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DECEMBER 18 - DECEMBER 24, 2009

MARiN’S BEST EVERY WEEK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Why am I spending 30 bucks to listen to a song called ‘Aria of Wondrous Elixir’? [SEE PAGE 21]

Upfront

All in Good Taste

Music

Grand jury’s shocking energy advice… 9

Eat local for the holidays!

Narada Claus is comin’ to town

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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

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›› STAFF ‘Hurt’ so good: Local critics honor incendiary IED drama. Newsgrams, p. 8. 7 8 9 13 14 22 24 27 28 29 30 31 32 35 37 38

Letters Upfront Behind the Sun/Trivia CafĂŠ/ Heroes & Zeros That TV Guy Holidays in the Sun Open Homes Food All in Good Taste Music Talking Pictures Film Movies Sundial ClassiďŹ eds Horoscope Advice Goddess

PUBLISHER - Sam Chapman (x315) 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) 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)

›› ON THE COVER

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)

Design Beth Allen

ADMINISTRATION Business Administrator: Cynthia Nguyen (x331) Administrative Assistant: Elisa Keiper (x301) Circulation Manager: Bob Lampkin (x340)

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.

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›› LETTERS All you need is love I am greatly disturbed by the folks who are so upset about two Disney princesses dancing on the cover [Oct. 23]. Get over it. We have such fine “family values” in our country— where education and healthcare and plain common sense all need to have a bake sale to find funding, while most of our tax dollars go to war and killing people. We are bankrupt—economically and morally. You know what Jesus would do, and it is not fearing, hating or killing. If you are not about love and kindness, or washing another’s feet, then you really should look to see how far what you profess is from the reality of the master and how he lived. Love is what matters. Period. Sierra Salin, Fairfax

Here comes the sun With last week’s international climate conference in Copenhagen, the world’s attention is focused on global warming and the resulting coastal flooding and extreme weather patterns. An article in the respected World Watch magazine suggests that most manmade greenhouse gases responsible for global warming are emitted, not from industrial smokestacks or car exhausts, but from meat and dairy production. Chief greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate feed crop, factory farm and slaughterhouse machinery, trucks and refrigeration equipment. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged

from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively. Whatever the 190 nations’ representatives decide in Copenhagen, each of us can help reduce global warming three times a day. Our local supermarket stocks a rich variety of soybased lunch “meats,” hot dogs, veggie burgers, dairy products and ready-to-eat frozen dinners, as well as a vast cornucopia of more traditional fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Patrick Sullivan, Mill Valley

Dig a pony The Christmas season is in full swing, and PETA is asking revelers to spread goodwill to animals by keeping them out of their holiday plans. Here are the top five reasons to skip reindeer photo ops, horse-drawn car- Horses and other large animals riage rides and liv- are simply ill-equipped for a life ing Nativity scenes: of public performance. It’s not uncommon for animals used in holiday displays to be sent to slaughter when the season is over. Congested streets and mall parking lots are no place for horses. Horses and humans alike have been seriously hurt—some fatally— when horses have been spooked by an unexpected noise and run amok. Reindeer can transmit numerous diseases to humans, including anthrax, salmonellosis, rabies and ringworm. Constantly being exposed to public interaction often leaves animals stressed and fearful. Over the years, animals in holiday displays

›› TOWNSQUARE

TOP POSTINGS THIS WEEK

Napa Wine Train to receive $54 million of Stimulus Money Sen. John McCain said that it was “silly and shortsighted” to fund this flood control project on the Napa river for a tourist wine train. He has put this project on the list Upfront: 24 hour party people If the Republican Party has been the “party of no,” the Democratic community organizing effort has been the party of “can we talk?” (to paraphrase a Joan Rivers line). Read... What happened to Merry Christmas In my line of business, I meet a lot of Marinites all year long. I’m amazed at how few are willing to to say “Merry Christmas”. Even when I say it, they come back with Happy H...

Your soapbox is waiting at ›› pacificsun.com have snapped and made a break for it, and they have paid with their lives after being hit by cars or dying from shock. Understaffed and overburdened animal control departments don’t have the resources to monitor these displays and enforce compliance with anti-cruelty laws. This Christmas, give animals the best gift of all by refusing to support these kinds of exploitative displays. Peace and goodwill to all. Jennifer O’Connor Animals in Entertainment Campaign, PETA

Baby, you’re a rich man God wants us to love one another with no strings attached. Even the unloved, the unwanted and the unneeded. If you are rich you want to go to heaven— and you don’t want your in-laws wishing you were dead before your time so they could get at all your money. Or when you do die, you do without honor, for being greedy all your life. But you can do something good with your money, like helping those who are really in need. Give away all the money you don’t need to the poor. If you do, even after 100 years have passed when you are dead and gone, people will still say good things about you—and look up to you and God’s light will live through your good work. For years to come. Robbie Willis, San Rafael

Nowhere man I’m writing in regard to David Templeton’s story about how adults found the truth out about Santa [“Santa—The Whole Shocking Story,” Dec. 11]. The past few years much has been written and broadcast about the Norman Rockwell’s 1939 Post commercialization cover, ‘Extra Good Boys and sold in 2007 for over $2 of Christmas and Girls,’ million. Now that’s what we the danger of de- call a true believer. luding children by allowing them to believe in Santa Claus (as if we could stop them). People say that they don’t believe in Santa

because you can’t see him and he does impossible things. Well, then perhaps people should not believe in God because you can’t see him and he does impossible things. I, for one, do believe in Santa Claus for the following reasons: He is happy and jolly and he likes red, which makes a cold December brighter. He is kind to animals because when I leave treats for his reindeer they are always eaten, even if they are “sweets.” He is able to fly around the world far faster than the speed of light and go down chimneys much smaller than his belly. I believe in Santa because he never worries about whether you are poor or rich, black or white, yellow or tan, or Jewish or Christian, or Buddhist or Muslim or Shinto or atheist or agnostic or young or old, just as long as you believe. He never mentions dieting; in fact, he believes in sugarplums and often gives sweets. He cares only about surprise, and giving and loving and never once has asked for anything in return, except that we try to be good. He thinks it is fun to laugh. “Ho, ho, ho.” I believe in Santa because his mode of transport does not pollute our air. I believe in Santa because he offers hope and one may anticipate for 364 days of the year. One can ask him for anything—a toy, a car, world peace, true love and he never says “no.” He teaches me “if one Christmas is a flop, even Santa makes mistakes and it is wrong for me to ask the impossible of a ‘quite jolly old elf.’” He teaches children the joy of receiving and as they grow older the “good” boys and girls become the givers because they want to give joy to others and make them as happy as they were when Santa gave to them. He taught me when I was very young that believing makes it true and so I learned that Santa Claus is real because the little known “clause” in Claus is this: When you figure it all out and stop believing in him in your immature, childhood way, you must become him and then forever and ever, and for all time he is as real as real can be. Ruth W. Scott, Mill Valley

Put your stamp on the letters to the editor at ›› pacificsun.com DECEMBER 18 – DECEMBER 24, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 7

›› UPFRONT

Runaway grand jury? Clean energy proponents hear voice of PG&E in scathing grand jury report by Pe te r Se i d m an

T

he title of the recent grand jury report about Marin Clean Energy leaves little doubt as to the intentions of the grand jurors. The title: “Pull the Plug.” Far from being a rational piece of reasoned investigation, the report is neither accurate nor fair, say Marin Clean Energy proponents. County Supervisor Charles McGlashan, who also is chairman of the Marin Energy Authority board, puts it bluntly: “I’m not surprised at all. I could tell from the orientation of the members and the types of questions raised that it was going to end up being a hit job.” Ed Mainland, a member of Sustainable Novato and a longtime participant in Marin’s sustainability movement, says he sees the fingerprint of PG&E. “The grand jury report is sort of a mini-scrapbook cut and paste job from PG&E talking points.” Novato, Corte Madera and Larkspur are the only cities that have declined to become members of the Marin Energy Authority, a joint powers agency. PG&E has spent serious time and money trying to quash attempts across the state to form local power agencies under a state program that allows what’s called community choice aggregation. The Marin Energy Authority formed in December 2008. It isn’t the first of its kind in the state. The San Joaquin Valley Power Authority paved a trail for other entities in the state interested in creating public power agencies. When news broke that San Joaquin was suspending its efforts to break away from PG&E, opponents of public power said the experience should be a cautionary tale for Marin.

But, say Marin Clean Energy proponents, rather than act as a cautionary tale about energy markets and public power, the San Joaquin story actually is a cautionary tale about the tactics PG&E has been using to block public power plans. After the state law passed in 2002 that allows cities and counties to form their own public power agencies, the San Joaquin agency, which comprises 12 jurisdictions in the Central Valley, was out in front of the pack. “San Joaquin started the request for proposals process in November of 2007,” says Dawn Weisz, a Marin County sustainability planner and interim director of the Marin Energy Authority, “and they had locked in a deal with one supplier in January 2008.” But before it could start to provide power, PG&E pressured the agency to sign an agreement that would have allowed the cities and towns in the agency to be responsible for any debts and liabilities of the authority’s programs. And that, says Weisz, “is contrary to state law.” The utility raised the issue before the California Public Utilities Commission, which resulted in a six-month delay in implementing the public power contract with an energy supplier. The utilities commission ruled in favor of the San Joaquin agency. PG&E filed an appeal, which caused another delay. By the end of that process, the energy market “had changed dramatically,” says Weisz. San Joaquin, however, is taking another crack at local energy. That kind of blocking tactic was seen in Marin when PG&E offered Novato a special 10 > deal if the city would turn its back on

›› NEWSGRAMS Metallica frontman donates land James Hetfield, vocalist for Metallica, has donated 330 acres of his property overlooking Lucas Valley to Marin County for agricultural preservation. Previously, Hetfield donated more than 400 acres to the county for open space. The county is also in talks with Hetfield about an estimated $200,000 project to reroute the Luiz Ranch Fire Trail on his property, which is currently obstructed by a fence. In September, Metallica played a sold-out benefit concert for the Marin History Museum, which received approval this week from the San Rafael Planning Commission to operate its Marin Rocks rock ‘n’ roll exhibit at 850 Fourth St. in downtown San Rafael. —Samantha Campos Local film critics honor ‘Hurt Locker’ The Hurt Locker has been named best picture of 2009 by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, a collective of film writers from such Bay Area publications as the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Palo Alto Weekly, among others. The critics’ group also named Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow as the year’s best director. Other honorees include Colin Firth as best actor in A Single Man and Meryl Streep for her portrayal of Julia Child in Julie & Julia. Other awards went to Christian McKay for his supporting performance in Me and Orson Welles; Mo’Nique for supporting actress in Precious; Coraline for best animated feature; Quentin Tarantino for his original screenplay to Inglourious Basterds; Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach for their adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox; and Roger Deakins for cinematography in A Serious Man. Rounding out the awards were You, the Living for foreign language film and Anvil! The Story of Anvil as best documentary.—Jason Walsh Point Reyes oyster farm fined for clams Drakes Bay Oyster Co. received a $61,250 fine from the California Coastal Commission for cultivating clams within a harbor seal protection area. Kevin Lunny, owner of the controversial Point Reyes oyster farm, said the clams were placed in the area mistakenly, due to faulty navigational equipment. Confusion about placement started in 1993, when the former Johnson’s Oyster Co. applied to the state Fish and Game Commission for permission to grow clams in a 1,000-plus-acre section of the bay—the commission granted a permit for a 1-acre parcel designated for scallop production, so Johnson’s grew the clams in the larger area. When Lunny took over operations in 2005, the farm continued clam production in the area and while he petitioned the commission to change the designation, an inspector ordered the farm to move the clams—which is when, Lunny said, the bivalves were erroneously placed using Fish and Game coordinates. —SC Shorts... The 142 Throckmorton Theatre has begun its “New 142” fundraising campaign with the help of an anonymous donor who has offered to match up to $50,000 in donations from the community through the end of December 2009. For more info, call 415/383-9611 or visit online at www.142ThrockmortonTheatre.org...Thirty county employees have volunteered to retire early in exchange for a $25,000 bonus. The elimination of the 30 positions, effective March 31, 2010, is expected to save the county $3.1 million annually. —SC EXTRA! EXTRA! Post your Marin news at ›› pacificsun.com

8 PACIFIC SUN DECEMBER 18 - DECEMBER 24, 2009

›› BEHiND THE SUN

From the Sun vaults, December 15 - 21, 1989

›› TRiViA CAFÉ

Lost in the supermarket music

1. “The more self-centered and egotistical a guy is, the better ballplayer he’s going to be,” is attributed to this athlete who attended Terra Linda High School in the 1960s, pitched for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and was known as “Spaceman” due to his outrageous behavior. Who is he? 2. Which plant, common around Christmas time, contains poisonous berries that should not be eaten? 3. Our paper money has this formula: 75 percent material A, and 25 percent material B. What are A and B? 4. Based on the music of rock band Queen, this musical opened in London’s West End in 2002, and is being produced in many countries of the world as we speak. What’s the title? 5a. The fall of the 800-year-old Roman Empire was hastened by the #5 Sack of Rome on August 24, 410, when the city was conquered by Alaric I, leader of what barbarian East Germanic tribes? 5b. What form of art and architecture is inspired by these tribes? 5c. In what century was this French miniature painting of the Sack of Rome created? 6. In 1966-67, this man rented the top two floors of the Desert Inn, refused to check out, purchased the hotel and was left in peace. Who was he? 7. What does it mean to “86” someone or something? Give a few answers. What’s the origin? 8. U.S. President Johnson, his wife and two daughters were all known as LBJ. Name them all. 9. What country of the world has the second largest number of Internet users? (total, not per capita) 10. Millions of sports fanatics join fantasy leagues and get points based on the accomplishments of their dream team. What is a tasty name for these sports leagues?

Marin—Live at the Acropolis! by Jason Wals h

Discuss ‘Yanni Live at the Acropolis’ with Jason at jwalsh@pacificsun.com

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

BONUS: Two years before his death in 1998, Frank Sinatra’s daughter Nancy asks her father what he wants for Christmas, and Frank replies,“Another...” what? 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.

Answers on page 35



▲ MB of Corte Madera alerted us ▼ Another reader complained

to a group of strangers who helped her family earlier this month. One day, while MB’s son was walking their dog on Tamal Vista Boulevard, a car swerved into the dog—which, spooked, ran away. Witnessing the hit-and-run, Mary Connolly and her daughter Kelsey ran after the pooch for several blocks and, even though the dog was in shock and growling at them, they were able to lead MB to her. Then helpful passerby Quail Baez gave them her leash and a blanket so they could secure the injured canine and get her to emergency care, while samaritan Leslie Jacobs comforted MB’s son and called ahead to the vet.

ZERO

noted Workman. “And our people need this music for personal growth.” Some of the genre’s biggest fans, he said, were investment bankers, doctors and real estate brokers. North Bay New Age record producer Neil Sapper cautioned, however, that too much success could be a “killer” for the new style. “We don’t want to be like the other guys,” Sapper said, referring to the kind of catchy, enjoyable songs often heard on the airwaves. “I mean, radio was dying a couple of years ago because it had grown so stale, with fformats that were afraid to b be adventurous.” And any sstyle willing to encompass 330-minute-long sequencer rruns in songs about faeriies with lyrics written in SSanskrit was nothing if n not adventurous. But whatever you do, w warned Sausalito New A Age record producer Terrrence Yallop, don’t call it “N “New Age.” “We all in some way dislike th the term New Age,” yelped Y Yallop. “The music is now rreaching beyond the crossllegged incense burners or m metaphysical explorers who w were initially interested in it.” M More popular descriptions circu culating among New Age musiccians at the time included “adult ccontemporary,” “contemporary iinstrumental” and “adult conttemporary instrumental.” Whatever they called it, the soothing sounds of the Pacific Ocean at high tide set against the sustained drone of John Tesh’s polyphonic synth pad was definitely Marin’s new rock ’n’ roll. It certainly was for the emerging KKSF radio station in San Francisco, anyway, “where New Age recording artists like Yanni and Patrick O’Hearn are sandwiched between harder acts like Tracy Chapman and David Sanborn,” station music director Nick Francis said with no hint of irony. “When you’re in the Top 10 for adults age 25 to 54 you’re in a very enviable position,” said Francis. “What we play is contemporary instrumental music that has mass appeal with the same aspects that a regular pop song would have.” Added Francis: “Although if you can dance to it, we probably won’t play it.” <

HERO

20

Marin music lovers had finally become adult contemporaries 20 years ago this week. years ago It was December of 1989 and popular music was in a state of alarming transition. Punk was dead, James Brown was in prison and Ice Cube had left N.W.A. So Marin County music makers seized the opportunity to single-handedly reinvigorate American popular music—by stripping it of all its energy, immediacy and excitement. Marin, according to music producer Lloyd Barde, had become the unofficial “mecca of the New Age music market.” “Critics call it yuppie Muzak, the sounds of Sominex, or elevator music for the ’90s,” wrote Pacific Sun staff reporter Greg Cahill in his story “Bay Area Boom in New Age Music.” “But for a growing number of Marin businesses, it has the sweet sound of success.” And sweet it was. New Age music first meandered into America’s subconscious in the mid-1960s, mostly as mood music for Zen meditation. But the new genre really came of age, as it were, in the 1970s and ’80s as already semi-dormant jazz and experimental rock bands like the Pat Metheny Group, Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd lapsed even further into the Land of Nod with quirky electronic burps and tape-looped animal noises—and sold a ton of records in the progressive-pop process. Soon, a thousand ethereal synth bands were born—most of which, it turned out, were from Marin. Such local New Age acts as Ray Lynch, the Turtle Island String Quartet, Denny Zeitlin, Constance Demby, Jim Chappell, Steven Halpern and Montreaux were just the tip of the iceberg lettuce on the Marin supermarket music scene. Following two decades of antiestablishment rocking, it appeared, the baby boomers just wanted to relax. After a youth with middle fingers raised valiantly at the face of unchecked materialism and establishment corruption, Marin hands were now locked in collective shuni mudra. Marin, in fact, was the logical place to become the epicenter of the movement, record company consultant Geoffrey Workman told the Sun. “We live in a very affluent county,”

by Howard Rachelson

recently of using a coupon mailer from a local salon for a “mini-facial,” which she said specifically stated the inclusion of a professional “deep pore extraction.” But after waiting 20 minutes, she opined, the facial was nothing but superficial moisturizers. When questioned, the salon aesthetician said the ad was a “mistake”— despite our reader having seen the same advertisement displayed for months. In conclusion, our reader laments her time wasted—and her poor passed-over pores persist plugged and pullulating. Um, ew. —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 DECEMBER 18 - DECEMBER 24, 2009 PACIFIC SUN 9

›› UPFRONT

Originally called “The Taxpayers Right to Vote Act,” it is a constitutional amendment that mandates a two-thirds vote in any jurisdiction that seeks to create a public power agency and break away from an existing utility power grid. It also would require an agency like Marin Clean Energy to garner a two-thirds vote in a proposed new expansion area, as well as hold a separate election in the existing service area. In other words, before expanding, a public power agency would need a two-thirds vote from its entire customer base. Proponents of community choice power agencies say it is a blatant attempt to use the almost insurmountable two-thirds rule to effectively block local power. The timing of the grand jury report comes as the Marin Energy Authority is nearing a Feb. 4 vote that will decide whether it accepts a contract with an energy wholesaler. McGlashan and others say the report was the subject of a suspicious leak. It seems PG&E had a copy of the report before the grand jury released the document. An e-mail from a Mill Valley resident to members of the Mill Valley City Council says the resident received the report Dec. 4 from David Rubin, PG&E’s director of service analysis. The report was released to the public Dec. 7, although it’s dated Dec. 2. That early release by the PG&E representative is illegal. McGlashan filed a formal complaint with the county district attorney. The allegation that the grand jury report is slanted in favor of PG&E also rests on a serious omission. Among the findings in the

< 8 Runaway grand jury? the Marin Clean Energy proposal and stick with PG&E. That violates state law, and PG&E had to back away from the proposal. Those kinds of shenanigans fall in stark contrast to the grand jury report, which says the effort to pursue Marin Clean Energy should be abandoned in an attempt to work with “local foundations, federal, state and local agencies and PG&E to foster cooperation.” That seems odd to proponents of Marin Clean Energy, who tried for months to work with PG&E to arrive at a plan that would meet the clean energy requirements of the new local power agency. “We worked very closely in many meetings with PG&E to find a way that they could meet the local goals around renewable energy,” says Weisz, “and they ultimately cut off those discussions in April of this year, after we had spent a lot of time trying to craft something. They were unwilling to put anything on paper that we had worked on over a four-month period. And after that, they were reprimanded by the California Public Utilities Commission for the [special] offer they had put on paper” in Novato. The suggestion that PG&E would be willing to engage in a cooperative effort with local power agencies seems even stranger in light of the ballot measure the utility company is working on. PG&E is behind a measure aimed at the June 2010 ballot that some say would kill public power in the state if voters approve it.

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less than the investor-owned utilities and are governed by elected boards.â&#x20AC;? Under the Marin Clean Energy program, customers who choose not to opt out would automatically purchase electricity generated from sources that are 25 percent greenhouse-gas-free. Customers who choose to pay a relatively small surcharge would purchase 100 percent clean energy. The clean-energy proposal will give current PG&E customers multiple opportunities to opt out of the green program and stick with PG&E, which will continue to transmit electricity to all customers. (Keep in mind that all energy is pooled. But think of the energy grid as a pond. The energy that customers pay for through Marin Clean Energy is generated from clean sources, which helps ďŹ ll the pond with clean energy, displacing dirty energy that would have been there had customers not signed up with Clean Energy.) PG&E currently provides about 15 percent clean energy to its customers and is under state mandate to increase that to 20 percent in 2010. But the utility already has ďŹ led for and received a waiver from the state because it will not meet that target until after the deadline. Marin Clean Energy would, out of the gate, supply its customers with a minimum of 25 percent clean energy and, notes Mainland, that the goal is to be 100 percent renewable, leapfrogging the PG&E state-mandated target. The grand jury suggests that the county and its cities seek to improve current clean energy programs rather than embark on Marin Clean Energy. But, says Weisz, those programs cost

taxpayer money that comes out of general funds. Ratepayers fund Marin Clean Energy. In addition, the grand juryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recommendation that the county should work with PG&E to create clean energy programs rather than launch local initiatives is belied by a new report. The UCLA Environmental Law Center and the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at the University of California this month released a report titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Our Backyard: How to Increase Renewable Energy Production on Big Buildings and Other Local Spaces.â&#x20AC;? Although Marin may not have a plethora of big buildings, and the open space it does have may pose challenges for renewable energy production, the county still has ample opportunity to promote local clean energy production by local companies. The number of solar installers currently working in the county proves the possibilities. Not to mention other forms of production. A key ďŹ nding in the UC report: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Decentralized renewable energy generation represents the single most immediate and feasible means to produce renewable energy at a broad scale without reliance on long-distance transmission lines, some of which have yet to be built.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what sustainability and clean energy proponents in Marin have been saying for years. <

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FRIDAY, DEC. 18 Supernanny This week’s family has four children under the age of 5. Both parents are already working full-time, but we’re guessing they would increase their hours if they could. ABC. 8pm. Frosty Returns And this time, it’s personal. CBS. 8:30pm. The Top 40 Videos of 2009 These are just music videos. But we’re sure the Tiger Woods Collection will be available as a box set any day now. VH1. 9pm. Where the Heart Is A pregnant teen is abandoned at an Oklahoma Wal-Mart. We imagine Wal-Marts in Oklahoma have a whole section for that. Aisle 7, we’ve been told. (2000) CMTV. 9pm.

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TUESDAY, DEC. 22 The Biggest Loser This is the “Where are they now?” episode.We’d check the nearest Sizzler. NBC. 8pm. Freddy vs. Jason Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th series face off. SATURDAY, DEC. 19 The desperados spy their next victim, It just seems this would The Wizard of Oz Trans- Saturday at 7. be better handled in an ported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she American Idol format. (2003) SyFy. 8pm. meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again. (1939) TBS. 7pm. WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23 Footloose Kevin Holiday on Ice, Las Vegas Style If it were Bacon plays a high school boy from the city truly “Las Vegas Style,” the ice would be in who moves to a rural community where the the drinks. And the skaters would be naked. townsfolk have banned dancing. Once you KICU Channel 36. 9pm. get a taste of Bacon’s particular brand of Ghost Intervention This “boo” thing really dancing, you’ll see why. (1984) VH1. 9pm. isn’t really working for you anymore. The Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura Learning Channel. 9pm. If you’re the kind of person who follows Jesse Ventura’s conspiracy theories, you’ve probably already disconnected the SUNDAY, DEC. 20 Survivor: Samoa Is it fitting or ironic that the contestants are ending cable to stop the CIA from reading your thoughts. TruTV. 9pm. their long dysfunctional sojourn about the same time your family arrives for the holidays? CBS. 8pm. THURSDAY, DEC. 24 Two Weeks in Hell And Casper’s Haunted this is just Green Beret Christmas The Friendly training. They don’t even Ghost learns a disaphave to argue about who pointing lesson about Mom loves more. DiscovChristmas: Dead kids ery Channel. 8pm. don’t get presents. (2000) Christmas in WashCartoon Network. 7pm. ington 2009 With Dick Disney’s Prep & LandCheney back in Wyoming, ing Apparently Santa has the Grinch will be played a team of elves who do this year by Joe Lieberthe advance work, sneakman. TNT. 8pm. ing into your home to get things ready and giving you another reason to MONDAY, DEC. 21 put a lock on your liquor I Want a Dog for Christcabinet. ABC. 8pm. mas, Charlie Brown A Christmas Story Every Rerun celebrates Christyear TNT offers a solid 25 mas with Snoopy and his hours of back-to-back canine companion, Spike, Dancing’s not the only thing they should’ve screenings. By the eighth because nothing says banned. Wednesday, 9pm. more about the meaning of Christmas than showing, you’ll be rooting for him to turn the a lonely child hanging out with a pair of gun on his family. (1984) TBS. 8pm. anthropomorphic canine siblings separated A Miser Brothers’Christmas After a sleigh since infancy when they were sold for profit. accident,the Heat Miser and the Cold Miser have to take over for Santa,providing the Heat ABC. 8pm. Miser a chance to drop in on Donald Trump Who Was Jesus? This episode explores the years from his birth into early adulthood. and get his hair back.ABC Family.10pm. < What did he do before the savior thing Critique That TV Guy at letters@pacificsun.com kicked in at 30? Is there a training program for saviors? Grad school? Did he have roomTurn on more TV Guy at mates? Discovery Channel. 9pm. ›› pacificsun.com

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The Pacific Sun’s annual Freeway Fiction contest— short, pithy stories composed while commuting—is revving up again. In honor of Highway 101, these fictional nuggets must be exactly 101 words long. Although the story length is constrained, the subject matter is not—let your imagination soar as you conjure up situations, characters, action. Once you arrive at your home or office, put your road words down on paper (or Word doc as the case may be), slap on an appropriate title (titles don’t count as part of the 101 words) and send us your story. We’ll publish the best ones. All entries must be typed and include your name, address and phone number.

E-mail entries to letters@pacificsun.com Or Mail to: Freeway Fiction c/o Pacific Sun 835 Fourth St. Suite B San Rafael, CA 94901

Deadline for entries Thursday, December 31

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Marin Food Bank: marinfoodbank.org, 415/883-1302 Ritter Center: rittercenter.org, 415/457-8182 St. Vincent de Paul vinnies.org, 415/454-3303 Salvation Army, satruck.org Performing Stars of Marin performingstars.org, 415/332-8316 Holiday Toy Drive Admission is free to a basketball doubleheader Sat., Dec. 19 (San Rafael High vs. Albany at 5:30, Dominican vs. Holy Names at 7:30), at Dominican University’s Conlan Center with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy for the Ross Valley fire and police departments’ toy drive. <

H

ow deep is need for some Marin families and individuals, old and young alike, in in operation. this holiday season—a season mired in a deep recession? Dianna Garcia of the SalvaPhil Lastreto, associate director of the Marin Community Food Bank, recently tion Army says thanks to thee received this call: A woman said that over the years she had been a contributor to the food bank, Marine Corps Toys for Tots her but now she was forced to ask a question for which she apologized profusely before asking— organization will be able to prowould it be possible for her family to get food from one of the food bank pantries? Lastreto vide thousands of toys for children. assured her she would be more than welcome to do so because that’s what the food was for— Plus, the traditional bell ringers rs outside of retail stores are bringing in money. money Also, Also the Christmas people in need. trees with tags on them in the Marin malls and elsewhere contain names of children and the toys There have been similar calls, Lastreto says. It’s the first time he can remember anything they want—and that can add much to a family’s holidays. But, she added, the Salvation Army still like them. needs many essential things such as coats, shoes, blankets and sleeping bags. The sleeping bags on we are in knows no season; it has hit hard in Marin ava The deep economic recession and blankets are for the homeless who can find no available shelter in Marin since most are hroughout this year. But perhaps as well as across the country throughout overcrowded already, she said. What is really heartbrea heartbreaking, she said, are families who come nced than during the holidays bee cut off for lack of payment. There is at no time is it more pronounced for help with the utility bills since their power has been o happier things, to hope. For when thoughts should turn to not much her organization can do about that she ssaid; “it’s really tragic.” 5 many in Marin that will not be the case due to the tremenThe toys will be assembled and organized at 5470 Nave Drive, then on Dec. 21, will es and individuals for some kind dous needs of so many families be distributed at drive-through pickup locatio locations to families who have previously p them make it through the next of relief—relief to simply help sent a card asking for help. ief agencies, in fact, report need is up weeks and months. Marin relief Marin City’s Performing Stars of M Marin is also feeling the effects of the nt for such things as clothes, food, anywhere from 30 to 70 percent recession. Executive Director Feleci Felecia Gaston said the organization is wo for children. In one of the naC shelter—or perhaps a toy or two holding its 12th annual Holiday Celebration and Toy Drive from 10am Manzanit Recreation Center in Marin City. tion’s wealthiest counties, the economic bottom has fallen out to 3pm Dec. 23 at the Manzanita ive director of the Ritter Cenfor many. Diane Linn, executive While donations will be glad gladly accepted, Performing Stars is also ter, which provides numerous year-round services for the looking for unwrapped toys for infants and kids up to 11 years economically disadvantaged, said she has seen “a marked old, gift cards for children 12 to 16, and arts and crafts projects. increase” in people in need off help. “These are people who Also needed are used telephon telephone books, Christmas cards, yarn and never thought they would be accessing these kinds of serused CDs or DVDs. vices—then they lost their job and car and house and are Respecting Our Elders is a Marin group that helps to provide househo of seniors in affordable houstrying to keep it together.” food for up to 1,500 households rns her the Linn said that what concerns ing every week. Ruth Schwar Schwartz and her husband, Curt Kinkead, most is that when the holidays founded the program a few years ays are over ye ago. Simply put, what they do ter digs and the lights go dark and winter is get food from such places as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, in, those in need who have been Schwartz said, and distribute it to people just above the poverty helped in the last month or line. These folks are not eligible for government assistan and are forced to choose each so will be forgotten even assistance mon whether to get needed medicathough their needs will remonth tio pay the rent or buy food. The promain. “It is in the dead of tion, n g winter, after Christmas, when gram, she says, allows them some relief hing,” i not having to make such imposwe run low on food and clothing,” in she said. sible decisions. Sometimes homeless Christine Paquette, directorr of developpersons show up for a meal, some ays her organization ment for St. Vincent de Paul, says bringing extra food when they can. that helps to feed those in need, is looking for meat—fresh, froShe says the need for such services as been ample giving by Marin zen or canned. She says there has as she and her husband provide ment are somewhat stable. But the dinresidents and things at the moment is “absolutely greater” than it has ing room where free meals are dispensed has 30 percent more people been in the past. She says her orgat. Also, she added, “We can always use ni in need of food than in the past. nization also provides “open food” days Would you say no sh vegetables,” as well as fruit. She said coats, always will take garden fresh at loca locations in Hamilton and in San Rafael to this guy? ttuce because “we have a nice salad what they particularly need is lettuce where food is given out, especially bread—of which there o go. go.”” Plus, she added, the organibar that is always the first thing to always seems to be a surplus. < ations, which is what keeps them zation is always looking for donations, Contact Don at dfordonny@yahoo.com 14 PACIFIC SUN DECEMBER 18 - DECEMBER 24

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Give the Gift that Gives Back

an EVO SPA Gift Card For all gift cards purchased in December, a percentage of the proďŹ t will be donated to the Marin Food Bank. Help feed people in our community in need.

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L

by Pat F usco

ast minute shoppers are in during her 50-year career. This beautifully luck when it comes to selecting produced little book is an argument for takgifts for people infatuated with ing great care of oneself by dining properly food and wine. From ďŹ ne books to vittles, se- as a singleton, using the best ingredients and lections abound around Marin for these ďŹ nal always enjoying every meal...The largest and days of the seasonal shopping rush. Fortu- costliest book on the list is My New Orleans: nately, most of the ones Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve chosen to write The Cookbook (Andrews McMeel, $45) about are available in smaller venues, a deďŹ - by chef John Besh. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no impartiality nite plus: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less stressful here: I love NOLA and its to avoid giant stores and food and Besh is one of malls, and the dollars go my heroes. This collection to independent merchants of memoir, history (with who are neighbors. priceless vintage photos), Local bookstores know food talk and 200 recipes their demographics and is a very singular take on stock wide assortments a unique American cuiof cookbooks. This year sine. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a look into everyone has seen or read how the city and its people about Thomas Kellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ad survived Katrina and the Hoc at Home or David aftermath. (A portion of Changâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Momofuku; I recproceeds from sales will go ommend a few less exalted to a youth service program suggestions. Italy remains in the ďŹ elds of hospitality friends will be jacked when they open a favorite inspiration in Your and restaurants.)...A poptheir Cowgirl Creamery cheese board. our kitchens. Those who ular guide, Hugh Johnwatch Lidia Bastianich on sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pocket Wine Book her PBS food showâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;part travelogue, part 2010 (Mitchell Beazley, $14.99) covers 6,000 instructionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;know she is free of ego-driven wines with a supplement on South America; showmanship, a cook who revels in her sub- handy, extraordinarily thorough. ject. Her newest work is Lidia Cooks from the No broad discussion of wines here, but a Heart of Italy (Knopf, $35), covering lesser- few ideas from a nearby source. Dessert wines known regions where she learned from cook- from Quady Winery in Madera are ďŹ ne ways ing with ordinary people, then shared their to end feasts: Essensiaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Muscat wine with recipes. Irresistible. Another Italian choice is ďŹ&#x201A;oral peachy overtonesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Elysium from Giuliano Hazanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thirty Minute Pasta: 100 black Muscats, berry-like, good with cheeses. Quick and Easy Recipes (Stewart, Tabori & Quady recently introduced artisanal verChang, $27.50), more exciting than it sounds. mouthsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Palomino Fino, with amontilladoThe son of Marcella Hazan, doyenne of Ital- like ďŹ&#x201A;avor, and Purple, good aperitifs. ian cooking in America, he teaches here and Kitchen goods: chef Eric Ripert (Le Berin Italy and his expertise on countless uses of nardin) delighted me with his practical holipasta is impressive. The book has an excellent day gift nomination in a slick magazine: the glossary on types, shapes and uses; there are Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven ($179 lots of vegetarian and kid-friendly recipes, all regular retail, â&#x20AC;&#x153;a very efďŹ cient, overlooked apwith concise instructions...Speaking of veg- plianceâ&#x20AC;?)...Marche aux Fleurs in Ross is selletarians, any of them should appreciate Love ing housemade pickles and preserves in rustic Soup, by Anna Thomas (Norton, $22.95). baskets ($25 for one, $45 for two)...Cowgirl One of the ďŹ rst writers to take vegetarian Creamery carries cheese boards made from recipes to a sophisticated level back in the salvaged hardwoods by Howard Foote of â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s, she presents 160 soup choices arranged Tomales; $30 and $50. by season, versatile and useful for all of us... Last but not least: gift certiďŹ cates! Give one One of the most personal works of 2009 is for dinner at a favorite restaurant or a homeJudith Jonesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; The Pleasures of Cooking town store with upscale temptations. Wrap for One (Knopf, $27.95), from a star in the it cleverly for your recipient. A guaranteed food world. As an editor she introduced us win-win solution. < to Julia, James (Beard) and other innovators Share gift ideas with Pat at patfusco@sonic.net

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ast holiday season, the economy careened like a runaway train bound for Hades. You might have expected the box set to be the first thing jettisoned by the recording industry to lighten the load. Guess again. The box set is back: bigger, boxier and pricier than ever. Of course, there’s the new four-disc Elvis 75: Good Rockin’ Tonight (Legacy/BMG) and the Beatles 14-CD stereo box set (grab a 10-disc mono edition if you get the chance). But the most ostentatious is Yo-Yo Ma: 30 Years Outside the Box (Sony Classical), a 90-CD career retrospective housed in a wood case and accompanied by a 312-page hardbound book. Just two of the discs sport previously unreleased material by the award-winning cellist. The price tag: a hefty $798.98. One of the coolest anthologies is AC/DC’s Backtracks (Legacy/BMG), featuring two CDs of studio and live rarities and a DVD packed with rare videos. The price: $39.98. Or you can drop $179 on the deluxe edition that includes three discs, a rarities LP, a coffee-table book, memorabilia reproductions and a working guitar amp. That’s 12 pounds of heavy-metal thunder! Or how about the 11-CD Chansons Annees (Mercury Im-

port), gathering the recorded works of French film star Brigitte Bardot. The 1960s sex kitten had a string of pop hits as well as a number of recordings made with the legendary singer/ songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. It’ll cost you a C-note and some change. Even German industrial-metal band Rammstein is getting into the act. The deluxe edition of the band’s sixth album, Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da, arrives in a metal flight case replete with bonus CD, six sex toys (numbered to represent each band member), handcuffs and lubricant. The provocative collector’s item costs around $400. Country and roots music fans might appreciate the three-CD Ninety Yo-Yo Ma CDs Hank Williams for someone you Revealed: The love, or one Yo-Yo Unreleased Redisc for 90 of cordings (Time/ your friends... Life), delivering 50 songs— including talking blues— culled from an intimate 1951 radio show. It’s the second installment in a three volume series that is preserving this long-lost treasure trove of 143 songs total. Roots-rock fans, as well as lov- 21 >

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DRIVING SAFETY SERVICE

Take $20 off the price of any service or repair â&#x20AC;˘ Check tires for wear, â&#x20AC;˘ Check All Fluid Levels over $100 damage or separation â&#x20AC;˘ Free 22pt inspection Free 22pt inspection â&#x20AC;˘ Check front end, â&#x20AC;˘ Free consultation Free consultation (by appt only) shocks or struts for (by appt only) performance 95 OFF â&#x20AC;˘ Free 22pt inspection â&#x20AC;˘ Free consultation (up to 5 qts.)

29

$

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THE DEALERSHIP ALTERNATIVE

We Will Service Your New Japanese Auto And Maintain Your Warranty Hybrid Friendly!

To our Special Customers: We wish to take a moment to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year. This is the time of year when we reflect upon how grateful we are for our friendships. We are indeed grateful and thankful for your friendship and support. Now is the time to get ready for winter, and holiday travel. Colder weather and rainy conditions can spell trouble for cars. Having your vehicle break down during a holiday excursion is no vacation. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave on that trip before seeing us first. Get your vehicle ready for winter by taking advantage of one of our specials. Call before New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve for an appointment. Note: all specials include a 22 point maintenance inspection and a consultation about any problems you may be having with your vehicle.

(by appt only)

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With Best Wishes for a Happy and Sustainable Holiday Season From the Employees and Management of

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M A R i N

R E A L

E S TAT E

PACIFIC SUN OPEN HOMES

Attention realtors: To submit your free open home listing for this page and for our online listing map go to â&#x20AC;şâ&#x20AC;ş paciďŹ csun.com, click on Real Estate on the left navigation bar, then scroll to the bottom of our new Real Estate page and click on the open home submission link. Please note that times and dates often change for listed Open Homes. Call the phone number shown on the properties you wish to visit to check for changes prior to visiting the home.

CORTE MADERA

LARKSPUR

4 BEDROOMS

5124 Paradise Sun 2-4 Frank Howard Allen 21 Flying Cloud Course Sun 1-4 Coldwell Banker

$1,895,000 461-3000 $749,000 461-2020

330 Baltimore Sun 2-4 McGuire Real Estate

$1,250,000 383-8500 $1,299,000 461-2020

Coldwell Banker

MILL VALLEY

2 BEDROOMS

202 California Sun 2-4 Frank Howard Allen

3 BEDROOMS

137 Tamalpais Sun 1-4 Coldwell Banker

$699,000 456-3000

4 BEDROOMS

$680,000 461-2020

162 Sandpiper Sun 1-3 McGuire Real Estate 113 Marin Valley Dr/MOBILE Sat/Sun 2-4 Marin Realty Group

3 BEDROOMS

$398,000 435-0848 $79,500 927-4443

174 Morning Sun Sun 1-3 McGuire Real Estate

$1,295,000 383-8500

128 Dowitcher Sun 1-4 Frank Howard Allen 203 Locust Ave Sun 2-4 Alain Pinel Realtors

$620,000 461-3000 $799,000 717-4005

4 BEDROOMS

SAN ANSELMO

3 BEDROOMS

3 BEDROOMS

$429,000 461-2020

Coldwell Banker

SAN RAFAEL

2 BEDROOMS - CONDOMINIUM

5 BEDROOMS

179 Elm Sun 2-4

FAIRFAX 317 Scenic Sun 1-4

NOVATO

2 BEDROOMS

30 Tamalpais Sun 1-4 Frank Howard Allen 69 Olive Sun 2-4:30 Coldwell Banker

$1,450,000 461-3000 $1,049,000 461-2020

4 BEDROOMS

123 Saunders Sun 1-4 Coldwell Banker

141 Convent Sun 1-4 Frank Howard Allenl

$925,000 456-3000

TIBURON

6 BEDROOMS

7 Seafirth Sun 2-4

$3,995,000 381-1500

RE/MAX

$1,699,000 461-2020

â&#x20AC;şâ&#x20AC;ş HOME SALES

DOM* = Days on Market

Recent sales in Marin County include:

Address

NOVATO

523 WOODBRIDGE 104 SOMERSET 433 ESTADO 118 CHESAPEAKE 7 ENGLISH 120 HOLSTROM 2228 LAGUNA VISTA

SAN RAFAEL 1241 CENTER 108 OAKMONT 35 DOWITCHER 509 C 7 MADRONA

Br/Ba

Asking $

Selling $

DOM* List/Sell% Address

4/4 3/2 4/3 4/5 3/2 4/3 5/4

$599,000 $795,000 $649,000 $750,000 $643,900 $649,000 $643,500

$651,000 $636,000 $635,000 $635,000 $629,000 $599,000 $585,000

38 267 36 302 54 203 94

108.7% 80.0% 97.8% 84.7% 97.7% 92.3% 90.9%

3/2 4/4 3/3 3/3 4/3

$915,000 $949,000 $919,000 $825,000 $799,000

$850,000 $825,000 $820,000 $790,000 $790,000

65 185 157 73 147

92.9% 86.9% 89.2% 95.8% 98.9%

532 BRET HARTE 725 MONTECILLO 287 DEVON 125 IRWIN 705 LAS OVEJAS 57 FREMONT 113 BAYPOINT

SAUSALITO 186 CYPRESS 517 HEADLANDS 60 CYPRESS

TOMALES

25875 STATE ROUTE 1

Br/Ba

Asking $

Selling $

DOM* List/Sell%

4/2 3/2 3/2 3/2 3/2 2/2 3/3

$819,000 $725,000 $699,900 $659,000 $649,000 $729,000 $556,875

$735,000 $696,000 $690,000 $640,000 $639,000 $635,000 $630,000

120 91 36 46 31 166 7

89.7% 96.0% 98.6% 97.1% 98.5% 87.1% 113.1%

2/2 2/3 2/2

$499,000 $525,000 $499,999

$520,000 $512,000 $480,000

13 40 109

104.2% 97.5% 96.0%

2/1

$795,000

$600,000

309

75.5%

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A R I N

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M P O R T S

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Pacific Sun 12.18.2009 - Section 1