Pacific Sun Weekly 01.14.2011
Section 1 of the January 14, 2011 edition of the Pacific Sun Weekly.
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Inspection Up to 5 Quarts (Synthetic is Extra) Offer Expires 1/31/11 2995 Pacific Sun 835 Fourth St. Suite B (entrance on Cijos St.) San Rafael, CA 94901 Phone: 415/485-6700 Fax: 415/485-6226 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 747 LINCOLN 7 pacificsun.com + your link to Marin Think.Shop.Buy. LOCAL Thank you for shopping and dining locally. Your patronage makes a major difference to our fine area retailers. >> STAFF Above is the set list from a July 23, 2010, Huey Lewis and the News show. For more news on the News, see our Huey Lewis interview, p. 13. 7 9 8 12 13 17 18 20 22 23 24 25 26 28 32 34 35 Letters That TV Guy/Trivia Caf�/ Heroes & Zeros Upfront Upfront 2 Feature Open Homes Best of Marin Voting Catergories Home + Garden Design Food & Drink All In Good Taste Music Talking Pictures Movies Sundial Classifieds Horoscope Advice Goddess PUBLISHER - Gina Channell-Allen (x315) EDITORIAL Editor: Jason Walsh (x316); Movie Page Editor: Matt Stafford (x320); Copy Editor: Carol Inkellis (x317); Staff Writer: Dani Burlison (x319); Calendar Editor: Anne Schrager (x330); Proofreader: Julie Vader CONTRIBUTORS Lee Brady, Greg Cahill, Pat Fusco, Richard Gould, Marc Hershon, Richard P. Hinkle, Brooke Jackson, Brenda K. Kinsel, Jill Kramer, 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) Display Sales: Bob Correa (x311), Linda Curry (x309), Richard Winston (x312) Inside Sales: Helen Hammond (x303); Traffic Coordinator: Julie Baiocchi (x302); Courier: Gillian Coder DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Art Director/Production Manager: Beth Allen (x335); Graphic Designers: Gwen Aguilar (x336), Michelle Palmer (x321); Missy Reynolds, Gabe Lieb (x308) Graphic Design & Video: Brindl Markle (x337) ADMINISTRATION Business Administrator: Cynthia Saechao (x331) Administrative Assistant: Julie Baiocchi (x301) Circulation Manager: Bob Lampkin (x340) PRINTING: Paradise Post, Paradise, CA Experience the New More Comfortable THERMAGETM Treatment Smoother & Tighter Skin with Only One Treatment! 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M A R I N J C C.O RG 6 PACIFIC SUN JANUARY 14 - JANUARY 20, 2011 >> LETTERS Now Italians pack their groceries in giant tubes of cannelloni... I used to consider Marin County a progressive, environmentally conscious place. I just read that Italy has decided to ban the plastic bag to help the environment, as many other locations have done (including San Francisco). I guess I have to re-think my opinion of Marin. Paul Smith, Mill Valley Bet she'd also unmask the Lone Ranger if given half a chance! Nikki's visit with Santa, 1968. Regarding Nikki Silverstein's Single in the Suburbs column ["Christmas? Bubkes Humbug!" Dec. 24] in which she fondly reminisces about growing up Jewish during Christmas and pulling down Santa's beard at the mall. There are some Jewish people who, for some pathetic reason, take pride in and derive pleasure from, ripping off Santa's beard-- thereby ruining Christmas for a number of small children and their families. A lump of coal and a big fat zero to these sorry miserable excuses for human beings--right, Ms. Conscience of Marin? (Lest this be perceived as an anti-Semitic rant--I had many Jewish friends in high school; they would come to our house to be able to eat Chesapeake Bay blue crab; later, I was the only gentile in ZBT at the U of Maryland--fear the turtle!). Maybe, Zero, your mission in life should be visiting malls and ripping off as many Santas' beards as possible during the holiday season--"If my f--ing parents won't let me celebrate Christmas, well, goddammit, them f---ing Christian kids ain't gonna enjoy it either." Then there are the Christmas nativity scenes displayed on some church grounds--"How dare these Christian scum exploit this donkey, this calf, this sheep to further their bulls--t, mythological, Christian belief system!" (Truth be told, I do question how a virgin birth might be explained, other than in reptiles and some fishes?) Liberate those innocent, defenseless, exploited animals! Now there's a whole new mission for your correspondent's lack of depth and reflection. Then there's the Easter Bunny--whole lot of things your correspondent might have the opportunity to correct. And instead of hiding in the grass and peeking in on unsuspecting, innocent citizens, maybe your correspondent could get one of those Barbie dolls with the hidden camera, give it to the unsuspecting grandchild--wouldn't this introduce whole new voyeuristic and intrusive (scurrilous) elements into your otherwise mundane, banal and cheap/voyeuristic column/life? The creeps would come flocking in, and you could make a s--tload of cash without the whining--better able to support that Little Willow lifestyle. How about a website: "Santa Claus_EasterBunny_virginbirth=bulls-t(+childporn).com." Find some kindred spirits there, right darlin'? Richard Huber, Novato >> TOWNSQUARE TOP POSTINGS THIS WEEK Bridge toll takers on chopping block For whom the bridge tolls? It may not be tolling at all come 2013--at least not in real time, as a proposal to axe all 32 toll-taker positions will come before the bridge... PG&E, SMART Meters and Republicans Republicans like to give free reign to corporations. And it sounds good; like a kind of freedom. Corporations like PG&E get so powerful and greedy that they lose sight of bein... Your soapbox is waiting at >> pacificsun.com characters as drunken bar patrons. Rudolph, the Heat Miser, Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the toys from the Island of Lost Toys are all clearly drunk in a (presumably Marin) bar. Even Santa Claus is passed out in his own vomit. The cover story by Matthew Stafford is promoting Marin bars. Fair enough to promote Marin establishments. But why use these cartoon characters? I wouldn't have even noticed this cover if my 8-year-old niece hadn't pointed it out to me on the newsstand. "Aunt Liz, look at this picture! They look weird!" Watching these shows are beloved Christmas traditions in our home. Thanks to this cover, I had to have an awkward conversation with my niece. "Why would an artist draw that? Why are the elves drinking? Why would they put it on their magazine?" All good questions. I love a good spoof, and I can appreciate the humor in this. But, the Pacific Sun needs to remember that it is distributed on newsstands that kids walk by every day. If my niece noticed it, how many other kids did too? Liza Stuhlbarg, Larkspur Unfortunately, Marin has had several tragedies in the past few years involving underage drinking. Your Dec. 24 cover, depicting beloved Christmas cartoon characters including Santa and Rudolph in varying stages of drunkenness in a bar was not cute or funny. And the fact that you put it right on the cover--where thousands of Marin's kids can see it on a newsstand--is downright irresponsible. Alcohol messaging is already the wallpaper in our children's lives. And, whether or not a young person can recall consciously seeing an image or hearing an ad doesn't matter. More exposure to images depicting drinking equals more underage drinking. Big Alcohol knows this and is extremely adept at reaching our kids. They certainly didn't need help from the Pacific Sun in pushing their products. A community paper like the Pacific Sun should definitely know better. Michael J. Scippa, public affairs director, Marin Institute `Why are the elves drinking?' Can I nominate the Pacific Sun editorial staff for a Zero award? The Dec. 24 cover depicts our family's favorite Christmas cartoon Technically speaking, Rudolph is Santa's designated driver... The offending image. Marin Institute was very distressed to see the cartoon cover of your Dec. 24 edition promoting Marin bars. Young people are already drowning in inappropriate alcohol messaging and targeting. Why would you knowingly expose them to what is basically a cartoon advertisement for Big Alcohol and alcohol abuse on the cover of the Pacific Sun? Research has shown that Marin youth drink at higher rates than their peers in the Bay Area and across California. And often with tragic results--such as the recent fatal car crash in Novato caused by a drunk teen. Editor's note: Thanks for writing, Liza and Michael. We're thankful there are folks in Marin passionate enough to speak up about the dangers of underage drinking. The Pacific Sun has written extensively about Marin's high teen-drinking rates over the years and has made every effort to cover the issue with the thoughtfulness and gravity it deserves. That being said, the cover in question has nothing to do with teen drinking--it's a story about the plethora of local taverns that Marinites can visit over the holidays to toast the New Year. The characters depicted in the illustration are all adults--be it elf, ungulate, yeti, prospector, snowman, misfit toy or whatever it is the Heat and Snow misers are supposed to be--and we find nothing unreasonable or immoral about the possibility that they might bend their elbows a few times once their seasonal responsibilities are completed. The characters in question, we add, are baby boomer icons from the Rankin/ Bass stop-motion TV specials of the 1960s-- the only demographic this cover may lead to the arms of Big Alcohol are county 45-yearolds, though from what we've seen, the two have already been close companions for quite some time... Put your stamp on the letters to the editor at >> pacificsun.com JANUARY 13 - JANUARY 20, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 7 >> UPFRONT Path of least resistance Cyclists say SMART shouldn't put brakes on pedestrian-bike pathway by Pe t e r S e i d m a n T he recent re-opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, the debate over the Alto Tunnel and the deliberations about where and how much to spend on building the first segment of SMART all highlight a remarkable trend: A significant number of people in the North Bay are riding bicycles for utilitarian transportation--and their numbers are growing. No longer the sole province of the schoolkid riding to class or the weekend warrior tackling Mount Tam, bike transportation is becoming a practical alternative, and the north-south bike pathway that one day will run from Cloverdale to Sausalito is emblematic of the trend. Just as emblematic are the numerous letters written to local publications criticizing the tunnel projects as a waste of taxpayer money that will benefit only a few. One recent letter stated in part, "I have nothing against bikes and their riders, but it seems we should be thinking just a tad about what's affecting our lives. The [utopian] idea of us riding a bike to the supermarket and work is great. But it's not reality." Actually it is a reality for many North Bay residents, say proponents of biking for everyday transportation. But the perception among many that cycling is an impractical, though healthful, endeavor persists. WalkBikeMarin, an initiative created by the county from the federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, encourages walking and biking. The website, www. walkbikemarin.org, tracks all pedestrian and bike projects in the county. In October 2009, WalkBikeMarin and the county Department of Public Works released a study that looked at the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, which is one of four pilots in the country. According to the study, 20 percent of the bike trips were part of school or work commutes. Shopping trips and errands accounted for 14 percent of the trips. And 34 percent were "utilitarian and transportation related." Riders surveyed averaged one bike trip 11 days each month, and 11 percent said they used their bikes daily. "If respondents drove alone for these trips instead of bicycling, this sample group would annually account for approximately 5,468 additional vehicle trips. Considering the median respondent trip length--10 miles--and the average automobile mpg--20.2 according to the EPA--this translates to approximately 2,707 gallons of gasoline, $8,364 (at $3.09/ gallon), and 52,245 lbs. of CO2." Survey respondents stated they chose particular routes based on accessibility, directness, separation from vehicle traffic and lower traffic volumes--some of the key goals for the north-south bike pathway. That pathway, dedicated to pedes10 > >> NEWSGRAMS Payback time for Marin Energy Authority At this week's Board of Supervisors meeting, Dawn Weisz, interim director of the Marin Energy Authority, thanked the county for its forward thinking and presented county administrator Matthew Hymel with a check for $540,000, which pays back in full the startup money the county loaned the energy agency two years ago. Supervisor Charles McGlashan, chair of the energy authority board, said at the Tuesday meeting that he"was happy to report that we have refinanced the agency. It is fully supported by the private sector now.There is not one dime of taxpayer risk left in this agency." In addition to returning the $540,000, the energy authority has refinanced its loan obligation to River City Bank.That financial obligation came after Supervisors Hal Brown and Susan Adams joined McGlashan last year in voting to cosign a loan for $950,000. (McGlashan noted that although Supervisors Arnold and Kinsey declined to vote for the deal, they have been strong supporters of the agency.) Three Marin residents agreed to cosign another portion of the loan that got Marin Clean Energy running.The refinancing also clears risk for the residents. "It fills my heart with joy to tell the taxpayers that you are fully [clear], no more risk,"said McGlashan,"and all of us at the county are off the hook in terms of encumbering $1.4 million that was allocated"to start up Marin Clean Energy, which is the first major Marin Energy Authority joint powers project. "Oh, by the way,"said McGlashan after Hymel accepted the oversized check,"on top of [releasing taxpayers from financial risk], the Marin Energy Authority will drop $2.5 million [onto] its bottom line unencumbered reserves by March. So we're doing everything the critics said we couldn't."--Peter Seidman Marin fair housing off its beam, say feds Marin's idea of fair housing needs to get a bit fairer, says the U.S. government. A review released last week by the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found Marin's HUD program needed to kick it up a notch in making the county's $3.5 million in housing grants more accessible to the poor, disabled and minorities. The review specified that the county needed to improve its outreach to the people in need of HUD assistance--such as holding its meetings at convenient places and times, overcoming language barriers and making sure information is available for the hearing impaired. HUD and its Marin affiliate have agreed that the county needs to better tackle community resistance to low-income housing, concentrate its efforts in minority neighborhoods and generally make its information more easily available to those who would qualify for housing assistance. In a statement issued from HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C., HUD assistant secretary John Trasvina said:"This agreement increases Marin's accountability to its residents and HUD to carry out its fair housing obligations and document that its programs serve everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or disability." For more info on Housing and Urban Development in Marin, visit www.co.marin.ca.us. --Jason Walsh Call off your dogs, say GGNRA officials Move over Rover, let the Golden Gate National Recreation Area take over--at least that's the message (with apologies to Chuck Berry) officials will be sending to Marin dog owners this week when it releases a 2,000-plus page plan to keep pestering pooches from sticking their nose into other people's business at county beaches. 10 > 8 PACIFIC SUN JANUARY 14, 2011 - JANUARY 20, 2011 >> THAT TV GUY FRIDAY, JAN. 14 Kitchen Nightmares Gordon Ramsay, the cruelly outspoken chef from Hell's Kitchen, takes his personality disorder back on the road, showing up in real restaurants to berate the chefs and staff. It's like having your mother-in-law visit but she brings a case of sharp knives. Fox. 8pm. Smallville Clark attends his high school reunion. Reunions for superheroes are just like reunions for anybody else. Most of us show up with a carefully concocted secret identity anyway. CW. 8pm. Critics' Choice Movie Awards In the pantheon of awards shows, this is one step above the People's Choice Awards. Basically it's the World's Greatest Dad coffee mug of movie awards. VH1.9pm. by Rick Polito >> TRiViA CAF� by Howard Rachelson that downer rehab talk. MTV. 10pm. Heavy This guy is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 690 pounds. He doesn't shop at the Big and Tall outlet. He shops at an awning company. A&E. 10pm. TUESDAY, JAN. 18 Along Came Polly Man finds solace with another woman after his wife cheats on their honeymoon. If this is what they're showing on the Family channel, what's going on over at Cinemax? Human sacrifice? (2004) ABC Family.8pm. Human Prey It turns out that bears in the wild are remarkably "un-cuddly." Animal SATURDAY, JAN. 15 Planet. 9pm. Meteor Storm An Kicking Bird and Dunbar discuss their venture's Late Show with David astronomer tries to tax-exempt status, Saturday at 8. Letterman Betty White save San Francisco from a deadly meteor shower, while at the is working hard to become the oldest person same time challenged by the Convention ever to jump the shark. CBS.11:35pm. and Visitors Bureau demanding he call it a "Parade of Shooting Stars."(2010) SYFY. 7pm. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19 American Idol The Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner plays a new season auditions begin. For many, there cavalry officer who makes friends with a Sioux is a kind of emotional affirmation. It's inspirtribe, gives them guns to kill buffalo and helps ing to see people chasing their dreams. Plus, them war against another tribe. In return, they you're unlikely to ever be as dorky as these give him the food concession deal at their people, which has to feel good. Fox. 8pm. new casino. (1990) KQED.8pm. Nova Scientists debate the practicalities of Miss America Pageant interplanetary travel in The pageant marches an episode titled "Can on into cultural irreleWe Make it to Mars?" vancy with organizers to be followed in comcrossing their fingers for ing weeks by "Do We an unknown sex tape Have Any Friends There or leaked arrest record. We Could Stay With?" ABC. 9pm. "Can Brad and Angelina Adopt a Martian Kid?" and "What's the NightSUNDAY, JAN. 16 Goldlife Like?" KQED. 8pm. en Globe Awards The The 8-Limbed Boy OK, World's Greatest Dad that's just gross! TLC.8pm. mug but with a StarSerious Moonlight Meg bucks gift card. NBC. 5pm. Ryan plays a wife who Iron Man Robert But did the suit take urine samples? duct-tapes her cheating Downey Jr. stars as a mili- Sunday, 8pm. husband to the toilet. tary designer who dons a mechanical suit that gives him superpow- Apparently he has attachment issues. (2009) ers. For the movie, producers equipped Lifetime.9pm. the suit with a Breathalyzer and a homing beacon that directs the suit to the nearest THURSDAY, JAN. 20 I Used to Be Fat rehab facility. (2008) FX. 8pm. Tune in next year for "I Gained it All Wild Animal Repo This is the kind of thing Back." MTV. 7pm. that never shows up on the career aptitude Bones When a body is found in a socialtest. Discovery Channel. 9pm. ite's home, investigators must not only determine the cause of death, they must also discover if the killer folded the napMONDAY, JAN. 17 Antiques Roadshow kins correctly and placed the doilies to This week, they are in Miami where all of the appraised items are either pink flaminmaximum effect. Fox. 9pm. gos or coke spoons. KQED. 8pm. Critique That TV Guy at email@example.com. Skins This new drama follows an unruly gang of teens experimenting with drugs Turn on more TV Guy at and sex. It's like Beverly Hills 90201 without all >> pacificsun.com 1. What is Marin County's third most populous city? 2. Which U.S. president signed the bill creating a federal holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr.? 3. How many months do not have 31 days? 4. What is the northernmost country on the mainland of South America? 2 5. What collection of lakes in New York state are named after parts of the human body? 6. The symbol of January is what Roman god of doorways and gateways, shown with two faces, looking forward and backward? 7. Pictured, below: Sylvester Stallone is best known for what two film characters with very similar names? 8. The 50 U.S. states span how many time zones? 9. What physical object used in a specific sport must be precisely 2.44 meters high and 7.32 meters wide? 10. Identify these people named Howard: 10a. Eccentric billionaire 10b. Recent chairman of the Democratic Party 10c. Director of The Da Vinci Code 10d. Singer in the Backstreet Boys BONUS QUESTION:Two of 2010's top money-making movies were filmed in 3-D. What were they? 7 10d Howard Rachelson, Marin's Master of Trivia, invites you to a live team trivia contest every Wednesday at 7:30pm at the Broken Drum in San Rafael. Contact Howard at howard1@ triviacafe.com. Answers on page 33 Would you be grateful if your Internet connection went on the fritz? Steph G. of Corte Madera feels that way. When Vince from AT&T came out to fix it, he discovered a far more dangerous problem. Steph wasn't aware that the utility pole in front of her home was leaning precariously and held up by a cable line attached to the roof of her building. Vince immediately recognized the potential danger and had Steph call PG&E and the fire department. In short order, crews were on the scene and disaster averted. Thanks to Vince, Steph is safe and sound and surfing the Net once again. Now, that's what we call customer service. HERO With San Quentin as our neighbor, Marinites take a special interest in what happens there. Last September, a shortage of sodium thiopental, an anesthetic used in lethal injections, canceled the execution of inmate Albert Greenwood Brown. Since then, actions taken by the Food and Drug Administration helped San Quentin obtain the drug. Oddly enough, the FDA claims it doesn't oversee drugs for executions. So why did it assist in importing sodium thiopental from Britain, knowing it will be used to carry out the death penalty? The agency won't comment, leaving taxpayers in the dark about its reasoning. Frankly, we'd prefer the FDA watch over the foods and drugs our families consume and let the executioners fend for themselves.--Nikki Silverstein ZERO Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeros at >> pacificsun.com JANUARY 14 - JANUARY 20, 2011 PACIFIC SUN 9 < 8 Newsgrams The report is expected to tighten the leash on dogs running wild at such"no leash required" beaches as Muir Beach and Rodeo Beach, as well as other recreation areas such as Oakwood Valley Road, Alta Avenue and Homestead Valley. Since 2005, dogs have been allowed to simply be under"voice command"by owners at these areas, but complaints of aggression toward children and other pets, as well as damage to wildlife areas, has forced the GGNRA to rethink its strategy.--JW < 8 Plastic bags set to pop trians and bicyclists, always has been an integral part of the SMART project for a commuter rail line between Marin and Sonoma counties. A bike and pedestrian path along the train route creates a cohesive alternative transportation infrastructure that will accommodate the current number of bicyclists and encourage even more people to use their bikes to connect to the train system. A recent Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) review of SMART funding shortfalls and prospective construction plans recommends building a first segment of the system from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael. MTC estimates that SMART faces a funding shortfall of between $62 million (an "optimistic case") and $125 million (a "conservative case") to build that first segment. Those numbers remain tentative until construction bids go out, when SMART will know how much construction will cost and the amount of revenue it will receive from sales tax and bond sources. The MTC report identifies cost savings to close the funding gap; among those is the suggestion that SMART could postpone building one-third of the bike and pedestrian path in the first segment. Bike proponents were understandably nervous at that suggestion. "The entire cost of the pathway from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael is only $39 million," says Deb Hubsmith, advocacy director at the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC). "The cost for the [first phase] project, end to end, is $395 million, before they added on an extra [estimated $38 million to $46 million] to get it to downtown San Rafael. So the bike path is less than 10 percent of the total cost of the project." Bike advocates in both counties say many people voted for the quarter-cent sales tax hike to fund SMART because of the bike and pedestrian path. "There's always been a commitment from SMART for the pathway," says Hubsmith. The bike community remains ready to help SMART identify and secure additional funds should they become available for bike projects that could tie into SMART--and reduce the funding burden for the rail agency. To some degree, that's already happened. The 37 miles of pathway between Santa Rosa and San Rafael includes "more than 10 miles of pathway facilities that will not be built or maintained by SMART, and are not included in the $39 million" cost estimate for the pathway, according to MCBC's 10point list of principles for the SMART train and pathway project. In addition, a segment of path in San Rafael, the Puerto Suello Hill Pathway that recently opened, is a Transportation Authority of Marin project that San Rafael will maintain. And an 8-mile section of pathway along the Marin-Sono- Bell tolling for toll takers? How`bout for whom the"bridge"tolls? It may not be tolling at all come 2013--at least not in real time, as a proposal to ax all 32 toll-taker positions will come before the bridge district's finance committee this month. If the plan is eventually approved by the board at its Jan. 28 meeting, it would mean that by December 2012, all tolls would be charged electronically by FasTrak ($5) or by mail ($6), after cameras photograph a vehicle's license plate. The move would be an attempt to alleviate a nearly $90 million budget deficit that's occurred due to the recession and the rebuilding costs of Doyle Drive.Toll takers earn between $48,000 and $54,000; the elimination of those positions would save about $16 million over the course of a decade.--JW Terrorism... or textilism? Dharma Trading Company in San Rafael fell victim to a"yarn bomb"last week, when a sign pole and a bike rack were strapped to a rainbow of colorful fibers, which burst onto the West End of Fourth Street on Dec. 29.Taking credit for the knit-and-run was a group calling itself Streetcolors. In a statement to the press, the group's unnamed leader described how she and her assistant,"The Russian,"weaved past the authorities to carry out their latest in a string of incidents: "At Dharma Trading there was a pole next to a little bike rack and we covered them both with knitting,"she wrote."It's great to put knitting in front of a knitting store!" Following the sew-cessful"bombing,"the crafty embroidabombers rendezvoused at Royal Grounds for hot chocolate and peanut butter cookies. Denying any involvement with the group, Dharma Trading manager Karen claims to know who they are, but refused to reveal their identities to the Sun.--JW EXTRA! EXTRA! 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