Drakes Bay Oyster files reply brief in U.S. Supreme Court

This week, Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) filed its reply to the government’s brief opposing the oyster farm’s petition to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case.

The Supreme Court could decide whether to take this case as early as the end of this month.

At stake is whether the government, in making countless everyday decisions, can be taken to court when it abuses its power. The Ninth Circuit held last fall that a federal court does not have jurisdiction to review a discretionary agency decision for abuse of discretion.

Drakes Bay petitioned the high court on April 14, 2014 for a writ of certiorari to review the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in its case against the government. The government filed a brief on May 27, 2014 opposing the oyster farm’s petition.

The brief filed today points out the weaknesses of the government’s opposition brief. Drakes Bay has argued that the high court should take the case to resolve “the mother of all circuit splits.” A circuit split is an issue on which two or more circuits in the U.S. court of appeals system have given different interpretations of federal law. The splits in this case are on three critical issues: jurisdiction to review agency actions for abuse of discretion, applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and prejudicial error under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The government’s brief does not dispute the existence of these splits, that these splits affect a fundamental issue of administrative law, or that the issue is of national importance.

Because Drakes Bay showed that there is a “reasonable probability” that the Supreme Court will take this case and a “significant possibility” that the oyster farm will win, the Ninth Circuit has allowed Drakes Bay to remain open while it takes its

The cert petition can be found here: http://savedrakesbay.com/core/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Drakes-Bay-Oyster-Company-et-al-v-Jewell-et-al_Petition-for-Writ.pdf

By Sarah Rolph

The reply brief can be found here: http://savedrakesbay.com/core/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/DBOC-Reply-Brief-in-Supreme-Court.pdf



Our Window Washer Men

(With thanks to the Mills Brothers)

For me for you he does his work with class
He shines like new the dirty window glass
No one rubs no one scrubs like he can
Oh the window washer man.

You can hear the Mills Brothers version on Ken Levin’s answering machine. He and his son, Sam Levin, along with their partner, Jamal Tyson are the guys on the ladders all over West Marin and occasionally over the hill. Ken is not quite over the hill, although he’s moving toward retirement and clearly delighted to share the business with his son.

Ken arrived in West Marin in 1970, having left his high school teaching job in New Haven when he could not tolerate policemen in the hallways and an atmosphere of threat their presence implied. He found his way to the left coast when, of course, so many young people could not countenance our involvement in Viet Nam. It was also the time of communes and much else that now seems long ago. After some starting and stopping up and down the coast, Ken was invited by a friend (read girl) to visit her in a cabin she’d found in a cool place called Point Reyes Station. He still lives in that cabin. The friend has moved on.

Ken’s working life in West Marin included making granola for the old health food store in Point Reyes. He spent several years working as an early childhood educator, married and had the joy of fathering son Sam. Ken soon decided to take care of his own youngster and no longer worked with other kids. And Sam had the luck to be raised right here.

Ken joined Michael Parmeley in the window cleaning business after Michael’s partner (and a close friend of Ken’s) died unexpectedly. From the beginning, Ken enjoyed the work as it kept him outside; was physical; his customers were and are pleased and appreciative; the results of the work are there for all to see (through) and it does no harm. Ken feels blessed and especially now because his son has joined him in the business.

Sam worked with his dad in summers during high school, so when he decided to join the business, he knew he would enjoy it. Sam enjoys the challenges of steep terrain and architects who do not consider the problems posed by inaccessible windows that still need to be washed. He says, “Some windows are really “unclean-able,” but we usually find a way.” Sam’s been working with Ken for ten years now. He’s a snowboarder, a succulent grower, a hiker, and very interested in the arts.

Now why do you smile? “I’m happy all day long.”
I’ve got my health, and I’ve got my job
And so I sing this song
Oh the window washer man.

An Update on the Marin Carbon Project

Excerpts from an interview with John Wick, Nicasio rancher and co-founder of the Marin Carbon Project, conducted by Bing Gong, co-host of KWMR Post Carbon Radio.  The audio of the full hour interview is archived at: wmpostcarbon.com  

Bing Gong: John, can you tell us about the Marin Carbon Project and how it got started?

John Wick: When my wife Peggy and I bought our land in 1998, we were environmentalists and “leave-it-alone-wilderness enthusiasts.” We were very confident that if we got rid of cattle and stopped the grazing, we could create a beautiful piece of wilderness. Then, over the next three years, we watched chaos on our landscape. We lost the ability to walk across our grass fields because of the weeds that came in. We started to recognize we had produced something different than what our vision was.

We were fortunate to meet Dr. Jeff Creque, who is a rangeland ecologist. He advised us to introduce grazing as a strategic event for the benefit of the ecosystem, and therefore to promote our native grasses and ground-nesting bird habitat. We did a lot of reading at his suggestion, including the book Grass Productivity by Andre Voisin.  We also studied Allan Savory’s book on Holistic Management and followed the Savory method very carefully, going through every patch of grass on the ranch and designing a beneficial grazing event for each one. Then, we found a herd of cattle that did not have de-wormers in them, because the last thing we wanted to do was to dump toxic piles of cow poop on our soil system. Working with the Lunny family’s herd starting in 2005, we reintroduced grazing into our system, and over the next couple of years we noticed an amazing change with the landscape. We started seeing whole fields of native perennial grasses without planting a seed. Grasses need to be grazed, and we had demonstrated that by not grazing them, the grass plants grew tall, then died and dried, smothering future grass growth and causing our whole system to start collapsing.

BG: Is this similar to the Midwest where the buffalo grazed the prairies?

JW: Yes, historically, these massive herds moving through the landscape had a significant impact. Our living systems co-evolved with that massive disturbance and learned how to thrive under it. Having watched our landscape transform into a healthy native perennial grassland system full of wildlife, we actually created the wilderness we were looking for. We did it by introducing grazing as a strategic management event in the system.  Based on that success we were able to entertain bigger thoughts. Dr. Creque, with his concern about the climate, kept referring to grass plants as “little straws” that suck CO2 from the atmosphere.

BG: That’s photosynthesis, right?  The plant takes in carbon dioxide from the air, and turns it into sugars and carbohydrates, and gives off oxygen, which we all need to breathe.

JW: Yes, it’s the carbon cycle.  There is a finite amount of carbon on earth, and it’s in one of five carbon pools at any one time. In the atmosphere, it’s in the form of CO2. When atmospheric carbon enters the biosphere through photosynthesis, it’s transformed into carbohydrates, and in the form of roots it enters the pedosphere, the soil system. As the result of natural processes, it then becomes soil carbon in one of three states in that system.  The first state is still in the roots and bodies of soil microorganisms—that’s the labile pool, which we expect to respire back to the atmosphere. As a result of processes in the soil, however, some of that carbon becomes “the occluded light fraction” because it is physically trapped inside the “crumbs” in good soil structure. This is carbon that will stay around for 100 years or more, unless plowed. Below that, or mixed in with it, is a more permanent form of soil carbon called “the heavy fraction.” This is carbon that is now chemically bonded to soil structure, and it’s not available to microorganisms to eat or burn up. This carbon will be there for millennia, unless plowed. Carbon in the heavy fraction and in the occluded light fraction holds more water. Therefore, soil that is carbon-rich holds more water, which promotes more plant growth, which pulls more carbon into the soil, which holds more water, which promotes more plant growth, and it goes on and on.

Below the Pedosphere is the lithosphere. Here carbon is found in the form of diamonds, coal, natural gas, and crude oil. The fifth carbon pool is the hydrosphere, or oceans. Carbon found here is in the form of carbonic acid.

In 2007, Peggy and I went to Darren Doherty’s rainwater harvesting seminar in Two Rock. Darren stated that increasing soil organic matter just 1.5 % in all the cropland on earth could stop global warming within 10 years. Dr. Creque, who has been the manager at the McEvoy Ranch for a decade, has increased soil organic matter at the McEvoy olive plantation from 2 to 4% through grazing management and compost application. If that happened on crop lands, what about rangelands? It turns out rangeland systems are the largest single cover type on earth, and they account for over half of human occupation. So if rangeland is the largest system on earth that is currently under management, perhaps a change in management could enhance carbon flow into the soil system. On such a vast area, a very small change would have a big effect. And that was the beginning of the Marin Carbon Project.

Dr. Jeff Creque and I went over to UC Berkeley and met with Dr. Whendee Silver, a biogeochemist. She is one of the world’s foremost soil carbon sequestration experts. We asked her whether management could add carbon in rangeland systems. She replied that there was not a lot of peer-reviewed research, and that she doubted it. The Marin Carbon Project was willing to organize an effort to fund her to find out.  Dr. Silver warned, “You may not like what I find.” We responded, “This is important and we need to know.”  Based on that, she was willing to spend her time doing the rigorous controlled experiments required to answer the question, Can management enhance soil carbon?

BG: So what you did was start with your land as a baseline, to see the results of that particular type of strategic grazing?

JW: Baselines are very important, as are controls. You always need a treatment plot next to something that you didn’t treat so you can see the difference. Without a control you can’t confidently say that your treatment made a difference, because you don’t know what would have happened otherwise. What’s really neat about Marin County is that we have this great history of cooperation between the Resource Conservation District (RCD), MALT, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and land managers. We tapped into this and identified 35 baseline sites in Marin and Sonoma that were typical of land under management. These were dairy pastures and beef pastures, and this group of agencies facilitated access for Dr. Silver and her lab to go onto the land and take soil samples.

We found a range of carbon in existing lands in Marin and Sonoma from 30 to 150 tons of carbon per hectare (2.47 acres). When Dr. Silver saw the results, she asked, “What is the history of the high carbon sites?” As it turned out, all of the high carbon sites had a history of dairy manure application. Further analysis showed that the carbon in the occluded light fraction and in the heavy fraction was just a few decades old.  This was big news to everyone. Previously, researchers assumed that it took thousands of years for carbon from the atmosphere to enter the heavy fraction.

That was exciting to us. We had found a pathway: the topical application of an organic amendment on soil had ended up enhancing soil carbon at depth. Based on that, we designed a controlled experiment on my ranch and in the Sierra Foothills Research Extension Center, which is a UC-owned 5,000 acre research ranch. We went from a coastal prairie system, which is my ranch, all the way to the Sierra foothills. And we duplicated the experiment on both sites. In December, 2008, we dusted the test plots with a half inch of compost. Unlike manure, compost is a biologically stable carbon-nitrogen complex. Adding a carbon source like straw to manure, and getting it up to temperature with thermophilic bacteria by providing air and moisture, produces a wonderful soil amendment. That’s what we put on our research plots. We then introduced grazing the following May because we wanted to see the effect of organic amendments on grazed rangelands, since they are the largest cover type on earth. At the end of that first water year, we ended up with a ton more carbon per hectare (not including the carbon added as compost). That additional ton of carbon came from the air through the plants and ended up in the soil in the occluded fraction. This was very exciting news. We are now on our fifth year of the experiment, and have measured an additional ton of carbon per hectare per year without adding any more compost. It works!

BG: Tell me a little bit more about the grazing. I know the land is intensively grazed but they don’t chew it down to the nub, and how that affected the growth of the biomass.

JW: There is a continuum of grazing. At one end, there’s no grazing, which is under-grazing. At the other end there is over-grazing. Somewhere in the middle is optimal grazing that is good for the health of the animal, good for the health of the soil, and good for the health of the vegetation. That’s what we try to target. In this experiment, we grazed all the plots to the recommended 750 pounds per acre residual vegetation and the composted plots gained carbon. But what was surprising was that the control plots (with no compost) lost carbon. So grazing alone did not sequester carbon during the first four years of measurements.

But grazing on composted plots did sequester carbon, and the only explanation I can offer is that the earth is in a degraded state and business as usual doesn’t work anymore. The analogy would be if you have a broken machine and you keep using it, it actually makes it worst until you reach a point of catastrophic failure. Our systems are currently broken. We’ve lost enough carbon from them now that they don’t rebound on their own. By simply adding a little bit of carbon back into it, it’s like oiling dry machine parts. It will start moving again, and that’s what we saw, and this was the most exciting thing: we’ve ignited a state change. The whole system is responding from that one-time event. And now, it’s producing 50% more forage, and holds 26,000 more liters of water per hectare per year. This is significant! We’ve ignited a state change in the opposite direction of the usual curve.

BG: So you just composted that first year, and not subsequent years?

JW: Yes.  A single application of ½ inch of compost was all it took to ignite a state change on grazed rangeland.  Our research has identified a mechanism. We have a treatment, which is putting on compost, and we have a soil system, which is grazed rangeland. And now the question is – what will happen if we compost cropland, or if we compost your lawn? There are more lawns in America than cornfields.  What’s exciting is that we’ve established one complete chain of carbon cycle management that’s big enough at scale to reverse global warming. Now how do we get to scale? Is there enough compost? All these questions are exciting and great opportunities, and we’re working hard to address them.

BG: Amazing! What are your plans now that you know the results of being able to take carbon out of the atmosphere and put it into the ground? How are you going to get the word out to other ranchers and farmers?

JW: One of our constraints in terms of these projects was to work with existing infrastructure where appropriate, and everything we do has to be replicable, scaleable, and broadly applicable. The RCD has a national distribution system in place, so as we perfect programs here in Marin County, we’re doing it in a way that’s replicable in terms of developing procedures and protocols that anyone else can use in their system.

BG: Has Dr. Whendee Silver published reports on your research findings?

JW: A peer-reviewed paper about this research was published in Ecological Applications, a journal published by the Ecological Society of America. The full Life-Cycle Assessment of the carbon accounting has been peer-reviewed and it’s just been accepted for publication in Ecosystems Magazine. We’ve had a full financial viability study done, and it was favorable. And we’ve actually completed the protocol for this particular practice soon to be submitted to the National Carbon Registry as a methodology approved by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, which would feed into AB32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, or local air district CEQA programs.

The Marin Planning Department understands the significance of the research, and the Board of Supervisors has granted us the money to bring the protocol to Marin’s planning process. Once we complete our work here, anybody who is doing a project who needs to mitigate emissions, and anyone who just wants to do the right thing, can look at managing their own soil to sequester carbon. This is the best possible outcome.

BG: The other added benefit is that the ranchers will have more forage.

JW: Absolutely. Also, by doing this kind of carbon management in your system, say for a lawn in a residential area, you could stop using fertilizers and reduce your water use. In gardens, it’s the same thing. It’s just a good mechanism that we should start promoting and everyone should start using

In addition to the protocol, we needed to see what these practices look like on actual working landscapes. Two years ago, we had the very good fortune of the Giacomini Dairy, the Taylor Dairy, and the Lafranchi Dairy allowing us to place research plots in the middle of their systems.  Based on those results, we are now going to scale. We are organizing three 100-acre demo projects on ranches in Marin. And we were given a $100,000 grant from the founder of Twitter and his foundation, for the planning of this expanded research and demonstration.

BG: Who should be interested in the Marin Carbon Project, and what is the message?

JW: The message is, there is every reason to be confident that we can stop and reverse global warming. That’s a great message.

BG: And we’re hitting those dangerous tipping points of runaway climate change.

JW: But the good news is our research shows the opposite possibility, where the system is exciting itself and moving in the other direction.

BG: Now we have to worry about an Ice Age.

JW: I hope so.

Announcements – Week of 06/05/14

Ana Maria Ramirez retirement potluck

Ana Maria Ramirez is retiring from Inverness School at the end of this school year and we invite you to celebrate with us! On June 3rd from 1-3pm at Inverness School we will host a community potluck to thank Ana Maria for her many years of loving service to our students and their families.
Please join us!
Melissa Riley, Dee Lynn Armstrong and Chris Greene
¡Ana María Ramírez se retirará de la Escuela de Inverness al final de este año escolar y les invitamos a celebrar con nosotros! El 3 de junio, 1-3pm, en la Escuela de Inverness habrá una comida de “potluck” para agradecerle a Ana María por sus años de servicio a los estudiantes y sus familias.
¡Por favor vengan a celebrar con nosotros!
Melissa Riley, Dee Lynn Armstrong y Chris Greene

Book release celebration for West Marin Review

A literary and musical wingding (readings, nibbles, sips, music, schmoozing) to celebrate the publication of West Marin Review, Volume 5 will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, at Toby’s Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station. The free event will presentations of prose, poetry, and art from the latest, hot-off-the-press volume of the award-winning journal. Refreshments will be served. West Marin Review features Marin artists and writers alongside the work of accomplished
authors and artists from near and far. The popular collection is published by Point Reyes Books with friends and neighbors and created through the volunteer efforts of professional editors and designers. West Marin Review, Volume 5 and previous volumes of the journal will be available for purchase at the event. For more information, contact Suzanne d’Coney, suzannedconey@gmail.com. About West Marin Review: The nonprofit West Marin Review is an award-winning literary and art journal published by Point Reyes Books with friends and neighbors. It features art and poetry by local writers alongside the work of accomplished authors and artists from near and far. In 2010 West Marin Review was the only literary and arts journal to merit recognition at the prestigious New York Book Show. Submissions are being accepted for Volume 6 until September 1. Guidelines are available at westmarinreview.org

Keep Maddy Jammin

Maddy Sobel needs help. If you have any old canning jars in your cupboard or garage, why not drop them off at her house? She lives in the blue house, just two doors down from the West Marin School. Canning jars, lids, pectin, organic fruit – all things she needs to keep her livelihood going. “Maddy’s Jammin'” is her business; She makes jam and sells it to local stores. Maddy suffers from a chronic illness that prohibits her from driving. Her husband is in a nursing home in San Rafael and she hasn’t been able to visit him for several weeks. She could use a ride over the hill. Maddy has artwork to sell as well as lovely potted succulents. Her situation is painfully dire. If you can offer any help, please phone her at 663- 1293 or stop by her house and knock on the door. Please help.

Art by Joe & Maureen Blumenthal to benefit KWMR

By Ellen Shehadeh

Etchings by Joe Blumenthal and photographs by Maureen (Mo) Blumenthal will be on sale at Toby’s June 6, 7, and 8, from 11:00 am- 5:00 pm. All proceeds will benefit KWMR, Community Radio Joe Blumenthal, sometimes known as Dr. Joe, has been making art since 1982, after studying with Elaine Badgeley-Arnoux. Although his main interest is printmaking he also works in watercolor, and does graphite and ink drawings. He has had several solo shows and has also been part of many group shows. His work is inspired by nature, especially the beauty of West Marin. One of Joe’s other gigs is bicycle riding. He has ridden to raise money for charities, sometimes accompanied by his wife, affectionately referred to as “sag wagon Mo.” A few years ago it was a journey from Vancouver to Point Reyes. His KWMR show, Cuppa Jo with Dr. Joe, features good news (hard to find these days), great music and “no politics.” Recently he has begun demonstrating his vast knowledge of very cool jazz, and is morphing into a stellar KWMR deejay. Mo Blumenthal also studied art with Elaine Badgeley-Arnoux in San Francisco. Her special interest is photography and she beautifully captures the light and essence of the Point Reyes area. In addition to photography, Mo does plant prints and has collaborated with Janet Robbins to produce a series of pencil portraits of women composers.

Oysterpalooza coming to Valley Ford, May 25

The eighth annual “Oysterpalooza!” festival will be held once again at Rocker Oysterfeller’s Kitchen + Saloon and the Valley Ford Hotel in Valley Ford, California on Sunday, May 25th. This is a celebration of food, music and community. Doors will open to the public at 12:00 pm with the first musical act beginning at 1:00 pm. There will be five bands between two alternating outdoor stages.

The lineup:
1:00 pm – 2:15pm Church Marching Band
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Mr. December
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm Lucky Drive Bluegrass Band
5:15 pm – 5:45 pm A Second Line with Church Marching Band
5:45 pm – 7:00 pm Frankie Boots and the County Line
7:15 pm – 8:30 pm Arann Harris and the Farm Band

Outdoor food court. Local microbrews on draught will be served alongside locally produced wines. Proceeds of Oysterpalooza 2014 to CropMobster and Valley Ford Volunteer Fire Department. Pre-purchase tickets are available online at www.oysterpalooza.brownpapertickets.com for $15 per person or will be offered at the door for $20. Children 10 and under are free.

Mad Marmalade Duo

By Adrienne Pfeiffer & Sharron Drake

This dynamic and irreverent pair met back in the aughts while traversing the boards of professional thea-tuh. A short time later, realizing their geographical closeness, fondness for a good Becherovka and penchant for performance in song, they started a duo that eventually became the aggressive folk quartet Pink Sabbath. The two have now reunited to conceptualize and torpedo the most beautiful ballads and pop standards that bring tears to the most seasoned concert goer and shut in alike. Their borne-from-the-heavens harmonies along with their trusty guitar and violin waiver and whine with spicy hints of country, Celtic and good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll; saucy tunes evoking a homemade and organically sweet jam in a Mason jar sitting on a country kitchen’s shelf – right next a welcoming bowl of coconut ambrosia and the Lysol®. They also make themselves available for hire as an unlikely and unconventional customized sing-o-gram act – eagerly available to batter through any dead-bolted vestibule to crash weddings, birthdays, brisses, motivational speaking engagements and…bachelor parties! With their brazen warbling of their specially composed three sheets-to-the-wind ditties it is no wonder they are referred to as the Sweet Assailants of Song™. http://www.madmarmalade.com

Coastal Marin’s Role in World Communication

The Bolinas Museum is preparing for the June 7 opening of Transmit / Receive–four inspiring exhibitions celebrating the story of wireless radio in coastal Marin and its role in world history and the evolution of the communication technology we all take for granted today. This year marks the centennial of theopening the Bolinas transmitting and Marshall receiving stations that were once the largest wireless stations on the planet. Built by Nobel Prize winning Guglielmo Marconi to connect his world-wide communications network across the Pacific, today the Bolinas and Point Reyes RCA stations are part of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

At the heart of the program is the exhibition Wireless Giant of the Pacific: 100 years of Marconi & RCA History curated by Carola DeRooy, archivist of the Point Reyes National Seashore, which traces this fascinating and complex history. Many people are familiar with the old buildings at Commonweal in Bolinas, the Marconi Conference center near Marshall, and the RCA buildings in the wild lands of Point Reyes Peninsula, but few know that these building represent an era of cutting edge technology. In 1914, dignitaries from great shipping and communications empires came to the Marconi transmitting complex built on the Bolinas mesa to witness its first Morse code transmission across the Pacific Ocean. It was the last link in Marconi’s revolutionary communications network.

What the dignitaries saw at Bolinas that day was massive generators housed in a huge building and nine 300 foot steel towers, each supporting 32 wires that were 2000 feet in length, from which the messages would flash across the seas by Morse code. RCA (Radio Corporation of America) took over Marconi at Bolinas in 1919 and later opened the Point Reyes station. Local men and women kept RCA serving trans-oceanic communication through Morse code until the 1990s with the advent of satellite technology. With the help of the Maritime Radio Historical Society, today the KPH stations come to life on special occasions for visitors to experience the equipment and excitement of radiotelegraphy. A private tour of the site is schedule for August 2.

The Museum’s history room will feature local family and individual stories that illustrate how Marconi and RCA impacted and enriched our local communities. Curated by Elia Haworth, the exhibition shares how RCA people such as Gus Kovats in Point Reyes and the family of Annie Crotts in Bolinas became part of the fabric of our communities. In addition to the two history exhibitions, the Museum will feature two inventive contemporary installations inspired by wireless communications. Guggenheim recipient and SETI Institute’s (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) first Artists in Residence Charles Lindsay is creating Code Humpback, a surprising multi-media sculptural installation inspired by recent developments in interspecies communications and Morse Code transmissions between the Bolinas and Point Reyes stations–the last of their kind in the United States to maintain this once vital Maritime language.

Through sculpture, video, and sound Lindsay raises questions about possibilities of alternate modes of communication through space and time that merge his interest in analog technologies with SETI astronomer Laurance Doyle’s recent findings in information theory related to the Humpback whale song. Lindsay is an explorer of art, science and the world. He was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship for inventing a carbon- based imaging process, which he transforms through sound and sensors to create immersive installations. Lindsay and Doyle will discuss their stimulating ideas at a public forum on June 14. With both his writing and metal fabrication skills, Bolinas sculptor Wayne Campbell’s installation Swept/Up is inspired by his father’s experience as a World War II prisoner of war under the Japanese and evolved from a true story of human innovation in the face of unspeakable brutality.

Growing up in Jack County Texas in the 1930s, his father and his brothers and friends were radio enthusiasts– competing with each other to make radios out of unlikely materials. Together the young men joined the National Guard on a lark, not foreseeing being shipped out to Java as a field artillery unit, only to be captured and joined with 200,000 other allied prisoners as slave labor in Burma who were forced to build a strategic railroad in record time through dense jungle despite starvation, disease and the cruelty of their captors. Using scraps of paper, wax, barbwire-whatever they could find or steal, and risking vicious reprisal if they were caught, the Jack County boys started making radio receivers to catch word from the outside world. They hid their radios in mundane implements like the brooms used to sweep their ragged barrack—a story Wayne Campbell will powerfully interpret through steel brooms, bamboo, and his own text.

Transmit/Receive exhibitions open Saturday June 7 with the 2 pm preview talks with the artists and curators followed by the opening reception from 3-5 pm, co-hosted by the Point Reyes Nationals Seashore Association. Everyone is welcome. Visiting the Museum is always free. For more information about these exciting exhibitions and related events please visit bolinasmuseum.org.

These Women Are A Team

(L)HowsBusinessAnd you can’t miss it if you have any dealings with them. Martha Howard owns the law practice behind the gorgeous roses next to the Inverness post office. Dakota Whitney works with Marty about 12 hours/week, perfect for a mom with two young boys. Dino Williams, the office manager and legal assistant, greases the wheels and complains only that those climbing roses seem eager to climb through the front door. Dakota describes Dino as the backbone of the office and “the best math-mind” among them.

Marty is our local attorney in estate planning which means wills, trusts, associated taxes and probate. Sometimes, she does elder law, addressing the needs of older adults, some of whom cannot afford nursing home care without qualifying for Medi-Cal. How these specialties emerged, how Marty went to law school to become a criminal lawyer but ended up with a Masters in Tax Law had to do with too many drunk drivers and the wish to work more at home to be with her young son. By 1980, she was firmly ensconced in West Marin. The rose-adorned building she’s occupied since 1986 came to her when an upscale dress shop decamped. Marty points out that most of their clients are in their 60’s and 70’s. (According to a Forbes survey, 35% of adults actually have some form of estate plan.) Marty loves the intellectual challenge of her work and really doesn’t love the unavoidable feeling of never being completely finished. There is always more work and more detail, and yet another pressing problem to address.

Dakota went to law school at a time when women were more and more present, in class and in practice. For seven years, she worked for a big firm in the City where she felt very content, even walking to work from Telegraph Hill. When she got pregnant with her first child “everything changed in a second.” So, the growing family came back to Inverness where Dakota was raised, and she’s never looked back. She reflected about life at that big law firm where she worked on complex business litigation: how the young associates worked together with real joy and friendship; and how you hoped not to be assigned to work for one of the partners who were notorious task masters. For women, even then around the turn of the last century, after so much discussion, after such big cultural shifts, the majority of young women associates did not choose the path to partnership. Dakota looked at the lives of both male and female partners and just didn’t want those lives for herself. She agrees with Marty that intellectual challenges are important and adds that the inevitably personal interactions also make her very happy to be doing this work which is often critical to clients’ well being.

Marty and Dakota and Dino are aware that women’s lives in the legal profession continue to change. Big firms still have few women at the top, but no one any longer says, “Oh, you’re a lady lawyer, huh?” The days when judges and lawyers all “knew each other” and were all male, are past. And women often run our bar associations, and they fill 46% of law school classes. All-female law firms are no longer unheard of, and in West Marin, we have one of our own. So stop by and smell those gorgeous pink roses!

Chariot Of The Gods

Do I deserve my dream horse? I have been pondering this. Does it help that I am concerned about my neighbors and gather signatures? Deserving requires measurement, sufficient amounts of having been good or tidy or obedient or silent or respectful or whatever else grown people want from children. The accomplishment of these brings pride; which, as Freud said, is the consciousness of deserving to be loved. How many signatures do I need to become deserving? Magic travels in different company.You can’t earn it or deserve it, there’s no one to impress in order to get it, it is never owed to you and does not respond to bargains or negotiations. There’s something capricious about it, can’t be predicted, tends to show up when least expected.

Does magic happen to people who don’t believe in it? Definitely not. Does believing in magic bring it about? Probably not. You get something you’ve always wanted; it happens unexpectedly for no particular reason. There it is. It has arrived. What are you going to do now? When magic happens, to believe in it is a form of gratitude. I’ll never get what I want through deserving it. I’m simply not the kind of person who deserves things. If I am to get them there will have to be magic. But what kind of magic? In the traditional kind, If you want to catch an animal you draw its antlers on the walls of a cave, put on its skin, lie down in a clearing and wait for it to come to you. Or, if you want it to rain you punch a few holes in the bottom of a pot and walk through your fields watering vegetables, suggestively hinting.

When I was a kid in Los Angeles I used to gallop around slapping my thighs and making tock tock sounds with my tongue. This behavior was meant to work magic and persuade my hard-working parents to get me a horse, with no questions asked about where we would board it or how we could afford it. I am aware that my neighbors here in the village might look at this behavior with the same expression I see in their eyes as they converse with me.Therefore, I’ve been lecturing myself: “Conversation needs a vigorous editorial function. This you say, this you imagine, this you confide, this you shut up about.” It’s crucial to avoid situations where these hesitations might be compromised but this is not easy in a village where lines are constantly forming, where I might be tempted to hold forth about magic.

Next door to us we have cows, young heifers who come running when we walk by their corral. We have nothing to feed them and they must know by now so I assume this is a friendly, even neighborly gesture. As the mist and twilight come in over the hills the heifers frisk and frolic, kicking up their hind legs in what I thought, when we first moved out here, was a most un-cow-like way. Many animals, I have learned since, grow frisky as it gets dark. The deer leap and bound through our garden as if they were celebrating something; our cat, usually lazy and docile, races up the oak tree. We know the universe is full of mysteries that bring great joy until you try to explain them. I call this natural magic, the kind that is there all over the place if we bother to notice.

I talked about the magic of nightfall to our Village Clipper while she was cutting my hair. I knew she had some twenty different animals on an acre of land behind her house. In exchange, she told me about her cow who used to push the neighborhood kids on a swing tied to a tree, gently of course, using her big head. This same cow took care of the neighboring horses. Whenever their owner didn’t drive out to feed them she would push hay under the fence. When Catherine whistled the cow came, fast as a cow could, across the pasture. This is the magic of interspecies love. Imagine a doubled universe—ours, where things go haywire, are chaotic, force people from sheer terror to believe in the omnipotence of gods. In our world no one ever gets used to the suffering of the innocents, genocide, ethnic cleansing, wars, mass murder, the things we tend to bring upon ourselves in (almost) every generation and in every generation blame on god.

Now imagine the other universe, a light to our darkness, where there is no omniscience and therefore no being to hold accountable or blame, no reason to grow bitter or curse life. Things happening the way they happen; apples growing on apple trees and not on fig trees, for example. There is a simple order to things, rain falling on our heads not up into the sky, babies starting out new-born, growing older and not the other way around. This magical order is a kind of intelligence, far beyond any we’re likely to achieve for ourselves. All we have to do is align ourselves with it by stating our desires. This is spokenwish magic and reveals a perfect faith in the goodness of the universe. I started hanging around at Morgan Horse Ranch. I looked, I stared, I stirred up dust with my toe. I watched Black Mountain turn black on an overcast day and pronounced my wishes. I gazed at the horses and their straight-backed riders coming in off Bear Valley Trail and made myself stand straighter. I frowned, I narrowed my eyes, I came closer, I retreated to a distance, muttering my wishing- words. None of this worked until one long darkening afternoon, as the wind was rising, he was there. Right smack in front of me, burnished in the long light, exactly as I had imagined Plato’s horse, tossing his head to make the tiny bell on his bridle announce him: a copper-colored horse with a long flaxen main and tail and four perfect white socks and a diamond blaze on his forehead. I ran over as the rider was removing the saddle.

“I just had to touch him to believe he was real.” “I know what you mean. Same thing happened to me.’ “What is he? Is he one of a kind? I mean, the only one like him here on earth?” “Don’t worry. There are others. Horses of this breed come from Kentucky. They’re called Mountain Saddle Horses and the fantastic things you hear about them are true.”

I had never heard anything about them but I was ready to believe in the fantastic. “The breed doesn’t trot, it ambles. I mean, as fast as most other breeds cantor. You just sit there and relax as you go on your way because the walking-gait doesn’t change. No posting, no nothing. No one believes it until they’ve tried it.” Here was a horse even the most severe realist in the village could approve for me. She handed me the reins.

“Walk him around a bit. You’ll get a feel for how gentle he is. The breed is magical, I don’t know why anyone rides anything else.” The breed is magical? She had actually said it. “Do I have to give him back?” I handed her the reins. “I love Sinbad, I mean, I got him on my 12th birthday so of course. But honestly there are, you know, the dark brown horses with flaxen manes and chestnuts and whites and palominos, and reds and sorrels and all of them with two-foot manes and long tails that brush along the ground. If you’re looking for a horse, you’ve found him.” A fleeting thought of young Cooper, now suddenly discarded. How fickle could I be? All those months of pining and I had thrown him over, just like that? But maybe that’s how magic works. You cut yourself free from one obsession before you start wishing on another. I watched the trailer drive off, not sure if I was saying goodbye forever to the most beautiful horse in the world, or had been pointed in the direction of the right horse for me. My intended. Not that I deserved him. How could anyone deserve Plato’s winged horse who guides the chariot of the gods?

Oenophile Junction

HOBO 2013 Parts & Labor Red – Clare’s pick! The California version of a French Bistro wine! Fun and easy to drink, great with food, won’t make you cranky on a hot day! Light to medium bodied. It has flavors and nuances of violets, pink peppercorns, red berries, and is just absolutely delicious. This wine is great at picnics! The talk of a party, because its incredible quality totally over delivers, versus it tiny price point of just $13 a bottle! Look for a case stack.

Come taste with us tomorrow afternoon, Friday, May 23rd 4pm- 6:30pm, while we discover just how far along boxed wines and have come! We have ten wines in total.


Art Review

Tobias BernardiGallery Route One, May 11-June 14 The visual poetry of Geraldine Liabraten is an exhibition of urban photographs, coupled with contrasting writing by well-known authors such as Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau, T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Jane Hirschfield, Langston Hughes, Omar Khayam, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Also the Bible. The oblique relationship between the quotes and the close-up images of walls, lights and other objects presents objects for thought. Her work forces us to see light and shadow, diagonal lines and patterns that we miss if we do not look closely at things. This is the first time she has engaged with poetry. Sometimes the images came first and sometimes the poetry. The result is a success that deserves sustained viewing. Liabraten says, “Things are not necessarily how they appear…my intent is to make the viewer wonder what this is.”

In Gallery Route One’s Project Space/With the Earth Gallery, two artists share the space for Disappearing Act: Our Role in Species Extinction. Marie-Luise Klotz’s work is concerned with bees and the colony collapse disorder over the past eight years. This is an urgent threat to plant life, agriculture and our food. Her sepia-toned photographs are covered with gold and presented on black backgrounds. They beautifully depict bees, almonds, seeds, flowers, raspberries and a stalk of broccoli, all equally endangered. Klotz tells us “I want to imply that something so seemingly mundane as the honeybee is something that we should value as much as gold…” One wall of the space has a shelf holding a 30-foot book of stencil paintings by Xander Weaver-Scull of turtles, lizards and birds. His process starts with free hand drawings with markers on acetate that he then cuts out shapes. The stencils are then spray-painted on the paper or hand-painted in watercolor and ink. The GRO Annex Gallery shows Suzanne Parker’s small painted photographs. The photographs serve as a beginning for paintings that move from exterior views to interior views of thoughts and feelings. These exhibitions will close with a salon at 4 pm on Sunday, June15. GRO is open daily except Tuesday, 11-5. Spring Art Show, May 10-18. As I entered the gallery at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center I was greeted by a colorful group of paintings by Anne Faught covering one panel. On another wall was a highly textured painting of fish by Tobias Bernardi. And in the other room of this annual spring show of work by over 100 artists who live in the San Geronimo Valley was an entire wall of big colorful paintings in different styles and techniques by Sherry Petrini, Harry Cohen, Deanna Pedroli and Alexandra Adeir. Among the smaller paintings Barbara McLain’s oil painting, Solo Performance, stands out. Oils and watercolors were predominant but there were some fine pastels by Sandy White of a very relaxed pig, and Connie Smith Siegel of a flowering plum, one of her recurring themes. An unusual tile work was Animal Nature by Justine Tot Tatarsky. This was a show for everyone who lives there, and for everyone who wanted to see a variety of artistic creativity in all media. As there was no theme to this exhibition I cannot comment on its meaning other than to say what I found interesting on the afternoon that I visited the gallery. In addition to the paintings there were a number of fine prints. I enjoyed the lifesize faces of Fred Berensmeier’s Coho Creation Dance, a collagraph; Elan Kamesar’s untitled stone lithograph; Jean Berensmeir’s linoleum block print of formalist images of the torso, Physical Therapist’s Delight in Stability; Geoff Bernstein’s serigraph, Rio de Janiero; and Dan Getz Corporate What? a beautifully made image with 12 cubicles in perspective containing shirts, collars and ties. An intriguing mixed media work by Gaetano de Felice showed a predatory bird flying through silhouetted trees at sunset. The exhibition offered a number of mixed media works and assemblage and only one traditional carved sculpture, Pele, an earthwoman of alabaster by Cornelia Nevitt. This show deserved a much longer run so that more people could have seen the creative work being done in the valley.

Art People

Inez Storer is having a solo show, Hidden Agencies, at the Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho, May 21- June 27. Emmeline Craig’s painting graces the May cover of In Marin Magazine.

Send your information and comments about local artists and the arts, along with high-resolution images to i n f o @ c c h a p l i n e . c o m <info@cchapline.com> with Artswell in the subject line.

Supreme Court Amicus Briefs Support DBOC

In an impressive show of support, four strong amicus briefs have been filed
with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s petition
to have its case heard. The briefs show that farmers, environmentalists, scientists,
chefs, agriculturalists, conservationists, and historic preservationists all support
the historic oyster farm.

At stake is whether the government, in making countless everyday decisions,
can be taken to court when it abuses its power, misinterprets the law, or misrepresents
science. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a federal
court does not have jurisdiction to review a discretionary agency decision for
abuse of discretion. Drakes Bay Oyster Company petitioned the U.S. Supreme
Court on April 14, 2014 for a writ of certiorari to review that judgment.
Because Drakes Bay showed that there is a “reasonable probability” that the
Supreme Court will take this case and a “significant possibility” that the oyster
farm will win, the Ninth Circuit has allowed Drakes Bay to remain open while it
takes its case to the Supreme Court.

The amicus briefs filed in support of Drakes Bay make compelling arguments
for why the Supreme Court should take the case.

And the very fact that there are so many amicus briefs is a positive indicator
for the oyster farm. A 2008 study published in the Georgetown Law Journal
showed that amicus briefs make a big difference. With no amicus briefs filed in
support, the odds of certiorari being grants were around 2 percent. With at least
one amicus brief filed in support, the odds of certiorari being granted were around
20 percent If, as in this case, there are at least four amicus briefs filed in support
of the petition, the odds jump much higher, to 56 percent. This means that the
oyster farm may have a better than even chance of having the Supreme Court take
its case.

This story provides a detailed report of one of the briefs, that of William T.
Bagley et al. Future stories will discuss the other three briefs, filed by the Monte
Wolfe Association, by the Pacific Legal Foundation and the California Cattlemen’s
Association, and by Dr. Corey Goodman and Dr. Paul Houser.
Elder environmentalists and farm-to-table chefs support aquaculture
Former California Assemblyman William T. Bagley and former Congressman
Paul Norton “Pete” McCloskey (co-author of the Endangered Species Act and cochair
of the first Earth Day) are two of the elder environmentalists joining the
brief filed by San Francisco lawyers Judith Teichman and Alexander D. Calhoun.
The brief underscores the overwhelming support for the oyster farm in the West
Marin community and beyond. As the brief points out, “The oyster farm is a small
presence in the Seashore’s marine wilderness but a large presence in California
and a critical source of fresh shellfish for the Bay Area.”

Additional elder environmentalists joining the brief are Phyllis Faber, noted
wetland biologist and co-founder of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and the
Tomales Bay Association, a 50-year old West Marin County environmental organization.
Tomales Bay Association supports DBOC as “a critical component of ongoing
habitat restoration projects for Threatened & Endangered species,
especially native oyster restoration projects in SF Bay and elsewhere in the State.”
Emphasizing the importance of DBOC shellfish to the menus of the farm-totable
restaurants in the Bay Area, the brief is also joined by a number of distinguished
chefs and restaurants: Patricia Unterman, chef-owner of the Hayes Street
Grill, a San Francisco Civic Center restaurant that has specialized in fish since
opening in 1979; Sheryl Cahill of Station House Café in Point Reyes Station, celebrating
its 40th anniversary, where oyster stew is a signature dish; Christian
Caizzo of Osteria Stellina, Point Reyes Station, an Italian restaurant “with an unwavering
commitment to local organic products” that serves DBOC oysters raw
and on pizza; and Luc Chamberland, whose Saltwater Oyster Depot in Inverness
features oysters shucked “moments after they leave the bay.”

Producers in California and around the country are unable to meet the growing
demand for shellfish. On behalf of the Hayes Street Grill, and the many Bay Area
restaurants, including other amici, amicus Patricia Unterman confirms “The loss
of oysters produced by DBOC would have a devastating impact on our mission,
our menu, and the expectations and pleasure of our customers. We cannot replace
the fresh, local, shucked oysters from DBOC.”

Survival of the oyster farm is vital to the survival of the ranches
The brief argues for the support and development of innovative, ecologically
sound and sustainable agriculture practices, and points out that the fate of the
oyster farm is entwined with the fate of the ranches here. “Survival of the oyster
farm is vital to the survival of the ranches in the seashore,” the brief states, and
the ranches in the Seashore are an essential component of agriculture in Marin
and Sonoma counties.”

Amicus Dr. Stephanie Larson, Livestock and Range Manager and Director of
the UCCE, Sonoma County, develops and implements projects that integrate dairy
and livestock production with rangeland management in Sonoma and Marin. She
has extensive experience working with Seashore ranchers to develop individual
ranch plans, which address water quality issues in the Drakes Estero watershed.
Dr. Larson is concerned that despite these efforts the ranches in the Drakes Estero
watershed may be held responsible for declining water quality in the Estero and
required to take additional cost prohibitive measures if the filter feeding oysters
are removed from Drakes Estero.

Underlining the importance to the oyster farm to the future of agriculture, the
brief is also joined by a many agriculturalists and agriculture organizations in addition
to Dr. Larson:
• The Sea Grant program of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San
Diego, which promotes the wise use of coastal and marine resources and sustainable
aquaculture development
• Mike and Sally Gale, Owners of Marin ranch where they raise apples and
grass fed beef;
• Peter Martinelli, a third-generation Marin farmer
• West Marin Compost Coalition, a group of individuals working to divert all
organic wastes from landfill disposal to composting for the benefit of Marin
farms, gardens and ranches
• Agricultural Institute of Marin, a nonprofit corporation that operates Certified
Farmers’ Markets in Marin, Alameda and San Francisco
• Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture, an unincorporated association of
“environmentalists supporting and promoting local sustainable agriculture
through education, research, conflict resolution and advocacy”
• California Farm Bureau Federation and Marin and Sonoma County Farm Bureaus,
nonprofit membership corporations whose purpose is, respectively, to protect
and promote agricultural interests in the State and in their Counties and to
find solutions to the problems of their farms and rural communities
• Marin Organic: Founded in 2001 by “a passionate group of farmers, ranchers
and agricultural advisors to put Marin County on the map as a committed organic
county,” Marin Organic fosters a “direct relationship between organic producers,
restaurants, and consumers” to strengthen commitment and support for local organic
farms, such as DBOC.

To learn more about the interests of these amici and their arguments for the
continuation of Drakes Bay Oyster Farm, read the brief at:

Letters – Week of 06/05/14

Thanks for the Fund Raiser

West Marin Community Services so appreciates the community’s support for our big fundraiser, THE Talent Show, a red carpet and local talent spectacular! The event was a big success – well-attended, full of talent and fun – and we couldn’t have done it without the many sponsors and volunteers as well as the local businesses who continue to donate generously to our nonprofits. All the performers brought something special to make the show a unique West Marin experience A few thanks to single out: Pine Cone Diner, Station House Cafe, Zuma, Point Reyes Books, Point Reyes National Seashore Employees Association, Osteria Stellina, Saltwater, Hog Island Oyster Company, Marshall Store, Perry’s Inverness Park Grocery, Point Reyes Light, West Marin Citizen, Sir and Star, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Marin Sunshine Realty, Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, Horizon Cable, Maximum ITSM, Art Rogers, Christine Vanderbeek, Connie Mery, Lazuli Whitt, and Whitman Shenk. And, of course, the great staff at WMCS (Socorro Romo, Jane Vait, Cynthia Manzo) and the Dance Palace and MC Extraordinaire/musician/auctioneer Stephen Horvat.

The funds raised will be used to support programs that help our most vulnerable residents get through the tough moments in their lives. Thank you, everyone!

Pamela Campe, Board President
Wendy Friefeld, Executive Director
West Marin Community Services

Congrats to Shoreline Trustees

Congratulations to the trustees of Shoreline Unified School District who, at their May meeting, rescinded their earlier decision not to renew the contract of Superintendent Tom Stubbs. The board worked diligently last year to recruit and interview candidates whose expertise, character and vision might be a good fit for our public schools; they made the right choice in hiring Tom. This time, they have taken another wise if difficult position in heeding the voices of teachers, staff, parents and community members: reversing their decision to apply, in their own words, an outmoded and flawed evaluation process in reviewing Tom’s first year on the job.

I hope that, as I shall do myself, our community, Latino and Anglo alike, remains engaged, communicating and volunteering alongside the board in support of continued reform of our schools. West Marin’s students deserve a bright future brimming with options, opportunities and the best education that our investment can provide.

Marc Matheson

Plea for elk management

To: U.S. Secretary of the Interior- Sally Jewell
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W. Washington DC 20240
RE: Elk Forum and Ranch Comprehensive
Management Plan/Environmental assessment, Point Reyes National Seashore

Dear Secretary Jewell,
I am writing to you and others to show my support for the ranchers and their desire to relocate the elk safely off the Pastoral Zone, located in the Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes, California that is intended for cattle grazing and to preserve historic ranching for future generations. The elk, as of now, are seriously impeding the livelihood of the ranching community, which has worked hard to be great docents for the park and keep healthy businesses local, and in most cases, organic. They help draw tourists and educate them, they send their children to our local schools, keep our stores and local medical facilities open and support many other local businesses, thus keeping a healthy foot print and not out sourcing and keeping local what is a basic food group.

Elk are large creatures who have taken over the organic grazing fields and clean water intended for the dairy and beef cows. The ranchers have worked very hard to create a healthy and low impact supply for their animals and the elk are literally depleting this balance and is some cases, killing the live stock as they are not intended to live side by side.

Roaming elk ideally should be moved to an area for public viewing enjoyment, permanently, that is well sectioned off, with stable fencing that the park can maintain, not to mention provide an area where they have enough food and room to grow into given their quick reproduction rate. Doing this ideally with stop elk damage and their negative impact on working ranches and ranchers who then ideally with be able to continue their historic best management practices that they have practiced for over 100 years. Local ranchers just want to continue ranching the way they have done it for years using their updated and healthier practices. Ranchers take care of the land or the land will not take care of them. They are stewards of the landand have a love for their animals and a passion for raising a quality product to feed the world.”

I hope you expedite this process as you are in grave danger of loosing some of your best docents who potentially cannot wait another year or two for a lengthy deciding process. The ranchers are there, love the land and take good care of it, plus create another great draw to an area already struggling with the Park and its own ability to maintain what is already on their watch. Please support the ranchers, their homes, lively hoods and their futures.

Thank you,
Brahna Stone
Sausalito, California

Dance Palace Camp has space

We are getting the 2014 Counselor in Training (CIT) program up and running for 13 to 15 year olds at the Dance Palace Camp. We can take no more than 8 teens in this program, which I happen to think is a really wonderful opportunity for teens. The director of this program, Colleen Conley will be returning from Japan with renewed energy having had a visit with her grandbaby and will then be ready to start off with the chosen 8. This program really gets kids ready for life, responsibility, and yes, and a lot of good fun.

Teen team building between the 8 seems to develop quickly as they learn to help each other, help out in the camp and work with the kids and their leaders who will show them a lot of skills they’ll later use to great advantage when they are either looking for a job, doing a job or just being great citizens and friends. The CIT’s are responsible for making the great punch that we serve on tropical day, creating the treasure hunts, taking part in the talent show and news paper preparation and setting up a lot of games and other things that campers love. CIT’s also set an example for the campers of what it’s like to be a teenager. They learn CPR, which is invaluable and basic first aid. Then they have a fun day away from camp doing kicking or paddleboard. Colleen is an artist and art teacher and there’s always an art component I am very proud of The Dance Palace Camp (voted the best in Marin by the North Bay Bohemian readers poll) We have spaces and some scholarships available and I am trying to spread the news.

Vickisa, Bolinas
Director of the Dance Palace Camp

Visitor's Guide to Coastal Marin and the Sonoma Coast