 10th Amendments; and simple math will illustrate, more or less, how we are taxed by "...government at an effective rate of 50 percent...".

I am assuming that part, if not all, of the tax referred to when Mr. Ferris wonders "if it might be possible to tax only those who vote for the scheme and let the others off the hook?" is none other than the income tax.

As far as I understand, the income tax is based on voluntary compliance and self-assessment. If one doesn't wish to contribute to the unconstitutional activities of the federal and state governments, then one should stop volunteering payment and stop assessing themselves.

I think the editorial conveys that all taxes are compulsory, which I believe is unsubstantiated. With regard to the income tax, I can't seem to find the laws that require anyone to file an income tax return; make anyone liable for an income tax; require anyone to pay an income tax; impose penalties regarding an income tax; define what income is.

Wants to reach Kubby

You have published many fine articles and editorials by Gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby, such as his "DMV And CHP Highway Robbery" article that appeared in the July 1, 1997 issue of the Coastal Post.

However, in no article can I find any form of contact information such as a telephone number, postal address, or e-mail address. I find this a little odd from someone whom, I imagine, is looking for maximum public outreach and support.

JOE NEUFELD

San Francisco

Editor: Here's your info: Kubby For Governor, e-mail: [email protected] Fax: 916 581-5641

http://www.alpworld.com/kubby98

Free Internet Access

This e-mail is to thank you for providing free internet access.

I read and follow your diverse and balanced series of letters and articles from my home in La Costa, California (Northern San Diego County).

Please keep your diversity. People yearn for a free and unfettered press and appreciate controversy; it is the mother's milk of an educated and involved society.

JEFFREY MILLER

La Costa, California

Union Rank And File Ups Teamsters

I wish one thing about the UPS-Teamster drama would get top billing: that Ron Carey's election and recent re-election to be Teamster president, his and the union's partial victory, and the evidently currently clean and rewarding character of the Teamster Pension Fund are, in large part, due to the 20-year-long perseverance of TDU, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, led by little-known Ken Paff.

In her August 14 Chronicle story, Ilana DeBare quotes Paff saying how they had been waiting 20 years for a Teamster leadership to take up the issue of part-timers.

On my computer [email protected] while ago, I found Paff declaring that only with an energized rank and file participation can the unions (or other groups) hope to counteract the immense power of the international corporations.

First, about the Teamster pension fund, people-that is the great majority of Americans who are non-union, anti-union, or who are contemptuous of and ignorant about union people-should now know and appreciate how good it is that the Teamster Pension Funds (some of them), recently putrid with mafia corruption, have been transformed into a secure source of retirement income for teamsters-I think this assertion is largely justified.

And further about pensions funds, Rifkin in his End of Work, claims that pension funds comprise the hugest source for capital investment, but whereas these funds really belong to employees, until now, to a large degree, employees have had little control of them, and the bankers used them to promote anti-labor actions.

But behind all this, probably the main current is the rank and file issue. It is the issue which keeps resounding through a wonderful book I stumbled on in the Fairfax library, Which Side Are You On? by Thomas Geoghan. He's a kind of unlikely labor lawyer. He has tried to help some coal miners, steelworkers, carpenters, and teamsters, and has succeeded sometimes against many obstacles, but more often been stumped. He writes of how millions of teamsters have been fired for no fair reason, or often to deprive them of pensions credits.

And note this: He writes on page 145: "The worst must be UPS. It fires people just for fun."

But again it's the beating down, the pounding down, the scorning, ignoring, intimidating, of members-the rank-and-file-by heavy officers, local, regional and national, which has gutted, broken, sapped the indispensable, democratic fighting spirit of millions of union people. It seems that union bosses, even more than corporation bosses, have been most counter-productive.

This is what Tom Geoghan finds and deplores and tries to help combat, over and over again, often disheartened, yet still (as of 1991 and probably still?) envisions some major resurgence, such as, for example, suddenly occurred in 1935-37 when John L. Lewis (smarter than the corporation leaders, also bully and tyrant) started the CIO-but now, of course, it can't be the same style.

Maybe, Ron Carey is a new type of national union leader.

For in fact, for decades, there have been, still are, plenty of local union leaders, many maverick rank and filers, who have practiced democracy.

Mark Dowie is sure that such local democracy and the cause of justice are the sine qua non for the enviro movement.

DICK ANDREWS

Enjoys Frank Scott

I enjoy the Coastal Post. It makes great reading as well as being informative. I look forward to reading future issues. My special compliments go to Frank Scott for his incisive and fearless writing.

ROBERT J. HUOT

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California Department of Motor Vehicles

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