West Marin Sheriff’s Logs

Monday August 11
Woodacre 10:19 a.m. Reporting party states that he is concerned that his tenants are involved in the drug trade.
Nicasio 12:53 p.m. A teacher saw a couple of juveniles on top of the school back in mid-July and they now wonder if these same individuals may have been involved with stealing some vintage lunch boxes around that same time.
Point Reyes Station 8:42 p.m. A trio of 12 yr-old males were reported on top of the bathrooms. Deputies on site were unable to locate.
Tuesday August 12
Point Reyes Station 2:10 p.m. Woman selling items from the back of her van. Woman was moved along.
Point Reyes Station 3:33 p.m. Woman is back selling items out of the back of her van. Reporting party states that this is becoming an issue on the weekends with multiple subjects trying to do this same thing. Woman again moved along.
Woodacre 8:09 p.m. Reporting party came home and found an unknown woman in their house. Woman arrested for trespassing.
Wednesday August 13
Stinson Beach 12:58 a.m. Reporting party stated that there were two dogs locked inside a van with the windows rolled up all the way. They were allegedly there for hours and in distress. The deputy investigating this charge found two dogs in a van with windows cracked, water and food. They were not in distress and were parked in front of a motel that stated that there were no pets allowed.
Point Reyes Station 11:27 a.m. A call came in from someone stating they were with PG&E and they stated if they didn’t receive a payment in 24 minutes they would shut off the power. Reporting person checked with PG&E who stated that they hadn’t called the person.
Woodacre 12:09 p.m. Business owner received a call from someone allegedly from PG&E threatening to cut off the power. Deputies called the number that caller had left and they answered ‘PG&E’ and then hung up after deputy asked them a few questions.
Point Reyes Station 1:15 p.m. Bank manager called to state that a woman had taken a cab from Oakland and was attempting to cash a check at the bank to pay for the cab. Woman is now lying on the sidewalk outside the bank.
Tomales 5:34 p.m. Reporting parties 18 yr-old daughter and her friend were driving down the road last week when they exchanged phone numbers with a passing bicyclist. This same bicyclist knows where daughter lives and has been harassing and stalking her since then. Daughter leaves to college tomorrow. Dad given advice on obtaining a restraining order if obsessed bicyclist keeps up unwanted behavior.
Point Reyes Seaside 10:52 p.m. Man called to speak to deputies about the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. He is friend of the owners and wanted to voice his opinion about a right of way law and use of land in the area.
Thursday August 14
Forest Knolls 2:06 p.m. Man would like advice on how to get an unwanted house guest to leave the property.
Inverness 8:15 p.m. Reporting party stated that there were a group of people in a garage with a lot of clothes on their backs and wearing masks. Reporting party called back to say that all was good and that group of people he saw were not real.
Bolinas 10:50 p.m. A large party of loud 30-40 college age adults was reported to deputies. Party advised of noise complaint and agreed to keep it down.
Friday August 15
Dillon Beach 3:18 a.m. Three males between the ages of 17-20 yr’s-old broke into reporting parties unlocked pick-up truck and stole their cell phone.
Woodacre 11:18 a.m. Reporting party states that they paid someone to remove wood after a tree had fallen on their property. Subject took the check but never removed any wood. They would like some advice.
Point Reyes Station 11:28 a.m. Reporting party stated that a woman was selling her wares along the side of the road. Deputies investigated and found that she had permission from the owner of the house she was parked in front of to be there.
Bolinas 12:45 p.m. Woman reported that her neighbors are destroying her artwork. Was very uncooperative and did not provide further details.
Forest Knolls 5:58 p.m. Reporting party stated that a man was sitting on park bench with his shirt off and his shorts off. They furthermore stated that man was getting a back massage from a woman and drinking alcohol with another female companion. Deputies responding to the scene found the man with his two friends enjoying a drink. Man was not exposed and threesome was not under the influence.
Dillon Beach 8:11 p.m. Man states that he was asked to paint a cabin for an agreed upon sum of money. Now that he has finished the job, he can’t find the owner of the cabin.
Forest Knolls 8:31 p.m. A warrant arrest was carried out at the scene of an illegal bonfire.
Saturday August 16
Forest Knolls 12:20 p.m. Reporting party called deputies to state that they believed that someone had been tampering with their front door bolt. They also noted that their fridge door had been found slightly ajar on more than one occasion and that there may have been food missing from it. Deputies noted that person sounded slightly paranoid.
Bolinas 1:33 p.m. Mom reported that her 15 yr-old foster son was refusing to leave her room.
Dillon Beach 10:39 p.m. Reporting party states that there are a large group of campers making noise and playing loud music. They asked them if they could turn down their music and was told “No!” The campers have now turned their music up. Issue handled by property owner.
Sunday August 17
Bolinas 10:51 a.m. 16 yr-old son had game console taken away for stealing money from his mom. Son has now gone into mom’s room and taken game console back. Mom would like some advice.
Bolinas 8:38 p.m. Report taken for an assault and battery.
Bolinas 11:54 p.m. The suspect in the earlier assault and battery was reported at a local drinking establishment. A statement was obtained from him and the case will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review.



West Marin and Inverness Schools gear up for 2014-2015


West Marin-Inverness begins the 2014-15 school year with a charged iPads, a robust garden, and a full time music teacher for the almost 150 students, which is a slightly larger enrollment than last year. Students have used iPads in all classrooms, but this year, each 2nd-8th grade student will have their own iPad on which to do much of their work. Skilled maintenance worker Giloberto Rodriguez has worked with the district groundskeeper to maintain the resurgent gardens at both the West Marin and Inverness sites and staff and students will be able to pick fruit and vegetables right off the plants. Music teacher David Whitney has also been working during the summer break in order to prepare his schedule and lessons for all students at both schools. Thank you to all of our parents who worked so hard to make these things happen.

We also have a few new faces at West Marin. Ashley Steward is the new 5th grade teacher and comes to us from Richmond. Emilie Klein, who taught at West Marin a few years ago, is the new resource teacher at West Marin and will serve all K-8th students. Kelsy Henke, who was the resource teacher and special day class teacher last year, will only be the latter this year. Chris Eckert is the new 6th grade teacher and will continue his position as the West Marin physical education teacher.

Parents and guardians can meet all the teachers and visit the classrooms in just two weeks on September 4 during our annual Back to School Night, which will begin at 6pm at Inverness and 7:30pm at West Marin.

Matt Nagle
Inverness/West Marin School



New staff, new strategies for THS



I’m excited. Those who have been around me over the last few weeks know that I am overusing this sentence, but I don’t care. It’s true, and for good reason. A lot of great things are happening at Tomales High School, and it has made me excited to start this school year.

We are welcoming wonderful new staff members to join our team. Our new counselor, Connie Marx, comes to us with a wealth of experience in academic planning, college admittance, career prep, and making meaningful connections with students. Becca Bishop joins our English department, well trained and full of enthusiasm to develop relevant, engaging curriculum for our students. The addition of Erin Saunders to our Spanish program allows us to offer dedicated, appropriately leveled courses for both our English and Spanish speaker programs. Martha Johnson will bring her expertise to our Art program while art teacher Rachel Somerville is away for the fall semester, and Cesar Lopez joins our custodial staff in support of a clean, well-maintained THS campus.

These new folks have folded in nicely with our returning staff members. The halls are abuzz with discussions of project-based learning, technology as a learning and engagement tool, cross-curricular collaboration, and making education relevant for our students. This year will be a big year for Tomales High, as we prepare for our accreditation visit in the spring. Last year, we identified two critical areas of focus for our curriculum: writing in every subject area and the development of more relevant, real world learning opportunities for our students. This year, as we pilot, experiment, and adjust, we will finalize our action plan towards these focus areas.

So as you can see, I am excited. Great things are happening at Tomales High School. And they will only get better when the kids arrive.

Adam Jennings
Tomales High School


A call for listening and objective journalism


Hours before America’s invasion of Iraq, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on “Larry King Live”, was being goaded into denouncing either or both Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush. His Holiness suggested that rather than demonizing others, we might distinguish between their speech and behavior, and their humanity. Rejecting the human being, explained His Holiness, prevents learning; keeping an open mind protects curiosity and progress.

I offer this anecdote as a practice that your publication might employ in reporting the divisiveness that has arisen regarding an oyster farm operating within a marine wilderness area.

I was, until recently, neutral on this issue, an argument that would be resolved in courts of law. My concern has instead been the heated emotions and diminished comity that has surfaced through frequent vitriolic personal attacks.

This atmosphere of disagreeableness rather than disagreement has, in my view, been fomented by the lack of objective journalism on the part of both local newspapers. The public lynching in print of our neighbors and of organizations whose work make possible our extraordinary landscape has in turn given license to outrageous expressions of hate.

As with any relationship there cannot be progress until all parties stop talking and listen, without considering how to respond, but simply listen, really listen. Might I suggest that in future, when your newspaper feels a need to opine or to publish yet another article on the oyster farm versus marine wilderness issue, that you post side-by-side a divergent opinion or article authored by someone with a differing perspective?

Marc Matheson

Editor’s note: We enthusiastically support divergent opinions. We publish letters and opinion pieces as they are submitted. Everyone is welcome to write letters to the editor. Everyone is free to respond to those letters. We don’t instruct people what to write.

Big government- it’s not just the Lunnys!


It is encouraging to see in the Citizen the visceral reaction to the DBOC closure, and the “go take a flying leap” attitude towards the dish it out but can’t take it crowd that sided with the forces of bureaucratic tyranny and fraud dedicated to running the Lunnys and the DBOC out of business.

The most insightful comment came from Axel Nelson, who quoted his brother Lars-Erik as writing “The enemy isn’t conservatism. The enemy isn’t liberalism. The enemy is Bullshit”.

If the enemy really is bullshit, Axel Nelson might want to take his brothers words to heart, and revisit his negative assessment of SF Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll’s recent comparison of Kevin Lunny to the “ultra-right wing nutcase, Cliven Bundy”.

Carroll was actually on to something, but not in the way that most might imagine.

Any fair review of the heavy handed tactics of the government and its enablers regarding Cliven Bundy will show that Bundy, like Lunny was the victim of a wildly disproportionate response to a minor land use dispute.

Bundy was also the victim of a far more extensive media driven character assassination campaign than that brought against the Lunnys by environmentally extreme propaganda organizations.

What has happened to Cliven Bundy and the Lunnys are far from unique events.

Such heavy handed tactics have become the norm rather than the exception from a government entity that believes the people are there to serve it, rather than the other way around.

As another example of heavy-handed government tactics, lets consider when during last years government shutdown, the shock troops of Jon Jarvis’ National Park Service were deployed to close the nation’s most popular public recreation areas before any other truly wasteful, redundant or ineffective bureaucratic agency was affected.

And if that isn’t enough, there’s the recent revelations of the weaponization of the Internal Revenue Service against potential opponents of the permanent bureaucracy.

This comes on top of revelations that the National Security Agency carefully monitors virtually all electronic communications for any signs of dissent.

So in light of these events, and what has just transpired locally, maybe these ultra right wing nut cases aren’t so nutty after all?

At the same time, what has been revealed is something which should make more than a few locals uncomfortable.

Virtually none of the incidents mentioned above have sparked the kind of local outrage generated by the government’s treatment of the Lunnys.

How hypocritical is it to stand silent when government force is directed against law abiding citizens who might not march in lockstep with one’s political views, and then vilify those who sided with the government against the Lunnys?

Its time to take the lessons learned locally and apply them more broadly to the activities of a government leviathan and that is clearly out of control, and the authoritarians more than happy to bring its power to bear against any who dare to question their authority, no matter what political views they hold.

Ever the optimist, I remain steadfast in my belief that there is far more uniting than dividing us.

The greatest fear that the ruling class has is that a significant portion of the general population will find common cause against autocratic big government, and actually vote and work to dismantle it rather than return to power the self- serving elected and appointed officials that continue to feed the beast.

Remember, “The enemy isn’t conservatism. The enemy isn’t liberalism. The enemy is Bullshit”.

Paul Lesniak
Stinson Beach


Response to Paul Rampel’s comment:


You may want to re read my letter.


I made no mention of the liberal community of West Marin being silent on DBOC issues.


I was pointing out the selective outrage on display while unaccountable and corrupt government force is being routinely deployed all over the country by an agenda driven and punitive government class.


It is that very agenda driven corruption that had the NPS get the ball rolling in their crusade against the DBOC and the Lunnys.


Any legal decisions that followed in the wake of that demonstrably corrupt and tainted process are also corrupt and tainted by their very nature.


It is banana republic governance at its finest, and you, like far too many around here, seem to have no problem with it because your guys are the ones in the generalissimo’s uniform and sunglasses.


You ask, “Why make common cause with fools and racists?”


Because they are your law abiding fellow citizens having their lives, liberty and property taken away by unaccountable and agenda driven government force.


Defending the rights of those with whom you might disagree is the very essence of freedom and liberty.


Try wrapping your head around helping them instead of joining in, because, like the Lunnys, the next guy in the breach could be you.


Also, perhaps you can explain exactly what makes your productive, law abiding fellow citizen Cliven Bundy a fool and a racist.


Is it the fact that Bundy is a cowboy hat wearing, drawling, cattle ranching cracker who has spoken an inconvenient truth about the ghettoized, urban, black underclass?

Before West Marin was taken over by politically correct retired lawyers, university professors, and a few entitled and envious hipster doofuses, you’d run into guys like Bundy every day in Point Reyes Station.


When ANY mention of the social pathologies plaguing the black underclass is deemed as racist, then the word loses all meaning.


Accusations of racism are usually deployed as a weapon by those with nothing intelligent to say on the subject and little to no first hand experience in dealing with the grim reality of that segment of the population.


Speaking of making common cause with fools, I’ve been waiting for the boiling seas of climate change to wipe out my little slice of paradise since the first Earth Day.


But since I haven’t seen more than the usual number of ‘for sale’ signs along Sea Drift or Tomales Bay lately, and sales of coastal real estate continue to soar to new records, I’m guessing that those who might really have something to lose take such big-Government funded bullshit as seriously as it deserves.


Paul Lesniak



Point Reyes Village Association Meeting August 14

Waste disposal the main concern
The continuing challenge of providing adequate waste disposal options in town was first on the agenda at the Point Reyes Station Village Association meeting Thursday night at the Dance Palace.

PRVA president, Ken Otter, expressed disappointment that a letter to County officials outlining the association’s understanding of the problem and some suggested responses seems to have been mostly ignored. However, some assistance was provided. Ten additional portable toilets were placed on the west side of town just prior to the July 4th holiday weekend – albeit in areas not formerly discussed with local representatives.

“We did a walkthrough of the town identifying places,” said Marshall Livingston. The units were supposed to be concealed by some type of screening and be located behind the Grandi building and at the end of the block near the fire station. Instead they were unscreened and deposited mid-block. The units have also reportedly been locked Monday through Thursday making them only available for weekend traffic

A lack of communication to the company providing the portable toilets and the rush to get them into town before the holiday was probably the reason the large blue units were deposited in plain view instead of the agreed upon more concealed locations, Livingston said.

“It was awful to see those bright blue port-a-potties as you came into town,” said Melanie Stone. A few downtown residents also got an unwelcome increase in pedestrian traffic in front of their homes. But despite these drawbacks the effort of the County Parks Department was appreciated.

“Whatever the glitches,” said Michael Mery, “We are a lot closer than we were four months ago.”

The group agreed that communication should be kept open and an effort to unite local groups and citizens should be made to solve the challenge of dealing with the problem, which will not go away.

“This town has reached saturation level, said Livingston.

Jude Vasconcellos, expressed her opinion that it is a logical assumption that the number of visitors will not be decreasing any time soon. She stressed the increase in popularity of the farm to table movement and the easy access of the open space provided in West Marin as two reasons it has become a popular destination for almost all visitors to the San Francisco Bay area.

“It’s like going to Yosemite,” said Vasconcellos, “and it’s right here.”

The group also discussed:
-The sale of the Coast Guard Housing facility and the project update meeting held Sunday, July 20 at 6:30 pm at the Dance Palace.

-Taking a vote on approval of a letter to be distributed to town merchants regarding acceptable sign configurations. The group agreed that keeping the original informational tone intended by author Pamela Bridges was of utmost importance.

-Eden Clearbrook, presented a brief synopsis of a pilot waste disposal project currently taking place in Bolinas. The Thermapile project will take the waste donated by 25 local households and convert it, using safe and scientific methods within a two-week period, to a usable compost product. The association hopes to have a representative involved in the project to speak at the September PRVA meeting to find out more about the process and the possibility of being part of a similar project.

Shelly Ingram


Queen Elizabeth Reigns – new Empress of West Marin Piedom

Elizabeth Hill picking huckleberries.
Elizabeth Hill picking huckleberries.

By Mary Olsen

Elizabeth Hill received her crown last Saturday, acing out 12 other offerings, and will reign as Queen of Tarts, at least until the next Annual Edith Gondola Pie Baking Contest. Elizabeth won the hearts of the judges with her tantalizing huckleberry tart. The crust was buttery and flaky, not soggy or overly salty. The huckleberry filling, so appropriate for our region and time of year, was not too sweet nor too.tart. The adeptly applied indigo-blue glaze glistened.

One bite and the judges swooned. Missy Will, local caterer, and Oscar Gamez, manager of Toby’s Feed Barn, were equally impressed with Elizabeth’s creation, using one of the recipes handed down from her beloved grandmother, Norma Wells.

Queen Elizabeth recounts: “One of the fondest memories of a childhood spent in West Marin was of picking huckleberries and making my grandmother’s huckleberry tart, one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. She was lucky she had so many grandchildren because huckleberries are tiny and picking the four cups necessary for the tart is quite an endeavor! My grandmother would rig baskets or buckets we could hang around our necks for hands free picking and off we’d go into the woods.”

Judging’s Not a piece of cake

In case you think it’s all fun and games tasting homemade pies, think again. Pie Judge Missy Will explained this stressful job. ” The role of the judge is a difficult one. Every pastry must be tasted several times and evaluated under the strict judging rules. We have to think about the taste of the fat used, the salt level, and the texture. If it is a fruit pie, the characteristics of the fruit must be evaluated. Is it at the peak of flavor and freshness? Is there too much or not enough sweetener. And very important – is it firm and easy to serve or does it run all over the plate? We are under a great deal of pressure. People are standing around salivating and wishing they could dig in with their forks. It’s difficult to concentrate and get the job done under these circumstances. However, someone’s got to do, it and I’ll be the first to sign up next year.”

Missy’s judging partner, Oscar, also took the job very seriously.
“People have put their hearts into their creations. We would like everyone to win, but of course that’s not possible. Every entry was delicious but there’s only one first place. It’s a very difficult decision. However, I’ll be back next year.”

Kerry McGrath, Mary Jo Maendle, Missy and Oscar made a formidable team. They quickly and efficiently labeled the pies and got the work done

SUBHEAD: A sweet history

Amy Whelan has been putting on food events at the market for seven years. She came up with this event as a way to honor a faithful friend of the market. Each Saturday morning Edith Gondola, a local born Olema gal, and her friend May Veloza would arrive early for good seats in the front row of the cooking demo arena. Edith Gondola died April 16, 2014. In a strange twist of fate, Edith’s dear friend, May Veloza, was not able to attend the judging. Sadly, it was the day of her husband’s funeral.

The Gondola Family was deeply appreciative of the Pie Contest and this unique way of honoring their mother and grandmother. Her daughter, Doreen Cox of Sonoma said, “Edith was my mother and I know how much she enjoyed attending the cooking demonstrations at the Farmers’ Market.

SUBHEAD: Pickle contest coming October 18

Amy Whelan said she was lucky to find Mary Jo Maendle an experienced cooking contest judge, to head up the event. Mary Jo has served as a contest judge for the Marin County Fair for years and is familiar with the standards of
Mary Jo’s contagious enthusiasm and expertise has led to a whole series of food contests. The next event will be a Pickle Contest to be held October 18. In the future look for jam and jelly and chutney contests, or whatever Mary Jo’s imagination may conjure.

 Addendum: Farmers’ Market dilemma
The Marin County Environmental Health Department’s requires that all food served at the market must be produced in either a commercial kitchen or a certified “Cottage Kitchen” – a home kitchen that has been inspected and licensed. Therefore, tastes of the pies by market goers at last week’s contest could not be allowed. Alternatives are being explored.

Norma’s Huckleberry Tart
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter
1 tablespoon vinegar

Pulse ingredients briefly in a Cuisinart until dough just comes together.
Press dough into a 10″ tart pan lined with parchment paper.


4 cups huckleberries, divided, 2 Cups are baked and 2 cups are added to the tart immediately after the tart comes out of the oven.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of salt

Mix thoroughly, pour into prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Add the remaining fresh berries to the top. The taste and texture difference between the cooked and fresh berries is one of the greatest things about this tart.






Criminal activity and human concerns



Let me begin with comments made in “letters “(Citizen 8/7) accusing some of “championing the holding of a grudge” regarding
the Drake’s Bay Oyster Co. Stating facts is not “holding a grudge”,
It is stating facts. The suggestion that DBOC supporters are responsible
for creating friction ignores the constant drumbeat attacks on the Lunnys personally and the DBOC in general, to say nothing of the trespassing , defacement and theft of the “Save our Oyster Co” support signs perpetrated by enemies of the DBOC .

To state that this is criminal activity by cowards punishable by law is not “holding a grudge.” I won’t erode my soul by hating anyone-but I will reserve the right to take issue with behavior and other positions.

Those who oppose DBOC appear to completely ignore the human concerns implicit in the loss of home and jobs of 25 families. The detractors have left that as a mess for someone else to clean up. While the families will have
support for a while, sooner or later. with the lack of affordable housing
the kids will have to be removed from an already challenged school
district and the community will suffer.

The impact on the community is constantly ignored in favor of saving a piece of “the wilderness.” What is the establishment’s definition of “the wilderness” anyway?

There is a tunnel vision to what I read from DBOC detractors and
absolutely no sense of local community impact. Humans are not factored into any vision from this quarter.

Oh, by the way, if the displaced workers have to drive all over creation for housing and employment creating auto emissions, is that more environmentally sound than their previous situation?

Finally, if you lay up your treasures with the system, you’ve given away your power to it. .Since park scientists have been exposed as lying, why do you side with them?

What if you change your mind? Our local conversation means nothing to the Feds- this is a dichotomy where Washington DC is in this community but not necessarily of it. Thank you

Charlie Morgan


Baffling letter appears on social media, information hard to get.

In a July 25, letter addressed to Ted McIsaac, President, Point Reyes Seashore Ranchers Association twelve ranchers representing six or seven ranches on the Seashore wrote:

“Dear Ted,
Thank you for listening to our concerns about the Point Reyes Seashore Ranchers Association. We, the undersigned, hereby resign from The Association effective immediately.
It has become increasingly evident that our styles of communication in matters pertinent to the Point Reyes National Seashore are very different. This was most recently evidenced by the letter dated July 21, 2014, which was sent on behalf of The Association to Superintendent Muldoon and various elected officials. We felt that we had inadequate time to review and respond and consider the implications of such a letter being sent.
We realize it is difficult to maintain cohesiveness in a group as diverse as the Association. We appreciate all of the efforts of those creating and maintaining the Association over the past several years. However, we feel it is in the best interest of all the ranchers if we left the group.” This letter was signed by Robert McClure, Tim Kehoe, Thomas Kehoe, Mike Kehoe, Daniel and Dolores Evans, Julie Rossotti, David Evans, Betty Nunes, Joe Mendoza (now retired from running L&B ranches), and Robert Giacomini and Elmer Martinelli (who both have small pasture grazing leases on Seashore land).”

This letter began circulating on social media two weeks ago.
The Citizen has attempted to learn what motivated this surprising move, coming so soon after a recent show of unity and consensus in the Ranchers Association’s scoping comments on the new General Management Plan for the Seashore.

The Citizen spoke with McIsaac who expressed disappointment in the resignations but assured us that the majority of ranches remained committed to the Association. He did not offer any specific reasons for the decision but did mention the concern many ranchers feel over the future of ranching in the Seashore and the importance of maintaining a good relationship with local Park personnel.

McIsaac also spoke of problems that several ranches are having with free-ranging elk, and the frustration that no immediate solutions are being offered by the Park Service. McIsaac and Kevin Lunny, who also spoke with the Citizen, indicated possible “political” motives and differences in priorities of the signees compared to other members of the Association., such as the resigning ranchers not having the problems with elk other ranchers are coping with.

Both expressed disappointment over the split, coming from life-long friends and fellow-ranchers. “We think we’re stronger if we can be unified, and we were,” said Lunny. McIsaac echoed similar thoughts. “We still think it’s a very useful organization. It’s a tool to meet and keep each other up on what’s happening…All the people who’ve been active for a decade are still active. Our commitment to help everyone in the seashore is still here.”

Mr. Lunny said the ranchers who resigned didn’t give the association an opportunity to discuss the issue before they gave the letter to Mr. McIsaac.

The Citizen welcomes comments and information from other ranchers and the public on this matter.
Linda Petersen-Publisher



In defense of the Federal Government


I have enjoyed the beauties and ambiance of West Marin for over three decades.  Thanks to forward looking citizens back in the fifties who formed the association which encouraged the landowners of that era not to sell out to the developers for quick profits, but to preserve the uniqueness of this wonderful area by keeping it agricultural.

The Federal Government created the Point Reyes National Seashore and later expanded it by purchasing 1,100 acres in Drakes Estero from oyster company owner, Charlie Johnson.  If I am correct, the price for the parcel back in 1972 was $72,900.  Imagine the cost of those 1,100 acres in current dollars.


It is quite disingenuous to listen to the people who think raising oysters is really an important enterprise rant and complain that the Department of Interior wants to restore the property to wilderness status.  Is that not the sole reason that it was purchased by the Federal Government in the first place?   The oyster operation was allowed to continue unabated for forty years.  That was quite generous, but the pro oyster crowd, seem to believe that continued use of this space is their God given right.  It is not, and I believe that most people familiar with the months of debate know that it is not.


Why all the crying, why all the recriminations by the Lunnys and their supporters that it is somehow unfair that the property will no longer be available to DBOC for oyster cultivation.  In all of my visits to your area, I have never had a single oyster, and never will.    From my perspective, oysters are for the consumer a big rip off.   They do not even count as food.


I hope that now the so-called debate is over and the DBOC is being vacated that the news now turns to other things.

I love your area, and there is much more about it to praise than oysters.

By Robert E. Durkee, Belmont


Robert  E. Durkee,  Belmont


State mandates Inverness water emergency

But, there’s plenty of water. Huh?

The IPUD board meets on Wednesday, August 27 at 9am at the Inverness Firehouse. The public is invited to attend.

In a strange bureaucratic move, California’s State Water Resources Control Board, with unprecedented authority, has ordered that Inverness Public Utilities District declare a water emergency. Actually, Inverness has plenty of water.


The emergency mandate was not IPUD General Manager Scott McMorrow’s idea, but a one size fits all response from the state to deal with the severe California drought. McMorrow, like all other water district heads, has no choice but to recommend to the local water governing board at its next meeting that they comply with the mandate. And this mandate applies through April 25, 2015. At that point the state may extend or rescind it.


If you haven’t noticed, our little West Marin enclave is unique compared with other regions of California. For one thing, we don’t depend on the snow pack for our water supply. Inverness gets its water from local creeks that flow from Inverness Ridge. The water is then treated and stored. IPUD has various storage facilities sprinkled throughout Inverness that can store a total of 400,000 gallons. McMorrow says that this storage capacity is “not a lot- 5 to 12 days worth.” The stored water is then mostly gravity fed to individual homes. Available water that exceeds the storage capacity flows into Tomales Bay, “ a sort of use it or lose it situation” he adds. So far, the closely monitored creeks are doing well.


Normally at this time of the year – and with the severe lack of rain it’s clearly not normal – IPUD would gently remind people to use less water. Notices might go up in the post office urging Invernessians to stop excessive outside watering, or even think about plant triage – deciding which plants might have to be sacrificed. “We’ve never had to go beyond that,” McMorrow says. “The town is receptive to the informal approach. And on our end, we also try to be good neighbors”


So what does McMorrow recommend for the residents of Inverness? “People should exercise common sense and be conscious of water use.”