Marin IJ Readers Forum October 1, 2022 – Marin Independent Journal


Displaced canal residents may have nowhere to go

Here we go again with another greedy owner destroying more lives. In this case, they are 99 tenants and their families in the San Rafael canal district (“San Rafael tenants in the canal zone alarmed by evacuation letters”, September 26). Getting three months’ rent ($8,000) sounds great, but where are these people going to find a place to move?

With the Marin real estate market in crisis, families, senior citizens and residents with disabilities have no place to go. That’s why homeless communities are growing rapidly in California and across the country.

Something needs to change, and our leaders and politicians need to find solutions – and be more compassionate and concerned about protecting our tenants from greed.

—Sandra Macleod White, San Rafael

Shared solutions can help Marin fight hunger

In Richard Halstead’s recent article (“Marin’s Food Insecurity Still High, Even as Pandemic Eases,” September 26), he describes hunger rates in our communities. While it’s important to raise awareness about hunger, it’s equally important to step back and ask why Marin County – one of the wealthiest places in California – is home to 1 in 5 residents who don’t know where his next meal is coming from. ?

Hunger is a complex issue that disproportionately affects communities of color, the elderly, and those with limited mobility. Food and nutrition insecurity has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to rising levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Hunger in our country is unacceptable. It is often the people who harvest, cook and distribute our food who have to rely on pantries. Our local food systems would benefit from more resources and infrastructure for small farmers and farm workers, communities of color and low-income areas.

Fortunately, the solutions exist. The Marin County Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Collaborative strives to improve our foodshed through community-focused leadership. Through the work of Community Action Teams led by Alcohol Justice in the Canal, the Marin County Cooperation Team in Marin City, and West Marin Community Services in West Marin, a talented group of community leaders are engaging with residents to develop local solutions for more equitable food systems. .

We can all take small steps to help restore dignity to our local food system. Buy local products directly from independent businesses. Donate to nonprofit organizations working in food justice. Support micro-enterprises and artisanal food businesses. Shop at your local farmer’s market or market day in Marin City for fresh produce and prepared meals. Every dollar spent buying local can add up to $2.16 to local food savings.

—Andy Naja-Riese, San Rafael

Kayaking feat brings back memories of the ‘Tonight Show’

Thanks to the IJ Sports Department for a rare article celebrating the sport of sea kayaking in a report on Cyril Derreumaux’s successful unassisted trip to Hilo from Monterey, a 91-day feat (“Larkspur man complete 91-day solo kayak trip to Hawaii,” September 24).

This is not the first time that this crossing has been done by solo kayak. Ed Gillet accomplished this incredible feat in 1987, leaving San Diego and landing in Maui. Gillet did it in a slightly modified tandem kayak, navigating with only a compass and a sextant. He completed the journey in 64 days, with only a tube of toothpaste as his last meal before finally making landfall.

A soft-spoken man, he appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson to talk about the trip. Gillet posted the clip on An excellent book has been written about this feat by Dave Shively titled “The Pacific Alone”. Gillet’s pioneering adventure also deserves to be celebrated.

—Mark Silowitz, Novato

Samson best choice for MMWD District 1 seat

I’m supporting Matt Samson in the race for Marin Municipal Water District Division 1 Director in the November ballot. Incumbent Jack Gibson has fumbled and mismanaged the watershed for the past 28 years, allowing climate change to create an emerging threat to Marin’s drinking water supply through drought and the risk of wildfires.

Additionally, Gibson made public statements at a March 18, 2021 board meeting showing interest in a licensing and registration program to access watershed lands. At a time when we should be actively pursuing equity in our parks and open spaces, Gibson offers a solution that will turn away many underserved and underrepresented community members. I think the failure to consider the impact of such a program is shameful.

Samson offers a lucid, logical and proactive approach to the management of our watershed. Based on these reasons, I support Matt Samson.

—Stephen McDaniel, San Rafael

Samson represents a good change for MMWD

I am writing to you today to support Matt Sampson for the Marin Municipal Water District Board in the November election. To date, the incumbent has done a terrific job of preparing us for our current water supply crisis. Also, having served on the board for 28 years, he had ample opportunity to get things done and didn’t.

I support Samson for three reasons. First, he is a conservationist and will protect our resources. Second, he has a plan for the water supply. The plan is different from what they did – that gives me hope. And, thirdly, as a firefighter. This means it will protect our communities from massive fires.

For these three reasons, Samson has my support and should be supported by our entire community. Let’s make a change.

—Vernon Huffman, Woodacre

Hindsight on closures lacked understanding

It’s easy now, with COVID-19 vaccines readily available, to look back on the early months and years of the pandemic and judge decisions harshly, as Dan Walters did in the commentary he wrote that has was recently published by Marin IJ (“COVID -19 school closures undermined learning, September 25”).

No one will dispute that students have suffered from mandatory school closures. My two children continue to recover from the lost learning. But would I have instead sacrificed their health and safety, and that of their teachers, by sending them to a classroom and exposing them to a virus we didn’t yet understand? No I will not.

Walters writes that “the educational deprivation California has inflicted on its children is not only shameful, but will reverberate for decades.” By choosing to use the word “inflicted,” Walters is implying that state officials deliberately closed schools for no good reason, ignoring the context of a raging pandemic that was killing thousands.

Instead of pointing fingers and blaming, we should focus on finding solutions to help young, educationally disadvantaged Californians reclaim the learning they have lost.

—Jessica O’Dwyer, Tiburon

Burns’ Holocaust series raises awareness

Ken Burns’ PBS documentary series “America and the Holocaust” is a fascinating exploration of America’s reluctance to accept the weary, poor, and huddled masses yearning to be free during the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism in Germany.

Many today believe that the same themes – isolationism, racism, immigration policy, xenophobia, nationalism and discrimination, among others – have created a schism in the United States such as we have never seen. I sincerely believe that it is incumbent on all of us to recognize the similarities between then and now and become active in these “darkest times” in our long history.

—Dennis Kostecki, Sausalito


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