Issuu on Google+

OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 5, 2009

MARiN’S BEST EVERY WEEK

es about something we all think i r o t s abou tful h g t… u o Th

H a p p y H al lo w e e n

Q U O T E

O F

T H E

W E E K :

Is it that embarrassing to tell your girlfriends you’re dating someone in Novato? [SEE PAGE 20]

!

Overheard: Don't worry, be less happy! 7 Behind the Sun: Donner Giovanni? 9 Music: The torture ballads 25

› › pacificsun.com

%RQ$LU F HIt’sQallWhere. HU 10 % off all merchandise

The ďŹ rst thing you buy is time.

minimum purchase $25

)V_LK/VSPKH`*HYKZ TPUPT\TW\YJOHZL 

Must present coupon. Expires 11-29-09

10 off %

all regularly priced merchandise    

Marin’s Home of

L_W 

Toy World %

2)) CUSTOM FRAMING $50 MAXIMUM VALUE Excludes Shadow Boxes, Repairs & Rush Orders 1 item per customer

,

expires 11-29-09

Good for All Value Room Selections expires 11-29-09

Zip Presents...

SPECIAL SHOWING: Friday Nov. 13, 5pm-8pm & Saturday Nov. 14, 10am-4pm 272 Bon Air Center (415) 461-1866 www.JohannPaulJeweler.com

email

State

OFF

TOTAL PURCHASE* *Offer does not include sale items. One coupon per customer please. Expires 11-29-09

$75

Name Address

20

.00

Please bring this ad into our store by November 14th to enter a drawing for a fabulous piece of jewelry.

City

6MM



VMM

`V\YĂ„YZ[OHPYJ\[H[;OL9HUJO

  

OFF

Complete Pair of Glasses Not applicable with any other offer, insurance plan, or discounts. Oct. 26 – Nov. 29

    

  

ARCH RIVAL



5VU:HSL 4LYJOHUKPZL 4PUPT\T ,_WPYLZ 



6--

50%

OFF

original price on select Patagonia shoes, and Chaco and Merrell sandals. Additional 20% off marked price on select apparel.

    

David M. Brian, cvs/pharmacy & Mollie Stone’s plus over 50 specialty stores and restaurants. Just off Highway 101 on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Greenbrae (San Anselmo Exit)

   0---&%!(&$

2 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 5, 2009

Imagine Not Having to Shave, Pluck or Wax Again!

50% OFF First Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Laser Hair Removal

At the Laser Center of Marin we can offer you a safe and effective alternative for removing unwanted hair. Laser hair removal is a quick, long-term solution with no patient downtime. In an hour or less you’ll begin to have the smooth skin you’ve been waiting for.

Susan Martling, M.D.

Valid through 11/30/09

SAVE $50 BotoxÂŽ

Cosmetic

SERVICES INCLUDE:

models

­vĂŒiÀÊ ÂˆĂƒVÂœĂ•Â˜ĂŒÂŽ

on

Schedule a complimentary consultation today! U /ÂˆĂŒ>Â˜â„˘ĂŠÂœĂ€ĂŠ>Ă?ĂŠ-Žˆ˜ UĂŠĂ€>Ă?iÂ?ÂŽ and Pearl Laser Resurfacing UĂŠ>ĂƒiÀÊ>ÂˆĂ€ĂŠ,iÂ“ÂœĂ›>Â? UĂŠĂŠ,iĂƒĂŒĂžÂ?>˜iÂŽ]ĂŠĂ•Ă›i`iÀ“™ & PerlaneÂŽ 7Ă€ÂˆÂ˜ÂŽÂ?iĂŠˆÂ?Â?iĂ€Ăƒ UĂŠ "/"8ÂŽĂŠ ÂœĂƒÂ“iĂŒÂˆVĂŠ

ÂˆÂŽÂˆÂ˜ÂˆĂŠÂ‡ĂŠfnä 1˜`iĂ€>Ă€Â“ĂƒĂŠÂ‡ĂŠf{x Ă•Â?Â?ĂŠ >VŽÊ‡ÊfÓää

U IPL™Ê*Â…ÂœĂŒÂœ>Vˆ>Â? UĂŠˆVĂ€Âœ`iÀ“>LĂ€>ĂƒÂˆÂœÂ˜ U Clinical-Grade Peels UĂŠĂŠV˜iĂŠ/Ă€i>ĂŒÂ“iÂ˜ĂŒĂƒ UĂŠ"L>}ÂˆĂŠ Շ iÀ“Ê-ĂžĂƒĂŒi“ U Latisse™Ê ĂžiÂ?>ĂƒÂ…ĂŠ-ĂžĂƒĂŒi“ U Jane Iredale Products

Â­Ă“Ă¤ĂŠĂ•Â˜ÂˆĂŒĂƒĂŠrĂŠfĂ“xäIÂŽ I>vĂŒiĂ€ĂŠÂŤĂ€ÂœÂ“ÂœĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ Valid through 11/30/09

50% $250 OFF SAVE First Laser on first

ÂŽ Laser Hair Removal Fraxel Treatment Resurfacing ÂˆÂŽÂˆÂ˜ÂˆĂŠÂ‡ĂŠfnä Treatment

1˜`iĂ€>Ă€Â“ĂƒĂŠÂ‡ĂŠf{x ­fÇxäÊ>vĂŒiÀÊ`ÂˆĂƒVÂœĂ•Â˜ĂŒÂŽĂŠ Ă•Â?Â?ĂŠ >VŽÊ‡ÊfÓää ­vĂŒiÀÊ ÂˆĂƒVÂœĂ•Â˜ĂŒÂŽ

L o c a l l y O w n e d a n d O p e ra t e d

Valid Valid through through 11/30/08 11/30/09

>ĂƒiÀÊ iÂ˜ĂŒiĂ€ĂŠÂœvĂŠ>Ă€ÂˆÂ˜ĂŠi`ˆV>Â?ĂŠĂ€ÂœĂ•ÂŤ]ĂŠ˜V°ÊUÊÇÇäÊ/>“>Â?ÂŤ>ÂˆĂƒĂŠ Ă€ÂˆĂ›i]ĂŠ-Ă•ÂˆĂŒiÊÎä£]Ê­ÎÀ`ĂŠÂ?ÂœÂœĂ€ÂŽ Corte Madera Town Center Professional Building ­ÂœLLÞÊiÂ˜ĂŒĂ€>˜ViĂŠ>VĂ€ÂœĂƒĂƒĂŠvĂ€ÂœÂ“ĂŠ Â…>Ă€Â?iĂƒĂŠ-VÂ…Ăœ>LĂŠÂœvvˆViĂƒÂŽ

ĂœĂœĂœÂ°Â“>Ă€ÂˆÂ˜Â?>ĂƒiÀ°VÂœÂ“ĂŠUĂŠœ˜°‡->ĂŒÂ°ĂŠn\Îä>Â“Â‡Ăˆ\Î䍓ÊUĂŠ*\

945.9314

Designated a Platinum Medical Facility by Allergan (makers of BOTOXÂŽ), and Medicis (makers of RestylaneÂŽ).

yogaworks for everybody

Want to improve the overall TEXTURE and TONE of your skin?

amy butier

Marin Dermatology Associates has the answer for you! We offer Laser Treatments for all types of skin.

full-time mom

Anya E. Bandt MD

age 42

(Formerly Known as Anya Landeck MD) Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology Member of the prestigious American College of Mohs Surgery

practicing 2 years “yoga for me is

Laser Treatments Can Improve the Following:

calm and peace�

s2EDUCE2EDNESS s)MPROVE0IGMENTATION s,IGHTEN!CNE3CARS

CALL FOR A FREE WEEK LARKSPUR LANDING 415.925.2440 2207 Larkspur Landing Circle Larkspur, CA 94939

s2EMOVE5NWANTED(AIR s4IGHTENTHE3KIN s3KIN2ESURFACING

Call today to schedule a consult and/or treatment to look and feel great for the upcoming fall and holiday months.

s,ATISSEĂ? s IS Clinical

Come See Us At Our New Location!

MILL VALLEY 415.318.7650 650 E.Blithedale Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 new students only. expires 11.30.09.

259-0131s3ECOND3Ts3AN2AFAELsmarinderm.com LOS ANGELES t ORANGE COUNTY t NORTHERN CALIFORNIA t NEW YORK

yogaworks.com

~ Age Defying Medicine ~ OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 3

›› THiS WEEK

Year 47, No. 43

PaciďŹ c Sun

Shop Local This

835 Fourth St. Suite B (entrance on Cijos St.) San Rafael, CA 94901 Phone: 415/485-6700 Fax: 415/485-6226 E-Mail: letters@pacificsun.com

H O L I D AY SEASON Starting November 13 — December 18, the PaciďŹ c Sun brings home the holidays with our special issues featuring local gift giving and entertainment tips.

paciďŹ csun.com +

your link to Marin

›› STAFF Gunslinger Bo Diddley: ‘Wow!’ See p. 16.

6 7 8 9 13 18 20 22 25 26 27 28 31 33 34

Letters Overheard/TV Guy Upfront Behind the Sun/Trivia CafĂŠ/ Heroes & Zeros Feature Open Homes Single in the Suburbs Food & Drink Music Film Movies Sundial ClassiďŹ eds Horoscope Advice Goddess

›› ON THE COVER

Illustration Brian Taylor Design Beth Allen

Holiday Issues: NOVEMBER 13 Holiday Dine & Festive Foods NOVEMBER 20 Events & Entertaining NOVEMBER 27 Green Holiday

DECEMBER 4 One from the Art Holiday Artisanry DECEMBER 11 Kids from 1 to 92 DECEMBER 18 Last Minute Gift Giving Ideas

Each edition deadlines the Friday prior

Via e-mail

PaciďŹ c Sun

paciďŹ csun.com

Thursdays in Print

24/7 Online

CONTRIBUTORS Lee Brady, Greg Cahill, Pat Fusco, Richard Gould, Marc Hershon, Richard P. Hinkle, Brooke Jackson, Brenda K. Kinsel, Jill Kramer (x322), Lois MacLean, Joel Orff, Rick Polito, Renata Polt, Peter Seidman, Nikki Silverstein, Annie Spiegelman, David Templeton, Barry Willis. Books Editor: Elizabeth Stewart (x326) ADVERTISING Advertising Director: Linda Black (x306) Senior Display Representative: Dianna Stone (x307) Display Sales: Ethan Simon (x311), Linda Curry (x309); Inside Sales: Helen Hammond (x303); Courier: Gillian Coder; Traffic Coordinator: Amanda Deely (x302) DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Art Director/Production Manager: Beth Allen (x335); Graphic Designers: Gwen Aguilar (x336), Michelle Palmer (x321); Missy Reynolds, Gabe Lieb, Brindl Markle (x308) ADMINISTRATION Business Administrator: Cynthia Nguyen (x331) Administrative Assistant: Elisa Keiper (x301) Circulation Manager: Bob Lampkin (x340) PRINTING: Paradise Post, Paradise, CA Member of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies

Ann Hathaway, M.D. www.AnnHathawayMD.com

WHOLISTIC NUTRITIONAL MEDICINE For Women, Men, & Children

The Best of Western

& Alternative Therapies

Flu & Cold Prevention Cutting Edge Research and Natural Strategies to Boost Your Immunity

Call for Immune Boosters Appointment before Nov. 15th for a 10% DISCOUNT!

25 Mitchell Blvd. #3 San Rafael

(415) 499-0966 4 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 5, 2009

EDITORIAL Editor: Jason Walsh (x316); Reporter: Samantha Campos (x319); Movie Page Editor: Matt Stafford (x320); Copy Editor: Carol Inkellis (x317); Calendar Editor: Anne Schrager (x330)

expanding full timePractice! practice! 25 Years intoMedical



To highlight your business this holiday season Call 485-6700 to Advertise

Embarcadero Publishing Company. (USPS 454-630) Published weekly on Fridays. Distributed free at more than 400 locations throughout Marin County. Adjudicated a newspaper of General Circulation. Home delivery in Marin available by subscription: $5/month on your credit card or $60 for one year, cash or check. No person may, without the permission of the Pacific Sun, take more than one copy of each Pacific Sun weekly issue. Entire contents of this publication Copyright Š2009 Embarcadero Publishing Company ISSN; 0048-2641. All rights reserved. Unsolicited manuscripts must be submitted with a stamped self-addressed envelope.

PUBLISHER - Sam Chapman (x315)

Your Link to Marin Free e-bulletins from the Pacific Sun that provided the perfect quick-read digest of Marin news, opinions, restaurant and film reviews, and entertainment picks for the coming week.

Sign up today at ›› paciďŹ csun.com

Look for us on:

GRAND OPENING SPECIAL

A HEATED VINYASA STUDIO in Central San Rafael

Kimberly Henry

P L A S T I C S U R G E RY

MD

V O T E D O N E O F M A R I N C O U N T Y ’S B E S T P L A S T I C S U R G E O N S

North Bay Bohemian 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

2 0 09 N O M I N E E B E S T O F T H E B AY KRON TV 4 350 Bon Air Road

Suite One

Greenbrae

41 5.92 4 .1 313 W W W. D R K I M B E R L Y H E N R Y. C O M

CASCADE CANYON SCHOOL

415-454-YOGA (9642)

www.PowerYogaSanRafael.com 1295 Second St., Suite 200 ‡San Rafael, CA

Full Service Upscale Hair Salon

Open House Saturday, November 14 +10AM-Noon Best Beauty Supply

Ann Phan Nails

892-4061

challenge +engage +inspire +connect

Come & see why our students love school!

Danielle Manashil Facials

892-3741

897-4411

(Make an appointment with us at our Novato location) Highlight and Color Specialists • Precision Cuts Special Occasion Services • Bridal Parties

Most Salon Staff Here Over a Decade!

Small, Independent & Progressive K-8 School Serving Marin Since 1981

Open 7 days a week! 17 - Professional Stylists 3 - Full Spa Nail Services 2 - Pampering Aestheticians

RSVP 415-459-3464

Permanent Make-up Artist

cascade@cascadecanyon.org www.cascadecanyon.org 2626 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Fairfax Experience Extraordinary Education

Jan Carpenter Hair

WiFi Hot Spot

Montecito Plaza San Rafael 454-4500

Strawberry Village Mill Valley 381-6275

Vintage Oaks Novato 892-3600

www.marinbeautycompany.com OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 5

›› LETTERS

›› TOWNSQUARE

And the hits just keep on comin’ The League of Women Voters of Marin is very disappointed to see that Jonathan Frieman has again created and sponsored a “hit piece” on a candidate for the San Rafael City Council [“Frieman Attacks Candidate in Campaign Mailer,” Oct. 23]. This mailer does not comply with League standards and would be in violation of the ordinance recently passed by the county, which is applicable to county elections. For the past two years members of the League have strived to prevent this kind of misleading, unethical campaign activity. We worked with the Marin County Board of Supervisors to create an ordinance that would require greater disclosure of the funders behind independent-expenditure committees like Mr. Frieman’s. We hope that all the towns and cities in Marin will adopt a similar ordinance. The League of Women Voters does support public campaign financing, but it won’t stop negative hit pieces. Voters are fed up with mud-slinging campaigns and want to judge candidates based on their platforms. We call on all the candidates for the San Rafael City Council to denounce this mailing piece and any others like it that might surface during this election period. Let’s call an end to negative campaigning in Marin. Margy Eller, President League of Women Voters, Mill Valley

Idling meter maids, the devil’s work I took a picture today at the Marin Civic Center of one those parking-ticket jeeps that drive around Marin giving out tickets. Lots

TOP POSTINGS THIS WEEK

Endorsements: San Anselmo leans to the FAR side The San Anselmo Town Council race features two elected incumbents and one appointed incumbent facing a field of three challengers. The incumbents are Peter Breen an...MMWD Cuts Conservation, Looks at Rate Frieman attacks San Rafael candidate in campaign mailer Wealthy political activist Jonathan Frieman, known for financing past campaign mailers denouncing local political candidates, has continued his postal assault in the San Rafael...

We imagine they also leave them running for quick getaway.

of time they’re sitting there idling, burning fuel as they write tickets. They essentially never turn them off, so they’re running all day. A Prius is off when it’s stopped. Seems like the perfect job for an electric vehicle (or hybrid). Can you propose that to Marin County? John Arndt, San Rafael

I met a man who was not there, he was not there again today... During the lead-up to the November 2008 election, I was approached by a man encouraging me to vote for Proposition A, a Mill Valley School District parcel tax. I said it seemed like we are always giving money to the schools and wanted to know if they would ask again next year. He assured me that would not happen. I am on a fixed income and cannot afford to keep paying more every year for the schools. They already receive almost 50 percent of our property taxes and, as I predicted, they are asking for more just a year later. Proponents cite increased enrollment, less money from the state and the need for better infrastructure...the same argument as 2008. I

Upfront2: Gilbert Mejia deportation delayed “Unfortunately, my country is a place that’s not safe, especially for people his age, and that’s why I’m very afraid for him to go back...that’s why I brought him here.” Read...

Your soapbox is waiting at ›› pacificsun.com am sure this will be voted in now and every year to come—for what kind of monster would be against helping schools? But where does that leave folks like me living on a fixed income and when does this end? Sharon Salisbury, Mill Valley

Measuring truth from lies The Pacific Sun recommended a “yes” vote on San Anselmo’s Measure E [“San Anselmo Leans to the FAR Side,” Oct. 16], the monster-house ordinance, and remarked that “opponents have overblown FAR’s problems and used it in a sometimes misleading way...” That’s the Sun’s polite way of saying that the anti-E campaigners, including, astonishingly, their ballot argument, is built on explicit lies. San Anselmo has had a quiet political machine, now out of power, that for decades kept the town’s politics well to the right of our population, but the introduction of outand-out lying in the style of the Teabaggers is simply unacceptable. I’m ashamed for candidates Jeff Kroot and Kay Coleman; they don’t deserve a single vote in this election. Measure E, and honest political discourse, should have our ringing endorsement. Bill Noble, San Anselmo

How’s this for term limits! New political party: NRA—Never Re-elect Anyone. The NRA is seeking your vote. We don’t ask for any membership dues, don’t send you any material in the mail, have no solicitation of funds, will never phone you, have no meetings and we only ask you to NEVER Broom is the favored RE-ELECT ANYONE. candidate, according to Remember: a new a new straw poll. broom sweeps clean. Walter Schivo, Novato

Quality of mercy strained I am disappointed that you ran the article about the illegal immigrant family facing deportation [“How Do You Solve 6 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 5, 2009

a Problem Like Mejia?” Oct. 9] without thinking about all the facts. The father drove all those years without a wreck—did he have a license and insurance? If there was a wreck who would pay for the damages? He worked all those years and paid taxes, with whose Social Security number? Sure, he paid taxes, but at what rate— married and five dependants?—while the owner of the Social Security number, what rate—single? Who pays the difference? He had a kid here; who paid for the birth? Now for the house. The house should be repossessed for lying on the loan doc, and all of them deported. Don’t ask for the legal persons to support them, get real. We already support them in food stamps and unpaid taxes, not to mention crimes and detention costs if they are deported. I am legal, pay taxes, have insurance and obey the law—so is expecting them to do the same asking too much?! Hey, if they all went back [to Latin America] would there be enough jobs to go around? When did we need to change our school standards to include Spanish as a regular gotta do!! Just my thoughts. Use my first name and last initial only. Oh, by the way, my ancestors came through Staten Island the legal way... Thanks for your time and pay your taxes with a smile because you know why... Dan S, Novato

We’re on it! Dear Pacific Sun, Global warming and wild life. Please take action. Brandon Nagel, Novato

Anything’s possible for a wonderful mother like you... One of my memories of living in Mill Valley was that the Pacific Sun was the newspaper to read and now that my son, who at present lives in New York, is dreaming of moving back to Mill Valley I’d like to buy him a year’s subscription to the Sun. Is this possible? Colleen Lancaster, the Cotswolds, England

Put your stamp on the letters to the editor at ›› pacificsun.com

›› OVERHEARD

Think less positively Ehrenreich finds a dark side to always looking on the bright side by Sam Chapman

O

ne of the books on a living room culture. “If you voiced negative sentiments table in the home where I grew up during the past decade, you were out,” accordwas Norman Vincent Peale’s The ing to Ehrenreich. Power of Positive Thinking. First published in In her research for the book she traced 1952 and still in print today with millions of what she believes is the origin for some of copies sold, it may be the modern era’s best what we see today as a reaction to 19thknown prototype for generations of selfcentury Calvinism—religious belief based improvement books and celebrities to come. on fear, including the prospect of spending Peale parlayed his combination of religion eternity burning in hell. Mary Baker Eddy and pop psychology into weekly columns, the (founder of Christian Science) later adopted a Guideposts publication, a television show and message of “God doesn’t hate us” and tried to many more books. work on healing people. Ehrenreich sees the Now, along comes Barbara Ehrenreich with mega-churches of today as based on positive her latest book: thinking and attracting Bright-sided: How Ehrenreich’s alternative is not negative dollars. God is there to the Relentless Promeet your every need, motion of Positive thinking; it’s realism. We need to try to kind of like a personal Thinking Has Un- understand what’s going on. assistant. She visited dermined America. Joel Osteen’s church in Ehrenreich spoke Houston, which seats Friday evening at San Rafael’s Dominican Uni- thousands and has a television audience of versity; she began by saying she doesn’t want 7 million. She didn’t see any crosses (that her message to sound twisted and mean. “I’m crucifixion stuff is too negative). Osteen not against having a nice day or saying hello has described himself as a life coach who to strangers or partying.” What she is saying is preaches positive thinking and a “prosperthat she has identified an ideology in our so- ity gospel” in which God provides health, ciety that says you should be positive, upbeat wealth and happiness. and cheerful, and if you’re not, you need to In the political realm she points out that work on it. This ideology has become enforced George W. Bush was a cheerleader in college dogma in some places, she observes, mention- and says she heard Condoleezza Rice say she ing examples in healthcare, government, reli- had some doubts about Iraq but didn’t feel gion and the workplace. she could raise them in front of the president Ehrenreich talks about her experience because they weren’t positive. Ehrenreich’s with breast cancer and how there was an alternative is not negative thinking; it’s realinsistence on mandatory optimism to the ism. We need to try to understand what’s extent of embracing the disease as a gift. going on. Social movements are driven by She already had cancer, and now she had something that’s not positive thinking. That the additional burden of being told that something is determination and hard work. if she didn’t recover it would be her fault She mentioned the signers of the Declaration for not having a positive attitude, which of Independence as not basing their revoluboosts your immune system and helps you tion on positive thinking but on a realistic get better. The author, who has a Ph.D. in view that “this is hard and we are going to do cellular biology, looked at the science. She it or die trying.” concluded that there is no evidence that I came away thinking that Ehrenreich has your immune system fights cancer, that performed a public service in labeling positive a positive attitude boosts your immune thinking as an ideology and in exposing the system or that positive people have a greater related motivational industry in its various survival rate. forms. However, for me, the skill of reframEhrenreich asserts that increasingly ing a negative situation and taking positive employers don’t look for skills so much as lessons from it or seeing a different path to a a positive attitude. Countrywide Mortgage, possible positive outcome seems important as according to Ehrenreich, has been described well. Her biggest contribution may be not in as being like a cult. “You couldn’t say a negacausing people to eliminate positive thinking tive thing.” Lehman Brothers fired a guy who but to engage in examining more critically dared point out that its business model was its basis and in exposing instances where it’s built on a financial “bubble.” She says you can imposed as enforced dogma. < count on one hand the number of economists Share your dogmatic positivity with Sam at schapman@ pacificsun.com. who urged caution during our recent boom, and the “mortgage magic” that passed as a normal business practice can be traced to Check out Pacific Sun covers from recent years at high levels of delusion at the top of corporate ›› pacificsun.com

›› THAT TV GUY FRIDAY, OCT. 30 Interview with the Vampire Tom Cruise is a soulless bloodsucker who drains the life from everyone around him. In this movie, he plays a vampire. (1994) SyFy. 6:30pm. The Ghost Whisperer Melinda is haunted by the headless horseman.Then she is haunted by the carpet-cleaning bill. CBS. 8pm. Mr. and Mrs. Wolfman Shaun Ellis, the animal researcher who “adopted” a litter of abandoned wolves and lives with the pack in Wyoming, has a girlfriend and is introducing her to the lupine lifestyle. We’ve heard of awkward first dates but... Animal Planet. 9pm. Scream 3 By the third film, the reviewers were the only ones still screaming. (2000) MTV. 10pm.

by Rick Polito

Castle A rock star is found dead and the murder scene resembles a shot from her music video. Only the most creative killers travel with a strobe light and fog machine. ABC. 9pm.

TUESDAY, NOV. 3 The Biggest Loser The contestants visit the White House kitchen. It’s actually quite healthful, a contrast to the Capitol Hill cafeteria where every recipe includes pork. NBC. 8pm. V This remake of the ‘80s series about an alien invasion is updated with more allusions to terrorism, culture wars and technology. And the aliens use less hair

SATURDAY, OCT.31 Chewing up scenery, Friday at 8. The Rage: Carrie 2 Why is it that the telekinetic teenage girl is gel. ABC. 8pm. never popular and well adjusted? (1999) Late Show with David Letterman Al Gore marches on in his endless“See, I Told You So” KOFY TV 20. 8pm. tour. CBS. 11:35pm. Night of the Living Dead The movie that kicked off the whole zombie craze and gave rise to such sequels as Dawn of the Dead, Day WEDNESDAY, NOV. 4 Batman Returns of the Dead and Weekend Couples Retreat of Michelle Pfeiffer in a tight black Catwoman the Living Dead. (1968) American Movie Clasoutfit. That’s all you really need to know. sics. 8:15pm. (1992) American Movie Classics. 4pm. Vacancy Stuck at Freaky Friday From a creepy hotel, a what we can tell, couple discovers Lindsay Lohan has hidden cameras already traded places in their room and with her mom, or at fears they may be least somebody who the subjects of a looks as old as her snuff film. That’s mom. (2003) Disney definitely someChannel. 7pm. thing we’d note as The Banger Sisters “unsatisfactory” on Susan Sarandon and the comment card. Goldie Hawn play ( 2 0 0 7 ) L i f e t i m e. former hard-partying 9pm. groupies who reunite after 20 years to reminisce, reconnect and SUNDAY, NOV. 1 The lumber of the beasts. Saturday, 8:15pm. compare how far their World Series Baseball By game four fans will have seen some tattoos have stretched. (2002) Lifetime. 9pm. remarkable baseball, witnessed some defining moments and seen that annoying beer THURSDAY, NOV. 5 Supernatural Sam commercial 87 times. Fox. 4pm. and Dean are transported to an alternate Extreme Makeover This week’s family universe where they are characters in a gets to move from a single-wide trailer into different series, hopefully one that people a traditional home. But they are keeping actually watch. CW. 9pm. the green shag carpet and the wood panMonster Charlize Theron stars as notorious eling, just to stay in touch with their roots. serial killer Aileen Wournos, a woman who And the meth lab fits nicely in the master dared to compete in a field dominated by bath. ABC. 7pm. men and crash through the killing spree glass ceiling. (2003) Sundance Channel. 9:15pm. < MONDAY, NOV. 2 Sex Rehab with Dr. Critique That TV Guy at letters@pacificsun.com Drew We don’t know what “sex rehab” is but we’ll assume it does not involve lube and a Turn on more TV Guy at video camera. VH1. 7pm. ›› pacificsun.com

OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 7

›› UPFRONT

Community organizing, Marin style Good intentions meet political reality in MOC quest for shelters by Pe te r Se i d m an

T

he Marin Organizing Committee Foundation Convention held earlier this week signaled the formal presence of the community organizing group and the work it already has accomplished. The convention also presented a study in contrasts between aspirations and realities. About 1,100 people packed the San Rafael High gym Oct. 25 to share stories of their lives in the tradition of Saul Alinsky and the Industrial Areas Foundation, which he founded in the 1930s. Alinsky believed that by sharing experiences people who felt marginalized could join forces even though their individual self-interests might bump up against each other. Finding the common ground was the goal. The method involved letting people talk to each other about the issues that engaged them, consumed them. Reaching into a community’s institutions, like religious congregations, to forge alliances around common challenges could organize a community, Alinsky said. And encouraging people to share their experiences can create a stronger social bond than having aloof leaders dictate an agenda. The Marin Organizing Committee (MOC) is a continuation of the Alinsky tradition—but with some essential changes to meet modern reality. The elements were in place during the convention earlier this week. “Look around. This is a historic day,” said Vicky Otto, pastoral associate at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church. “Why

is this gathering so important? We are here today over one thousand strong as evidence we have awakened, and by being here we are publicly saying that we want to be engaged in the civic life in our community.” An essential belief of the MOC and the Industrial Areas Foundation is that citizens of a community must do more than simply cast ballots every once in a while for a preferred candidate or two. The responsibility of living in a democracy rests on the understanding of how government works, how it’s funded and what citizens can do to effect change that benefits people who usually feel powerless. And, of course, the stereotypical view of Marin obscures the reality that social problems run deep in a county that on first glance would seem an unlikely resting place for a process first started in Chicago in the 1930s. Alinsky was a true rabble-rouser. He believed in taking aggressive action to advance a cause, and that reputation was a peg on which the Republican Party has hung Barack Obama’s hat. During the presidential campaign, opponents intoned time and again the term “community organizer” because Obama did spend some time organizing in Chicago. But to say he was a true down-and-dirty community organizer is a mischaracterization. Organizing is hard work spread out over years. It was enough for the Republican spin machine to say “Chicago” and “organizing.” 10 >

›› NEWSGRAMS Local state parks lose $1M, close weekdays Due to California’s fiscal turmoil, about $1 million will be cut from Marin state parks’ $5 million-plus budget. Elimination of educational programs, weekday and campground closures will result, beginning as soon as Halloween weekend. Angel Island State Park is canceling environmental programs and limiting others; China Camp State Park is closing Back Ranch Meadows Campground on weekdays through the winter, and closing day-use areas on weekdays through June 30, 2010; Mount Tamalpais State Park is closing access to the upper mountain on weekdays through spring, implementing new fees in certain parking lots and closing Alice Eastwood Group Camp and Frank Valley Horse Camp on Sundays for the next few months; Olompali State Historic Park is closing weekdays through June 30, 2010; Samuel P.Taylor State Park is closing Madrone Group Camp and Irving Group Picnic day-use areas on Sundays through March 25, 2010;Tomales Bay State Park is eliminating environmental programs for 2009-2010, and closing the main park entrance, as well as Shell Beach and Millerton Point parking lots on weekdays through June 30, 2010. Architect Lawrence Halprin dies Nationally recognized Bay Area architect Lawrence Halprin died Oct. 25 of natural causes at the age of 93. Among his best-known works are the 52-acre base of Yosemite Falls; the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.; Freeway Park in Seattle; Marin General Hospital; Sea Ranch in Sonoma; Ghirardelli Square, Stern Grove, Embarcadero Plaza, the U.N. Plaza on Market Street and Levi’s Plaza on Battery Street in San Sun photographer Ray Baltar Francisco. Mr. Halprin also served on the National Council on the Arts and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. He snapped this sweet shot of Lawrence and Anna Halprin in Kentfield received a gold medal from the American Society of Landin 1981. scape Architects in 1978 and a Presidential Design Award for the FDR Memorial in 2000. He wrote several books and filmed an award-winning documentary on Salvador Dali. Mr. Halprin was a resident of Kentfield for 50 years and is survived by his wife, Anna, two daughters, Daria and Rana of Mill Valley, and four grandchildren. Veolia invests in Novato Sanitary campaign The Novato Sanitary District board incumbent candidates received a significant fiscal boost Oct. 22 from a controversial private interest group.Veolia Water, the French company designated to operate the district’s new $90 million wastewater treatment plant, is allotting $25,000 to support pro-privatization candidates Mike Di Giorgio, Bill Long and Art Knutson. Opponents of the decision to privatize the plant— and whose candidates have received less than $7,000 in financial backing from Sacramento unions and North Bay developers—have submitted a petition for a future ballot measure to end the privatization and return control to the district. Shorts... The Bay Bridge closed on the night of Oct. 27 for sudden repairs.Transportation officials haven’t yet determined a date to re-open the bridge...County supervisors approved an environmental impact report Oct. 27, submitted by the Dutra Group to continue operations at the San Rafael Rock Quarry...Supes also rejected a proposal to reduce the county’s living wage ordinance for in-home service providers for the elderly and disabled.—Samantha Campos EXTRA! EXTRA! Post your Marin news at ›› pacificsun.com

8 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 5, 2009

From the Sun vaults, November 2 - 8, 1979

Ordeal by libretto Did opera about Donner Party leave sour taste in Marin mouths? by Jason Wals h

30

McFarland says he keeps a framed copy of this 1979 Pacific Sun cover photo above his desk at home.

These days McFarland is still composing and wiles away many an afternoon teaching a new generation of ivory ticklers from his base of operations in Tiburon (www.marinpianolessons.com). The 81-year-old McFarland fondly recalls the Sun’s story about The Donner Party, but laughs that von Buchau, a longtime friend, overplayed the supposed controversy about his opera. “In order to be on the cover of a newspaper like the Pacific Sun [the story] had to be somewhat controversial,” he says. “And the only way she could make it sound controversial was to ask—why the hell aren’t they doing it in Marin?” The opera was eventually performed by the Berkeley Symphony under Kent Nagano and has recently enjoyed performances at the College of Marin and the Tiburon Music Festival. In fact, he says, the opera doesn’t even “spend too much time on all of that [cannibalism]. There are scenes where they talk about cutting people up and eating them—but we make note that they’re starving and desperate.” Still, admits McFarland, “it’s a curious story to make into an opera, I must say.” In fact, recalls the composer, there was a real-life villain in the Donner Party named Lewis Keseberg who stayed on when everyone else left with rescuers because, as he later told biographer Charles McGlashan, he liked the taste of human flesh. “He kept a big pot where he went around digging for human bodies and brought them home and cooked them,” McFarland says. “Apparently after her husband died, Tamsen [Donner] went to him for help and she never left his cabin.” “But that wasn’t in the opera,” notes McFarland. “I think that’s going a bit too far.” < To learn more about Ron, visit www.mcfarlandmusic.com/index.html. Share your Donner Party stories with Jason at jwalsh@pacificsun.com.

Blast into Marin’s past with more Behind the Sun at ›› pacificsun.com

by Howard Rachelson

1. Everybody’s heard of California’s Big Sur, but is there a Little Sur? 2. Whose portrait is shown on the head of the U.S. 5-cent coin? 3. Which important location in Manhattan is named after a newspaper? 4. What two independent countries are located within the boundaries of Italy? 5. Rearrange all the letters in the words “dirty room” to form the nine-letter name of a type of room that could possibly be very dirty. 6. Who played the roles of Tony and Carmela Soprano in the popular TV series, The Sopranos? 7. What are the three northernmost cities to ever host the World Series of Major League Baseball? 8. Pictured above: In what films does Robin Williams play each of these roles: 8a. In 1993, he plays an out of work actor who disguises himself as a woman. 8b. In 1989, he plays an English teacher in a New England prep school. 8c. In 1997, he plays a psychologist who works with a mathematical genius. 8d. In 2009, he plays a teacher and a writer with a very challenging teenage son. 9. What is the only country that borders both Syria and Egypt? 10. Can you identify all those numbers whose numerical value equals the number of letters in their spelling? BONUS QUESTION: The name of what field of study comes from the Greek words meaning Love of Wisdom?

Howard Rachelson, Marin’s Master of Trivia, invites you to a live team trivia contest at 7:30pm every Wednesday at the Broken Drum on Fourth Street in San Rafael. Join the quiz—send your Marin factoids to howard1@triviacafe.com.

#8a

#8b

#8c

#8d Answers on page 31

▲ Linn Walsh wants to thank ▼ A resident of Novato wrote in

the woman from Delicieux Fine Desserts who reunited Linn with her lost pie last month. Excited by her mom’s then-impending visit, Linn bought a blackberry pie from the Fairfax baker at the local farmers market. In her distracted state—and with toddler in tow— she somehow managed to pay the vendor for the pie and then walked home without it. Linn didn’t realize it was missing until the next day, and placed a call to the bake shop to explain what had happened. The woman who called her back said yes, she had her pie and that they could meet up so Linn could get it in time for dinner that night. Later, Linn and her mom ate it with ice cream “and it was blissful.” Aw, how sweet!

ZERO

Marin couldn’t eat a whole one 30 years ago this week. One of the many chalyears ago lenges facing regional opera productions is to convince the average suburban that the grandest of Western music traditions can be accessible and engaging to the masses. And one Marin composer believed he had the vital ingredient that would bring both Joe Six-Pack and Joe Haydn to the table: cannibalism. “Today there may be as few as a dozen new works introduced worldwide during each opera season,” wrote Pacific Sun opera critic Stephanie von Buchau in November of 1979. “The composers of these new works live in a kind of limbo of terror and ecstasy, as their ‘baby’ is going to be thrust upon a hostile world.” And local composer Ron McFarland’s latest “baby” took its story from folks who literally were thrust upon a hostile world— the Donner Party. The grisly tale of the 1840s pioneering families—whose ill-advised odyssey left them snowbound and starving in the Sierra mountains—was well known thanks to the 1936 George Stewart novel, Ordeal by Hunger. But would the story’s infamous anthropophagic plot twist render it a risky commission for opera lovers expecting a fat lady at curtain’s fall. McFarland, who’d studied music under Arnold Schoenberg and Ethel Leginska, based The Donner Party on a prize-winning epic of the same name by poet George Keithley, whose recent reading of the work at College of Marin had “dissolved the audience in tears,” wrote von Buchau. But, despite its initial interest, COM passed on The Donner Party; the composer fared little better in whetting the appetites of Dominican or Indian Valley colleges. Oddly enough, the relatively conservative-leaning students at Chico State were known for their openness to modern opera and after digesting the idea of a Donner Party opus, the university agreed to stage the world premiere. “A small miracle took place in Chico last weekend,” wrote von Buchau following The Donner Party debut. “New music by a living composer was brought to life. “What a black eye for Marin County,” she chided, “that the work of a local composer had to be presented 170 miles away.” (That’s 70 miles farther than the distance from Donner Pass to Fort Sutter.) Coincidentally, another cannibalism-themed stage musical opened on Broadway that year—Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. It ran for 557 performances and won several Tony Awards.

›› TRiViA CAFÉ

HERO

›› BEHiND THE SUN

to tell us that she’s been wondering how much money and time her city is planning on spending on DeLong Avenue. She says she’s lived there for about four years and that “they continue to tear up, replace, design mediums, tear them up, repave and then dig again.” The frustrated North Marin denizen went on to say, “I for one am tired of the ‘lane closed’ signs only to find no lanes closed or [no] ‘lane closed’ sign right in front of the lane that is actually closed or another favorite, right lane closed when, in fact, it is the left lane that is closed.” Got something else to say about it? Or have other such road-woes? Keep those “Zeroes” coming! —Samantha Campos

Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to scampos@pacificsun.com. Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeros at ›› pacificsun.com OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 9

â&#x20AC;şâ&#x20AC;ş UPFRONT < 8 Community organizing, Marin style The model of community organizing that Alinsky created was born in the tumult of the 1930s. Although the MOC owes its philosophical underpinnings to Alinsky, the organization is far removed from the founderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aggressive and confrontational tactics. That doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean, however, that the MOC will be a pushover to the status quo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So now our work beginsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the work of doing politics,â&#x20AC;? said Rabbi Lavey Derby of Congregation Kol Shofar, after stories were shared, concerns expressed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are we willing to engage in building relationships, researching issues, engaging our partners and elected ofďŹ cials to work together for the common good? Getting a thousand people in a room is not a small feat. But real politics requires our ongoing commitment to each other, to investing our money and our time in what matters, and to developing as citizens in the fullest sense of the word.â&#x20AC;? Participants at the convention heard stories, real-life examples of issues centering on affordable housing, healthcare, immigration, the challenges teenagers face in Marin. Attempting to understand another groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experiences is the road to change, according to the community organizing model. This model embedded in religious institutions lends itself to rhetoric that has a glow of religious faith, a pentimento that people schooled in traditional politics ďŹ nd difďŹ cult

to grasp. The same situation exists in trying to explain the bottom-up model of community organizing. The challenge of using an essentially faithbased intention to achieve a political goal is playing out right now in San Rafael over an issue the MOC ďŹ rst took on last year. It was around the holidays in 2008, and Marin had no permanent emergency shelter for the homeless (still doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t). Homeward Bound, the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest provider of support to the homeless, was overburdened. People in crisis needed a safe place to sleep for a night. The MOC played a major role in working with the county to open an emergency shelter at the National Guard Armory as a temporary solution. When the Armory closed its shelter in February, the MOC, with its partner congregations and nonproďŹ t organizations, stepped in and created a rotating emergency shelter for about the next six weeks. Sixty people found safe places to sleep as congregations shared the responsibility of providing space for them. From a central location at St. Vincent de Paul in San Rafael, shuttles took the guests to the congregations. The rotating shelter plan served but a fraction of Marinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homeless. A count of the homeless population during one day in January revealed that 1,770 homeless individuals live in the county. Even with the services of Homeward Bound and the emergency shelter, the need overwhelmed the available services. The rotating emergency offered a modicum of respite. Because it was an

emergency measure, the congregations that offered sleeping space didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enter the usual process to secure conditional use permits from planning departments before opening their doors. Later in the year, the county pledged $150,000 for another emergency rotating shelter for this coming winter. A condition: Congregations should secure necessary permits or waivers. That presented a problem in San Rafael, which has adamantly maintained that a rotating shelter within its limits needs a conditional use permit. According to Chris Highland, director of the emergency shelter program, up to 20 women a night will be provided sleeping space in ďŹ ve San Rafael congregations. Between 30 and 35 men will ďŹ nd safe sleep at congregations outside of San Rafael. At least thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the plan. Other towns in which the rotating shelter system will run donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the stringent requirements that San Rafael is imposing. When congregations went to San Rafael to begin the process of getting clearance for the emergency shelter plan, they found that the city wanted them to pay the usual fees associated with securing a permit. The rhetoric of listening to stories and sharing experiences was bumping up against political reality. But in the best tradition of community organizing, the congregations, members of the MOC, received a boost when the Marin Community Foundation agreed to contribute $4,000 per congregation to cover costs

associated with working the case through the San Rafael Planning Department. San Rafael sent letters to the congregations stating that the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s zoning policy required use permits, and if the congregations wanted to continue their shelter service this winter, they had to apply for them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s harder this year because of the resistance from the city,â&#x20AC;? says Suzanne Walker, associate director at St. Vincent de Paul. Highland and advocates of the emergency shelter want to open Dec. 1. But the city is requiring the congregations to follow standard procedure, which includes notifying neighbors and holding neighborhood meetings prior to going before the San Rafael Planning Commission. That meeting is scheduled for Dec. 8, according to Ken Nordhoff, San Rafael city manager. Nordhoff says the city told the congregations in the summer that they should begin their use-permit work as soon as possible. He also said the city has waived permit fees and is trying to expedite the process as much as possible. The $4,000 per congregation from the MCF will pay for city expenses during the permit process. Any money left over will be refunded. A success for the MOC in San Rafael will come if the planning commission gives the nod to a rotating shelter, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not certain. Steve Boyer, director at St. Vincent de Paul, says that if the roadblocks prove too tough in San Rafael, shelter organizers will ďŹ nd alternate sites in other towns. Nordhoff says the city and the shelter organizers are talking and â&#x20AC;&#x153;hopefully we

Ron McFarland PIANO STUDIO Is now accepting a limited number of new students...of all ages. Beginners to Advanced. Call for Information

435-1657

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ron McFarland is a Marin treasureâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Terry McNeill, Classical Sonoma

(Check out this weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Behind the Sunâ&#x20AC;?!)

SAN RAFAEL RARE COIN COMPANY  

Since 1973

 Estate Appraisals & Purchases  

 $ $ 



   

U.S. & Foreign Coins and Notes   Gold, Silver, Platinum coins or bars  Coin & Estate Jewelry   Collectibles 

Hours: Mon.- Fri. Noon to 4pm Only

 

ďŹ nd us on (search for PaciďŹ cSun.com) 10 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NOVEMBER 5, 2009

Follow us on twitter!

twitter.com/Pacific_Sun

can work with the congregations to let them know what needs to be doneâ&#x20AC;? to meet the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s zoning requirements, which call for a conditional use permit for â&#x20AC;&#x153;overnightâ&#x20AC;? stays in congregations. The MOC and its congregations face a big challenge as they spread into the community to advocate for the rotating shelter plan in San Rafael. How the strategy of sharing stories and ďŹ nding common ground will play in neighborhood meetings is an open question. It will begin to be answered the ďŹ rst week in November, when the outreach requirement for the permits begins. Convincing neighbors a rotating shelter will not ruin the neighborhood isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t impossible. According to Boyer, when the rotating shelter operated last winter, there were no complaints until after newspaper stories described the program. Highland says neighborhoods can rest easy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only one night a week [at a congregation] for four months. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re busing people in, and we have paid staff working with people on those sites.â&#x20AC;? Meredith Parnell, director of communications at Congregation Rodef Sholom, says the founding convention provided a stage for people to share â&#x20AC;&#x153;very powerful stories, and stories that are not usually told.â&#x20AC;? Among those hearing the stories were Assemblyman Jared Huffman, Supervisor Steve Kinsey and candidates running for the San Rafael City Council. The convention presented â&#x20AC;&#x153;a hugely diverse group of people representing Marin.

*;8 8A<F84M?8GBA B??86G<BA ÂŽ0OFPGBLJOE +FXFMSZ%FTJHOTÂŻ 5SVOL4IPX /PWUIQNÂ&#x2026;/PWUIQN

It was celebratory,â&#x20AC;? says Parnell. It also proved that MOC has the juice to rally more than a thousand people, a signiďŹ cant increase over the 600 who attended the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last big meeting in May. That kind of public turnout doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go unnoticed in political circles. Unlike the raucous and disruptive Town Hall meetings staged by Republicans during the summer over the issues of healthcare and insurance coverage, the MOC meeting, while turning out a large group in front of politicians, took a signiďŹ cantly different track. No yelling. The politicians were invited to hear the stories. MOC members hope the politicians will begin to commit themselves to an agenda that recognizes their community organizing doctrine and goals. But there was no browbeating. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can show politicians that here is an organization of motivated citizens interested in leadership who can work to help them understand issues and come up with solutions,â&#x20AC;? says Parnell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very pragmatic. We are looking for winnable issues. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not interested in just protesting.â&#x20AC;? Call it Alinsky redux for the 21st century. When the San Rafael Planning Commission hears the use-permit issue, members of MOC will have a chance to see how well the rhetoric and the community organizing strategy affects reality in Marin. <

Enter our drawing to WIN A $200 GIFT CERTIFICATE Come in for a complimentary raffle ticket, no purchase necessary!

Sexy Halloween Costumes

Each costume purchase comes with an additional raffle entry! Women Owned And Operated

www.pleasuresoftheheart.com

An Elegant Erotic Shop Where Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Feel Comfortable

1310 Fourth Street at C San Rafael, 482-9899

Open Sun.-Mon. 11-6 Tues.-Sat. 10-10

Everything a grooming shop offers, right in your driveway in our state-ofthe-art mobile grooming van. We bring water, soap, fuel and foo-foo with us, and take the hair, fur, gunk and grime away when we leave!

Call Today! 415.987.PETS www.puppycuthut.com

Contact the writer at peter@pseidman.com

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your county, speak up at â&#x20AC;şâ&#x20AC;ş paciďŹ csun.com

#OMEINAND

JEWELRY â&#x20AC;˘ CARDS ART-TO-WEAR2AISE9OUR â&#x20AC;˘ CRAFTS &5.345&&â&#x20AC;˘3PIRITS BOOKS

BU4UVEJPMP 'SFF(JGUXJUI1VSDIBTF 'SJEBZPOMZ

4BO"OTFMNP"WF 4BO"OTFMNP



800 San San Anselmo Anselmo Ave. Ave. 800 San Anselmo, CA M-S Sun 12-5 12-5 M-S 10-6 10-6 Sun 454-2990 454-2990

           

Donate Your Auto

    



CURRENTAFFAIRS

A_dZ[h]Whj[d¡;_]^j^=hWZ[ Ef[d>eki[

     

 !    "   #$% & 

ON TOWNSQUARE

' % (%        )*++),*-

Mari neighb nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s online o paciďŹ c rhood @ sun.c om

      



Providing safety information and assisting families in bringing kids home safely

  !!!"#$!%%&'(%%)"%$# *'+%%,"'%-.$!%%& '(%%)

OCTOBER 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 11

4XFEJTI.BTTBHFIS 4QFDJBMUZ.BTTBHF IS Â&#x2026;%FFQ5JTTVF Â&#x2026;1SFOBUBM Â&#x2026;4QPSUT Â&#x2026;4IJBUTV Â&#x2026;.BOZ"EEJUJPOBM4UZMFT

)PU4UPOF.BTTBHFIS

â&#x20AC;şâ&#x20AC;ş UPFRONT

Gilbert Mejia deportation delayed Parents say gangs will â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;kill himâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; if Novato High grad sent to Guatemala by Ronnie Co he n

P

0QFO%BZTB8FFL 5VFÂŹ4VOÂŹ.POÂŹ XXXNJMMWBMMFZNBTTBHFDPN

   $BNJOP"MUP 4UFÂ&#x2026;.*--7"--&:

   $4USFFUÂ&#x2026;4"/3"'"&-

ALAMEDA COUNTY

Affordable Professional Massage .JMM7BMMFZt4BO3BGBFM

AUCTION

THIS PRODUCT OR SERVICE HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED OR ENDORSED BY ANY GOVT. AGENCY AND THIS OFFER IS NOT BEING MADE BY ANY AGENCY OF THE GOVT.

T h e P r e m i e r Ve h i c l e A u c t i o n s /VER #ARS3OLD 300+ Luxury & Economy Autos s 2AINOR3HINE&REE!DMISSION Saturday, November 7thâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9am sharp! s &INANCE AND7ARRANTIES

/N#REDIT!PPROVALn#ALLEARLY Preview Fri., Nov 6 th 10am-4pm & Sat., Nov 7th 7:30am-9am

www.acauction.com

6438 Sierra Ct., Dublin

12 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NOVEMBER 5, 2009

$EALERs"UYER&EE

925-829-5999

arents of a recent Novato High School so badly that he now walks with a cane. At graduate facing deportation recounted about the same time, Perez believes a driver a litany of violent acts against relatives purposely rode his car into her brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in their native Guatemala and told an immimotorcycle, breaking his leg. gration judge in San Francisco on Thursday The intimidation worked. The family they fear a gang will kill their son if he returns abandoned its plot of land. But Perez, who to the country he left when he was 1 year old. described herself as submissive, told the Immigration ofďŹ cials have ordered Elida immigration judge that the son she raised in Perez, 40, and Salvador â&#x20AC;&#x153;Samâ&#x20AC;? Mejia, 38, to America would not sit idly by but would try leave the U.S. by Nov. to right wrongs. 2. Their 18-year-old â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of those son, Gilbert Mejia, â&#x20AC;&#x153;So many people are killed down types of people who came to Marin there they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even take the who want to help County with them other people, and he illegally 17 years ago, bodies away.â&#x20AC;? doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like injusticfaces separate imes,â&#x20AC;? Perez said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Down migration proceedings. On Thursday, after in my country, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dangerous. If he starts to hearing from his parents, Judge Miriam help out, for example, in the case of my parHayward continued Gilbertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deportation ents, or tries to ďŹ nd out who hurt my brother, hearing until July 28. At that time, the ďŹ rst heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to get himself in trouble.â&#x20AC;? free day in the judgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s court calendar, Gilâ&#x20AC;&#x153;I have no doubt that when he shows up bert is expected to testify in support of his down there,â&#x20AC;? Mejia said of his son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;that some application for asylum. gang is going to call him over, and if he refuses Mayans who ďŹ&#x201A;ed their country during a to join, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be killed.â&#x20AC;? civil war, Gilbertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents described how both Last year, Mejia said his cousin was found their fathers were brutally beaten, their cousin shot to death in the taxicab he drove. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They was murdered and a car intentionally hit didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t steal anything from him,â&#x20AC;? he said. Perezâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brother while he was riding a motorâ&#x20AC;&#x153;They just killed him.â&#x20AC;? cycle. The violenceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;some inexplicable, some Mejia said his relatives have no idea and no they believe politicalâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;spans their adult lives. way to ďŹ nd out why his cousin was killed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Sitting next to an American ďŹ&#x201A;ag, they testiaunt doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have money to pay for an investiďŹ ed in Spanish, which an interpreter translatgator,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Down there, people who have ed into English. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The police down there donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t money can pay to have people follow up on carry out justice,â&#x20AC;? Sam Mejia said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The police the case. The people who have money there are bought and sold for money. And the gangs pay the police so they can have justice.â&#x20AC;? down there have a great deal of power.â&#x20AC;? When Mejia was 15 years old, he said Mejia and Perez said they feared that if about 20 military men came to his parGilbertâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a Santa Rosa Junior College student entâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s restaurant seeking revenge against his and an aspiring architectâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;returned to Guate- father because he had removed a drunken mala, gangs would recruit him, and he would and belligerent relative of a military combe forced to join or be subject to violence. missioner. While Mejia, his mother and â&#x20AC;&#x153;If he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t join the gang down there, his sister watched, the military men tried heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be viewed as an enemy,â&#x20AC;? Perez said. to take his father out of the restaurant. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll kill him. Down there, the police donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Mejia attempted to block the door, but they even investigate things that are clear as day. So pushed and kicked him out of the way. many people are killed down there they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Later, Mejia said his father described the even take the bodies away.â&#x20AC;? beating he took. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My father told me he had Her voice cracking, her eyes ďŹ lling to kneel before the military person, and with tears, she added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unfortunately, my they kicked him.â&#x20AC;? Dressed in a blue striped country is a place thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not safe, especially shirt and blue paisley tie, Gilbert propped for people his age, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very his clenched ďŹ st under his chin while his afraid for him to go back. It would break father testiďŹ ed. my heart for him to go down there because Judge Hayward had to continue the hearthatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I brought him here.â&#x20AC;? ing when she ran out of time before Gilbert In 1995, at the end of the civil war, which could testify. While Gilbert remains in the started in 1954 with a CIA-led coup, Perez U.S. illegally but without a deportation said the government gave her father and date, his parents are packing up the Novato other indigenous farmers land to harvest home they own and preparing to leave the crops. About three years ago, in what her country with his American-born 4-year-old family believes was an effort to force her 68- and 13-year-old sisters. < year-old father off his land, he was beaten Contact Ronnie Cohen at ronniecohen@comcast.net.

ROBERT VENTE

›› FEATURE “This Halloween is something to be sure, especially to be here without you,” sang Lou Reed in “The Halloween Parade,” the punk godfather’s 1989 lament about a trite pumpkin-day costume parade

••••

re-imagined as a funeral procession for a friend lost to AIDS. In only 3:32, Reed sums up the macabre juxtaposition the Oct. 31 celebration holds—a rave-up for the reaper, a parade toward perdition, a great day about our worst day. Halloween was born centuries ago as Samhain, a pre-Christian festival based on the idea that it’s

One look at his Marin Civic Center office and there’s no denying—this guy’s definitely got a head for forensics.

important to confront death, to rob it

Coroner’s report

before it robs us, to gain some understanding of what comes next. What came next for Samhain, turns out, was a better understanding of how to sell single-bite candy bars and plastic su-

Ken Holmes has made cause of death his life’s cause

perhero costumes. Somewhere along

by

the way, this celebration of the lost had lost what it was supposed to celebrate. So, we at the Pacific Sun will leave the pumpkin patch roundups and stories about 2009’s most challenging corn mazes to the local dailies and present our fourth annual Death issue—four stories confronting the culmination of life, with all the reverence, dignity and curiosity it deserves. And then we’ll “see you next year,” as Reed closed his quiet dirge,“at the Halloween parade.”—Jason Walsh

the 4th annual

DEATH issue

“That’s all there was.” But the forensic anthropologist was able to conclusively offer that it was a male and a female of the right age and stature, and that—with the help of the forensic odontologist and dental records—she was born in Colombia. And the evidence proved valuable in getting convictions for the young couple. Holmes soon enlisted in classes at San Francisco State with the forensic anthropologist from that case.

Sa m antha

“As Coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her... and she’s not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.” —Munchkin coroner, The Wizard of Oz

T

he alarm clock went off a little earlier than usual that morning. But it’s unlikely Ken Holmes did anything but his regular morning routine: He fed his dogs, made himself a light breakfast, went over some paperwork, got in the shower, gave his wife a kiss and, perhaps, his two stepkids a ride to school. At 7:45am Holmes greeted the uniformed police officer at the Kentfield site where he’d been summoned. As the cop provided introductions, Holmes shook hands with the property owner, manager, general and plumbing contractors, along with the construction worker who’d unearthed some skeletal remains the day before. Still rattled, and not sure whether the bones were human or animal, the laborer shakily pointed out the 4-foot hole he’d dug in order to put in a grease trap, exposing what Holmes immediately identified as a human femur. As Marin County coroner���and at nearly 36 years of service, the longest-tenured coroner in the state—Holmes has seen his fair share of bones. He’s able to differentiate between dogs and butcher bones, between humans and washed-up seals whose skeletons look remarkably human, plus give the approximate—if not damn-near exact— timeline of death. And because Marin has 453 or so known Indian midden sites, with at least a dozen findings a year, he’s become especially

Ca mpos

good at assessing Native American remains. Dodging an old sewer pipe, the 66-year-old Holmes jumped down into the hole. Noticing the pliable, potting-loam quality of the soil, he began gingerly brushing dirt off each loosened bone, including fragments, and proceeded to dig a few inches of surrounding area with a tiny trowel, taking care to disturb as little as possible. From the consistency and overall condition of the remains and the way they were buried, Holmes quickly determined that the bones were about 500 years old and Native American. When an increasingly curious crowd of about 10 started gathering on the ground above him, asking questions—generally of the “What can you tell me about this person?” or the “How soon can we be done?” variety—Holmes enlisted them to hand him tools, while he affably relayed what he was discovering and what needed to happen next. “It’s not something people are real comfortable with—digging up a human,” he said later in his Marin County Civic Center office, surrounded by stacks of medical records and death certificates. “It’s fascinating stuff, it really is. In the normal course of your life, you never have an opportunity to know that—unless you’re interested in anthropology or archaeology.” Early on in his career, as a young investigator in the department, Holmes discovered just how important anthropology is during a case called “The Olive Murders.” In 1975, Marlene Olive convinced her boyfriend Chuck Riley to kill Marlene’s parents in Terra Linda, and burn the bodies. And they kept breaking up the bones and burning them. “Ultimately, all the evidence that we took to court on two entire humans—and we still have it here today—is in one shoebox,” said Holmes.

BUT HIS FASCINATION with forensics began much earlier. “I saw my first dead body when I was 15.” Growing up in Fresno, Holmes wanted to be a doctor. While his dad and granddad were both firemen, Holmes spent his time taking things apart to find out what was wrong, whether it was an alarm clock, his bicycle or a dead bird. One day, while fishing with this grandfather, they came upon a body floating in the lake. As the elder Holmes rowed away to call the sheriff’s department, the burgeoning teen scientist nearly toppled out of the boat to get a closer look. “I was fascinated— still am—[with] the natural disease process, what makes them sick, what makes them well. I was always drawn to science and anything mysterious, puzzles, mechanical or not— working it out, it was always a challenge.” After learning that all the autopsies at that time were done by the coroner in mortuaries, Holmes enrolled in and graduated from a mortuary college in San Francisco. He then got a job as a funeral director and embalmer at Keaton’s in San Rafael. Within two years, Holmes really began to get a taste for the coroner’s side of it and from that point on there was just no stopping him. Following Police Academy training, he hit the streets doing day-to-day forensics investigations from the Golden Gate Bridge to Tomales Bay. At the death scene, he’d interview available family, neighbors, witnesses, police agencies and medical personnel then determine identification—a statutory mandate of the department—of the deceased, as well as notify next of kin. Mostly, it’s a doorto-door service. Sometimes, if the decedent is from another country, the coroner’s department works with that country’s consulates or Interpol. “It’s a must that we don’t notify anybody on the telephone—that’s just not fair,” said Holmes. “Unless there’s no other way,” as in the case of a young Nigerian man who’d passed away at a nearby hostel, and whose family lived in a remote village and could only be reached by two-day “runners”—a sort of footed Pony Express. Local investigators knock on doors to give death notifications a couple of times a month, on average. Holmes believes every one is way too many. “Death notifications—these are the worst things that we have to do,” said Holmes. “Twice I’ve had people absolutely collapse— both of them women, a couple heart attacks. One lady got so suicidal we put her on a watch...I’ve been punched a couple times by men. And it’s knee-jerk reaction to horrible news. Every single time I’ve been hit or kicked, it was a car accident, so there’s 14 OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 13

>

Smoother & Tighter Skin With Only One Treatment!

THERMAGE™ Full Face & Neck $2,500 with FREE Hand Treatment ($1,800 value)

Eyes $950 expires 11/30/09

mo

de

l

Armen Serebrakian, M.D.

!-AGNOLIA!VENUE ,ARKSPURsFinancing Available www.bayarealasersurgerycenter.com

415.461.5755

Archaeology meets technology in this small-scale exhibition exploring the scientific examination of mummies and providing new insights into the conditions under which the Egyptians lived. Included is the sarcophagus and mummy of Irethorrou, a priest from Egypt around 500 B.C. His mummy has undergone a CT-scan that allows a unique viewing experience of a three-dimensional “fly through” of the body and a forensic reconstruction of his head.

OCTOBER 31, 2009–AUGUST 15, 2010 A GHOULISH GALA Oct 30, 2009, 8pm to midnight

SKINNER ORGAN CONCERTS

Dance to fiendish music by Pop Rocks and DJ Shissla. Hosted open bars with top-shelf witches’ brews along with devilishly delicious hors d’oeuvres await. Ages 21 & over and costumes required!

Every Sat and Sun 4pm Live performances of 19th- and early-20thcentury favorites.

Tickets:

$65 FAMSF Members $85 Non-Members Purchase at: artpoint.org or 415.750.3548

This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco with the cooperation of the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium and the radiology department of the Stanford Medical School. Additional project assistance has been provided by the Stanford Division of Anatomy, eHuman Inc., and Fovia Inc. Generous support is provided by the William E. Winn, Jr., Living Trust and the Dorothy Tyler Living Trust. Thank you to Intel Corporation for their generous in-kind donation. Lincoln Park 34th Avenue and Clement Street legionofhonor.org 415.750.3600 Images: Visualization of the mummy Irethorrou by Sarah Hegmann and Beverly Chiang of eHuman using Osirix and Amira Software. Mummy of Irethorrou in Coffin, Egyptian, Akhmim, ca. 500 B.C. Linen; wood with polychrome. Gift of First Federal Trust Company (from the Estate of Jeremiah Lynch).

14 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 – NOVEMBER 5, 2009

< 13 Coroner’s report absolutely no anticipation that this person’s going to be dead. And with one exception, they were all teenagers, and [the] fathers struck out. And they’re not mad at me, they’re killing the messenger. But who else are they going to hit? They’re not going to hit the cop who’s standing next to me, with a face just as long as mine. Had a whole family wiped out on Thanksgiving Day, they were on their way to the family dinner in Petaluma—and I went to the door instead of them. There were 30 people in the house waiting for the four people that I was telling them about—a man, his wife and two kids. So many of them... they stand out, every single one in my mind. Three people killed in one accident who aren’t related—I’m going to three different houses in a row. And it’s all before dawn because it happened at 1 in the morning.” Recalling this particular notification from 20 years ago still brings a flood of tears to his eyes. And yet, at this point, Holmes has done so many he’s taught proper procedure at the state academy for police. “I call it 20-second psychology because that’s about all the time you get to assess the person, the situation, attitude—all those things. The accepted best practice is to go to the door with at least two people who look credible, i.e., a uniform. Sometimes a hospital chaplain or neighbor will suffice. I show them the badge, give them my card, tell them my name and that I work for the county. I don’t say coroner. A lot of times it’s them asking questions and we have to work it in edgewise because somebody’s been in trouble or in the hospital five times—we hardly ever know any of it but they know. And you have no prep time to know what they know—what the relationship is with this person, good or bad...” On one such occasion, Holmes knocked on the door of a woman and her 16-yearold daughter in San Rafael. After delivering the news that her father had been killed in a car crash, the girl threw a fast punch, nearly knocking Holmes on the ground. But then the back-story was revealed: The girl had been drinking and got into an argument about it with her dad, who drank a lot. The fight escalated, the girl told him to go to hell, he threatened to kill himself, she said do it, then he got into his car and drove straight into a metal guardrail at 70 miles an hour.

 BECAUSE OF THE Golden Gate Bridge, Holmes is also no stranger to suicide. Every body that’s recovered by the Coast Guard falls under his jurisdiction—and there are about 30 a year. “Most of [the jumpers] go there because they’re having a bad minute, or day or week. I can’t tell you how many people under 30 went there because they broke up with their boyfriend or girlfriend two days before. You get so blinded when your heart hurts; you go and do something you can’t take back. But you can get through it and life doesn’t have to end because he or she told you to go away. If they can get through that period, they never think about suicide again.” He’s been very vocal and active in the fight to get a controversial suicide barrier put up on the Golden Gate—

the barrier was finally approved last year. But the wait for funding continues. And Holmes, even after three-dozen years of dealing with suicides and death notifications, still believes there’s some good that comes from it all. “I’m happy to be alive. That’s how it affects me. I am so aware that tomorrow might not be here. It might be for you, it might be for me—or one minute from now, I could walk out that door and drop dead. Or I could walk out that door and get hit by something that’s going to take my life. You go out to move your car—a cement truck could run over you. There’s so many coincidences that take people’s lives. That lady who got struck by the tree—why didn’t she stop and look at a rose and the tree would’ve fallen in front of her? Is it fate? Is it coincidence? Is it your time? Is it God? I don’t know the answer to that overall picture, I really don’t. But I’m so aware, every single day. Every day above the lawn is a bonus.” In addition to determining identification of the deceased and notifying next of kin, the coroner is responsible for establishing cause and manner of death. “We look at 1,100 deaths a year. Sixty-five percent of our caseloads are natural deaths; we have five or six murders a year. In Marin there are about 1,800 deaths in a year. So the balance, the physician of record signs the death certificate. Sudden or unexpected deaths—it’s a checkand-balance system between the medical community and the coroner.” Back in 1984, nine years after Holmes began his work in the department as an investigator, the assistant coroner announced his retirement and the coroner asked Holmes to step up. After 14 years, the coroner decided he didn’t want to run again for the publicly elected position. Holmes was in a quandary: leave the job he loved or risk losing it entirely? “It was a nail-biter for me.” He ultimately took the leap and ran unopposed—and has, every term since. “It’s—at least in my own feeble little mind—a testimonial to the fact that nobody thinks I’m doing a really crappy job. There’s been no controversy that would topple my kingdom.” Now in the third year of his third term, Holmes’ tenure is up at the end of 2010. And apparently, the county plans to eliminate the position, merging the coroner’s office with the Sheriff’s department. “I love coming to work,” said Holmes. “They’re going to end the position so I have to retire. They’re not trying to get rid of me; they’re just trying to close the office. They have to do their decision-making and change the ordinance before I can file for re-election—and I would file, and run again.” On Tuesday, the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to eliminate the position of county coroner. County administrators believe they can save about $235,000 a year from the move. The cost to the county’s grieving has not been tallied.



Share your county coroner stories with Samantha at scampos@ pacificsun.com.

Comment on this story in TownSquare, at ›› pacificsun.com

In 1893 Marin residents mobbed the corner of Fourth and A streets to witness a public execution; todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mobs will settle for a Cinnamon Dulce Frappuccino.

(JWFÂľFN FOPVHISPQF ...and Victorian-era Marinites will ruin public hangings for everybody

O

CZ+PZ-BO [FOEPS GFS

n the ďŹ rst day of September, 1893, Lee Doon was condemned to die for killing a white man. Doon, who was Chinese, was the cook for San Rafael resident Tiernan Berry, who also hired an Englishman named William Shenton to paint his house. At the end of the ďŹ rst day of painting, Shenton called Doon out of the kitchen and ordered him to clean up his paint buckets and ladders, apparently believing it was the Chinese servantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job to pick up after him. Doon refused. The next day, Shenton repeated his order and when Doon again refused, an argument broke out, during which â&#x20AC;&#x153;the painter became verbally abusive to Lee Doon,â&#x20AC;? according to an article by the Marin County Historical Society. Doon claimed that Shenton attacked him and began beating and kicking him, according to the Supreme Court decision on the case. Either way, things got so heated that Doon rushed into the house, grabbed a pistol and shot at Shenton four times, hitting him once in the back. He was seriously wounded and died not long afterward. Doon was arrested, underwent a trial and was sentenced to death by hanging at the Marin County Courthouse located at Fourth and A streets in San Rafael. The courthouse had been designed with executions in mind. When it was built in 1873, hangings were moved from the ofďŹ cial â&#x20AC;&#x153;hang-manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s treeâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a 200-year-old oak that used to be located on E Streetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to the courthouse lobby. The gallows had a trap-

door for the convicted man to fall through, cutting-edge technology for the time. Just the year before the courthouse was built, a man named William Marwood had developed the â&#x20AC;&#x153;long dropâ&#x20AC;? method of hanging, where the hangman determined how far the body should drop based on the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s height and weight. It was considered an improvement over the â&#x20AC;&#x153;standard drop,â&#x20AC;? where everyone was dropped the same distance regardless of size, because the long drop guaranteed that the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neck would snap, rendering him instantly unconscious. With the standard drop, whether the criminals lost consciousness or not was up to luck, and they often strangled for a few minutes before passing out. In those days, it was common for crowds to attend hangings. Among formalities such as having a physician and the district attorney present at an execution, the law required the county sheriff to have at least 12 men witness the execution. This was often interpreted to mean that whoever wanted to could come to the hanging. And it turned out, many people did want to do just that. The noose from a hanging was a prized souvenir among Victorian Californians. Doonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hanging, with its peculiar mix of yellow-peril racism, would be of particular interest to the public, as Marin County Sheriff Henry Harrison knew very well. So he had tickets for the hanging printed up and gave them out to the public. Soon, these tickets were a hot commodity all over the Bay Area.

On the day of the execution, 800 people showed up to watch Doon hang. It was a hot day. By 10am, people were showing up â&#x20AC;&#x153;on foot, on horseback, in wagons and by train,â&#x20AC;? according to the newspaper County Journal. The tickets were apparently forgotten as everyone squeezed into the courthouse, many drunk and boisterous, all excited to see a man put to death. At 11am, the guards brought Doon out of his jail cell. He was greeted with jeers and shouting, but he remained calm as the black hood was put over his head and the rope around his neck. With a loud bang, the trapdoor of the gallows slammed open and Doonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body fell. His neck broke and his spinal cord was severed; although he was unconscious, his body was not yet dead. He would slowly suffocate over the next 15 or 20 minutes as his body hung at the end of the noose. Everyone scrambled to get a good look at the twitching body, jumping on each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s backs and pushing each other aside. A dentist from San Rafael fainted. The uproar grew louder when Doon was pronounced dead and the rope was removed from his neck. The noose was then cut into pieces and auctioned off as souvenirs. Afterward, the crowd descended on the streets of San Rafael. Since there were over a dozen bars within two blocks of the courthouse, the rest of the day was full of riotous, bloodthirsty excitement, the likes of which appalled people in the vicinity. The public reaction was negative and most newspapers condemned the incident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the sheriff of Marin County invited a boisterous mob to come into the San Rafael jail and enjoy the amusement of watching a Chinaman dangle at the end of a rope[,] he probably was thinking of merely making himself solid with the voters of the vicinity,â&#x20AC;? the San Francisco Examiner sarcastically noted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But in the pursuit of this laudable purpose he found it necessary not only to outrage decency, which he may not have thought an important consideration, but to violate the spirit and probably the letter of the law.â&#x20AC;? The violation here was that in 1890, California had changed the law so that all executions would be carried out in a state prison, either San Quentin or Folsom. In fact, there had already been a state execution that Marchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jose Gabriel, who was sentenced in San Diego for killing an elderly couple, was hanged at San Quentin. Doonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hanging brought home the need to have the death penalty carried out in private, and from then on, hangings were no longer held in county courthouses. From 1893 to 1941, 215 prisoners were hanged at San Quentin until the method was abolished in favor of the gas chamber. And since Folsom stopped executing prisoners in 1937, Marin County has the distinction of being the only county where executions still take place today. Hangings, however, are a thing of the past. Today, the executions are done by lethal injection. Hang with Joy at joy@greenďŹ&#x201A;y.net.

DONATE YOUR AUTO Point Reyes National Seashore Association No DMV Hassle Free Pickup Tax Deduction

800-766-5341

Live Operators Take Your Call! Your car, truck, boat or RV running or not will help preserve the park

OCTOBER SPECIALS

required. Offer expires Oct. 31, 2009.

Â

OCTOBER 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 15

Why choose a ďŹ nancial planner who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell ďŹ nancial products?

Objectivity.

The burden of profundity is about the last thing you need at this time.

8PSET

Hourly, as-needed PLANNINGANDADVICE Bob Goldman Financial Planning 180 Harbor Drive, Suite 205 Sausalito, CA 94965 sBOB BGPLANNINGCOM WWWBGPLANNINGCOM

Sunday â&#x20AC;˘ Nov 8 â&#x20AC;˘ 3:00 PM

Afternoon at the Opera

Opera stars of tomorrow from SF Music Conservatory Opera Program

Saturday â&#x20AC;˘ Nov 14 â&#x20AC;˘ 8:00 pm

Jamie Laval, Celtic Fiddler w/Zac Leger Sunday â&#x20AC;˘ Nov 15 â&#x20AC;˘ 7:00 PM

Quintiliian-Classical Music Quintet

Friday-Sunday â&#x20AC;˘ Dec 4-6

Dance Palace Holiday Crafts Fair Saturday â&#x20AC;˘ Dec 12 â&#x20AC;˘ 8:00 PM

Perla Batalla

Sunday â&#x20AC;˘ Dec 20 â&#x20AC;˘ 3:00 PM

Messiah Sing Along

Ujdlfut!bu!

www.dancepalace.org Dance Palace Community Center

503 B St. Point Reyes Station 415.663.1075

16 PACIFIC SUN OCTOBER 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NOVEMBER 5, 2009

UPMJWFCZ Eloquence at expiration ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t easyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; but a few have â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;risenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to the challenge

â&#x20AC;&#x153;L

CZ.BUUIFX4UB GGPSE

ast words,â&#x20AC;? said Karl haps,â&#x20AC;? said Francois Rabelais. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ďŹ nally get to Marx,â&#x20AC;? are for fools who see Marilyn,â&#x20AC;? said the lovelorn Joe DiMaggio. havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t said enough.â&#x20AC;? The emperor Vespasian opined, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dear me! I (Those were his last words.) Walt Whitman think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m turning into a god,â&#x20AC;? while the less took a less sardonic attitude. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are valu- self-aggrandizing Heinrich Heine said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;God able beyond measure to conďŹ rm and endorse will forgive me. It is his profession.â&#x20AC;? Gerthe varied train, facts, theories trude Stein asked Alice B. Toklas, and faith of the whole precedâ&#x20AC;&#x153;What is the answer?â&#x20AC;? Getting no ing life.â&#x20AC;? Whatever their import, a Most eloquent, response, she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;In that case, human beingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ nal utterancesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; perhaps, was what is the question?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The taste via deathbed, last will and testadeath is upon my lips,â&#x20AC;? intoned Bo Diddley, who of ment, suicide note or tombstone young W.A. Mozart. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel someepitaphâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;can range from the said,â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wow!â&#x20AC;? thing that is not of this earth.â&#x20AC;? sacred and profound to the droll Most eloquent, perhaps, was Bo and deďŹ ant. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something Diddley, who said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wow!â&#x20AC;? about the specter of death that makes you Other deathbed pronouncements have want to stick around a bit longer, and since been less...spiritual. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dammit, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you dare this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always a feasible option, we take ref- ask God to help me!â&#x20AC;? said Joan Crawford uge in the spoken word, hoping that a verbal when she caught her housekeeper prayextension of our limited time on this planet ing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get the f--king nuns away from me!â&#x20AC;? will survive our worm-infested corpus delicti. screamed the equally distraught Norman And, in many cases, they have. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a Douglas. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why should I talk to you?â&#x20AC;? screengood two millennia since an expiring Julius writer Wilson Mizner asked an attending clerCaesar gasped out, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Et tu, Brute?â&#x20AC;? Most of us gyman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just been talking with your boss.â&#x20AC;? only know Nathan Hale by his last words, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I When a priest asked him to renounce Satan, only regret that I have but one life to lose for Voltaire said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now, now, my good man, this my country.â&#x20AC;? Other closing remarks are less is no time for making enemies.â&#x20AC;? And when famous but equally cogent, inspiring or illuEthan Allenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physician told him that the anminating. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am off in search of the great pergels were waiting for him, the Green Moun-

tain Boy snarled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Waiting, are they? Waiting are they? Well, let â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em wait!â&#x20AC;? The gallows has been an unexpectedly fertile milieu for terminal discourse. Antebellum murderess Lavinia Fisher, dressed up in her wedding gown for the occasion of her hanging, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If any of you have a message for the Devil, give it to me, for I am about to meet him!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a very ďŹ ckle and faithless generation,â&#x20AC;? sighed Captain Kidd as he faced the noose. Killer Harry Morant said to his ďŹ ring squad, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make a mess of itâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;shoot straight, you bastards,â&#x20AC;? while the impatient Edward H. Ruloff said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to be in Hell in time for dinner.â&#x20AC;? Asked if he had any last words, desperado Cherokee Bill said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come here to make a speech. I came here to die,â&#x20AC;? but James W. Rodgers, asked if he had a ďŹ nal request, replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;A bulletproof vest.â&#x20AC;? The most philosophical condemned man may have been John Arthur Spenkelink. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Them without the capital get the punishment,â&#x20AC;? he said on his way to the electric chair. Other last words have run the gamut from the stirring to the surreal to the downright saucy. Lady Nancy Astor, awakening to ďŹ nd her family gathered around her, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Am I dying, or is this my birthday?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I should never have switched from scotch to martinis,â&#x20AC;? said Humphrey Bogart. Party girl Tallulah Bankhead muttered, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Codeine...bourbon,â&#x20AC;? but Aldous Huxley wrote out a speciďŹ c request to his wife: â&#x20AC;&#x153;LSD, 100 micrograms I.M.â&#x20AC;? (She complied.) â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am dying. Please bring me a toothpick,â&#x20AC;? said absurdist writer Alfred Jarry. Fellow playwright Lope de Vega, told that the end was near, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;All right then, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll say it: Dante makes me sick.â&#x20AC;? Another theater man, John Barrymore, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Die, I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.â&#x20AC;? Asked if dying was tough, thespian Edmund Gwenn said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not as tough as doing comedy,â&#x20AC;? and a delirious Flo Ziegfeld, showman to the end, shouted, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curtain! Fast music! Light! Ready for the last ďŹ nale! The show looks good, the show looks good!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We all get the same amount of ice,â&#x20AC;? said legendary lawman Bat Masterson in a philosophical frame of mind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The rich get it in the summer. The poor get it in the winter.â&#x20AC;? Conrad Hiltonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ nal insight was more on the practical side: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Leave the shower curtain on the inside of the tub.â&#x20AC;? General Stonewall Jackson, injured by friendly ďŹ re and dying of pneumonia, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a hell of a way to die,â&#x20AC;? snarled uber-warrior George S. Patton after his automobile accident. Leon Trotsky, attacked by an axe-wielding assassin, said to his bodyguards, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t kill this man. He has a story to tell.â&#x20AC;? Simplicity is timeless, though. The Red Baron, shot down and dying on the ďŹ eld of battle, had one word to say: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kaput.â&#x20AC;? Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s give the last last word to Augustus Caesar, though. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The play is over,â&#x20AC;? said Romeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst emperor, summing up the whole life-death equation with enviable aplomb. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Applaud!â&#x20AC;?

Â

Give Matthew a few words of your own at mstafford@ paciďŹ csun.com.

San Marin Drive, May 27, 2009.

brought food to share, teens hung out with their friends, busybodies gossiped. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Can you believe a man with six DUIs still has a license?â&#x20AC;? people whispered. Some of them may even have known Melodie. Or perhaps known someone who knew the Osheroffs. One family we hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen in ages dropped in on us one evening to say hi, and to get the latest. Some boys started up a game of touch football on our tractâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shared drive. The dads coached them to catch with their hands, not their chests. The evening gathering had taken on a life of its ownâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;like an impromptu after-work excursion now woven into the fabric of our daily lives. But eventually the TV crews abandoned us, and then the touch football game moved to a softer surface. In July people were still convening, but the numbers had dropped dramatically. By the time school started again our little corner of the world was ďŹ nally vacant of mourners, save for a neighbor who watered the ďŹ&#x201A;owers that had been planted in Melodieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s memory on the knoll along the walk. The San Marin community was back to what it had been earlier in the spring. Though, not at the Osheroffsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Among the few possessions Joanne brought back with her from her fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funeral last year was a shoebox full of personal itemsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the kind of box men of a certain generation tend to keep. Under its lid lurk vestiges of a happy, contemplative lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; snapshots of his British Army mates on guard mid-century at the Suez Canal; a primary O8BMTI school report card of Joanneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s; a handwritten log of everything heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d planted in the garden since the 1980s; photos of him and Joan at a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit. their weekly dance group; Polaroids from the The girl, 9-year-old Melodie Osheroff, died family holiday to Spain; John at 8, laughing. a few hours later at the hospital; her 41-yearDeeper in the box we found a yellowed old father Aaron had his leg amputated. newspaper clipping, with no byline, date or Joanne and I had never encountered death publication name. John, it appeared, had cut so close until this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;emotionally with her it from a larger story, clearing it from any confather, and literally close with Melodie. The text other than its own. We wondered if it was loss of John will leave something he found a permanent empti- The evening gathering had taken on comfort in following ness in the lives of his own motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s those who loved him; a life of its ownâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;like an impromptu death 30 years before. weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve come to real- after-work excursion now woven into For whatever reason ize a kind of sadness these words about the fabric of our daily lives. and longing that we a Jewish Holocaust always knew would survivor earned a reach us, but wished to hold at bay for a little place in the shoebox, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never know for longer. Still, there was grief but not bitterness, sure. But I imagine weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll think of them in the loss but not injustice. The world was harder, decades ahead, when we look back on this lonelier than weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d known, but not brutal. year, at our little corner on San Marin Drive. In the hours after Melodie Osheroff died, one of those curbside trafďŹ c-accident memoâ&#x20AC;&#x153;I did not catch his name. And if I had, rials began to shape. People left bouquets and I would have forgotten it by now. But I will neighbors gathered. Television crews vultured never forget the words or the face of that Jewish San Marin Drive, enticing people who wanted survivor of Auschwitz who returned there last to be on TV. Many got their wish. Over the weekend. next few days, and into weeks, the corner He had been a child when he was taken to of San Marin and San Carlos became the Auschwitz. He had watched his mother go to the community gathering place that Novato has gas chambers. always lacked. There were tears and quiet He broke down in tears as he remembered it. contemplations about Melodieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stolen life. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I want so much to speak to her,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. Drivers slowed in respect of the memorial, And then he added: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;And I will, I will.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and to peek at the scene of the crime. Does not such simple faith and such abiding Eventually the tears lessened, but the love uplift all mankind?â&#x20AC;? < people didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Night after night, mothers Write to Jason at jwalsh@paciďŹ csun.com.

$PSOFSTPVMT â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I did not catch his name... but I will never forget the words...â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

%

CZ+BTP

eath stopped at our doorstep twice this past year; it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ring the bell, it just walked right in. In autumn, my father-in-lawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rather sudden and unexpected passing left us stunned and heartbroken. He was 75. John Charles DronďŹ eld didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t meet his fate at the hands of the Luftwaffe, whose Messerschmitts rained incendiaries down on industrial ShefďŹ eld, England, in the winter of 1941 when he was a boy. Rather it was a seemingly insigniďŹ cant cut to his toe from a gardening injuryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;how typically Britishâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which turned out to be indicative of a circulatory problem that led to a stroke, and soon to the scattering of his ashes near the peaceful civil parish of BradďŹ eld last October. Then about a half year later, on May 27, a quiet evening at our house in Novato had its stillness shattered by a screeching motorcycle peel-out on San Marin Drive that lasted several seconds too long to have been anything but tragic. Neighbors raced out to survey the damage and directly in front of our place lay a moaning middle-aged man named Edward Schaefer; about 30 yards ahead of him was his Harley. As my wife knelt by him he asked her, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are they alright? Please, please tell me theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re alright...â&#x20AC;? She didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know it, but he was referring to the father and daughter lying in the intersection a half block away whom heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d slammed into with 600 pounds of metal and

E49G 94 < E 0OF%BZ0OMZ '3&&"%.*44*0/ 'SJEBZÂ&#x2026;/07

BNQN +FXFMSZ)2VJMUT -JHIU)PVTFT)$FSBNJDT (JGU#BTLFUT)$BOEMFT 0SOBNFOUT),OJU*UFNT 8PPE$BSWJOHT )BOE1BJOUFE(MBTT )PMJEBZ%FDPSBUJPOT %FDPSBUFE9NBT5SFTT #JSE)PVTFT $BGF#BLFE(PPET

'PS.PSF*OGP$BMM PS 

4BO3BGBFM $PNNVOJUZ$FOUFS #4U4BO3BGBFM  4QPOTPSFECZ4BO3BGBFM(PMEFOBSJFT 4FOJPS$JUJ[FO0SHBOJ[BUJPO OCTOBER 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NOVEMBER 5, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 17


Pacific Sun 10.30.2009 - Section 1