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Welcome to :: Letters to the Editor

The People’s Paper:  By the Community, of the Community, for the Community

Serving the Ranching community and the towns of Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Bolinas, Dogtown, Olema, Pt Reyes Station, Inverness, Inverness Park, Marshall, Tomales, Dillon Beach, Nicasio, Lagunitas, Forest Knolls, San Geronimo & Woodacre.





A Pearl in Peril

Last week, the Sonoma Valley Grange voted unanimously to join the Marin Grange in supporting the Lunny family.  Here’s what they said:


Be it resolved that, the Sonoma Valley Grange supports the Drake’s Bay Oyster Company and the Lunny family’s efforts to continue operating their oyster farm in order to maintain the harmonious co-existence of sustainable agriculture and wilderness and;

Be it further resolved that, the Sonoma Valley Grange encourages all interested parties, including our state and federal electeds to explore any and all necessary creative needs to achieving an amicable resolution to the issue.

We have also reached out to Congressman Huffman who represents that area and expressed our desire in finding a solution that will allow sustainable agriculture and wilderness to co-exist. Huffman is open to a good solution(s).

I believe in my heart we have a golden opportunity to bring forth solid ideas that will break the outdated barrier of ‘pure wilderness’ and open up an enlightened way for environmental forces to join with the sustainable food/farm movement; not solely for the Pt. Reyes situation, but as a model for the entire nation.

The solution is out there. I believe there has not been enough ‘thinking outside the box’ from either party of the oyster/wilderness equation. 

For the full text of the resolution and the story of the Lunny farm go to

Yannick Phillips is a member of Sonoma Valley Grange., 707-933-0312


Therapeutic Bodywork

Nancy Vayhinger, CMT

In the Forester’s Building



“For people who hurt”

Sue R. Bowers, CMT


Ellen Serber

Yoga at the Dance Palace

Monday 10 AM


Van der Maaten Painting

Interior & Exterior

Call Van 663.8852

Broek Hardwood Floors

serving Marin & SF for over 30 years.

Jan Broek  868.1188




PLUMBING 669-9620

The Dance Palace Community Center  415.663.1075


General Contractor

669.1529 or 298.0983

insured #879062



Plumbing, heating & radiant

(415) 456-2906 Lic #501853


Tree removal, Landscaping, Chipping, Fences, Dump runs.

Insured & Licensed




Nick Whitney-Tom Kent

663-1672       669-1604

City Sewer Pumping, Inc

      Lic # 739966

Septic tanks pumped

Septic tank inspection


since 1951

Using our Innate Intelligence in Transition

At last week’s Transition West Marin meeting, I facilitated a gathering at which we explored accessing and utilizing our innate intelligence as we face economic and ecological crisis. We discovered some of our personal triggers in relation to crisis and how they affect our sensations, emotions and thoughts. We also explored and discovered how our personal resources (safe, loving people, places and activities) affect us and our sensations, emotions and thoughts.

By moving back and forth between our triggers and personal resources, we found that as individuals, and as a group, we were able to better recognize those triggers and resources within ourselves. With more practice we should be able to reframe and rewire our old conditioned reactions into new, healthier embodied responses.

Our biology is our common sense, yet we don’t fully access, utilize and leverage this common ground in our public education and personal development. Science points out that 95-99% of our interactions are subconscious and biologically hardwired, and these are the drivers of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors, yet no one is talking about it. Why are we not addressing these primary drivers in our daily lives, let alone in our critical social change efforts?

I believe that accessing and utilizing our innate intelligence is the missing link to resolving economic and ecological crisis. It’s not until we are able to address our built-in, evolutionarily hardwired, adaption intelligence that we will be able to connect with ourselves, each other and the natural world that sustains us, in a way that connects and associates us, and does not continue to disconnect and dissociate us.

Participants who attended the meeting agreed in the value of continuing this kind of body-centric approach to increasing efficacy in future meetings. I want to thank those who attended and invite others to join the next Transition West Marin meeting, where we plan to incorporate an innate intelligence approach to our local post-carbon planning and development.

Polla Pratt



Published In West Marin Citizen  October 25, 2012 



To Scott McMorrow and those people who have signed his petition urging Fish & Game to allow hunting in the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve to continue, I would ask these questions (words in quotes have been taken directly from comments made by petition-signers):

(1) Do you not see anything amiss in allowing hunting adjacent to the Giacomini Wetlands, the restoration of which was intended to give sanctuary to birds arriving in this area via the Pacific Flyway? How is it “humane” to lure unsuspecting wildlife to a sanctuary, only to put them directly in the sightings of hunters bent on their demise?

(2) Would Sarah Palin, shooting wolves with a high-powered rifle from a low-flying plane, qualify as a “hunter-gatherer,” in your opinion? If not, what do you think is the difference between her and the people who travel here from far afield in their expensive SUV’s, using sophisticated firearms and life-like decoys to slaughter ducks, geese, and other waterfowl, for sport and the “thrill of the kill” (as one hunting magazine so elegantly put it)?

(3) Would you condone bull-fighting and fox-hunting, simply because people “have always” engaged in these activities? (FYI, enlightened citizens in the United Kingdom, where fox-hunting originated, successfully pressured their government to ban this so-called sport in the early part of the last decade, on the basis of its inhumanity. In Spain, where bull-fighting has been a tradition for thousands of year, the provincial government of Catalonia banned the practice in 2011.)

(4) Do you live near enough to Tomales Bay to be awakened at the crack of dawn, several days a week for more than three months every year, by the crack of gunfire? Or live or hike close enough to the hunters’ encampments to worry that a stray bullet, fired in the gloom of a wet winter morning, might end up hitting something or someone other than a bird? Might your position on hunting in the Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve be different, were your answers to either of the above questions in the affirmative?


Paul Coopersmith


[Letter sent on September 26, 2012 to County Supervisors]

The Valley Ford Young Farmers Association submits this letter in hopes that you will make necessary changes to the Planning Commission Approved Marin County Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan & Development Code Proposed Amendments (Proposed LCP) to minimize permit requirements and costs consistent with the recently passed California State AB1616, The Homemade Food Act.

In the proposed LCP, agricultural practices such as cheese making, other types of agricultural processing, and sales require Coastal Permits and Use Permits in some situations. These permits, added to the cost of Building and Health Permits, which can (and often do) add up to many thousands of dollars, that a small farm wanting to make a value-added product- simply does not have. To not allow us to affordably process and sell our farm products to the best of our ability does not reflect well of our historical ‘foodshed’, and the ability to continue providing local food.

I, as a young farmer living on my family’s ranch in North-West Marin, have looked through our family photo albums and heard the stories from my grandparents and parents of the ways agriculture has evolved through the generations. When my great-great grandfather first bought the property it was a Jersey dairy; when my great- grandfather managed our land, in the height of Petaluma’s “butter and egg capital” days, it was a hatching egg business; when my grandfather managed the land it was a beef and sheep operation. Now, as it is beginning to transition from my father’s generation to my generation, we are continuing the beef and sheep operation, while also going back to raising chickens for eggs and meat. As diets and markets change in the general population, we as local producers must adapt, and we must be able to make a living too.

All of the permit requirements and regulation for practices necessary for a family farm or ranch to adapt, may be cost prohibitive to continue in agriculture. If a family farm or small farm that gives farm tours for the education of the general public’s understanding of food systems is subject to extensive permitting, it will discourage rather than encourage that farm to continue, and not only is there a loss to the farmer, but a loss to the greater education about food systems. We unfortunately live in a time where two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The knowledge value of healthy, fresh food systems is priceless.

Giving farmers and ranchers more ability with straight forward, economically realistic policies will only increase the economic potential of small family farms, such as reflected in these Countywide Plan policies:

Policy AG-2.3. Support Small-Scale Diversification. Diversify agricultural uses and products on a small percentage of agricultural lands to complement existing traditional uses, ensure the continued economic viability of the county agricultural industry, and provide increased food security.


AG-2.4 Encourage Agricultural Processing. Encourage processing and distribution of locally produced foods to support local food security and strengthen Marin’s agricultural industry.

These policies, minimizing the need for Coastal Permit and Use Permits, and the passage of California AB1616 will only strengthen our farming communities and local food sources for generations to come.

Respectfully Yours,

Anna Erickson President,

Valley Ford Young Farmers Association



Robert Janes, EA

Main Street, Point Reyes Station    415.663.8185

Malcolm Ponder’s 

West Marin Tax Service

Taxing Matters for West Marin for 40 years.




CALL CHERI 663.8048


Window Cleaning & Garden Work.



Eva Kissova & European Painter Jozef Kiss








Serving West Marin Forever


Inverness Gardening Service, Inc. 

Ismael Gutierrez

Fully insured & equipped


Lic. #773105


Construction,maintenance, landscaping.

Fully Insured, Competitive 

Pricing. 415-663-9048



Craig Swift

Lic # 596473

Richard Vacha 

Fine Woodwork 



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