Category Archives: News

Social media connects old acquaintances with assistance from the Citizen

PolishCyclistsJamesMargit

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This email was sent to the WM Citizen on April 1:

I am a volunteer helping with a San Francisco based Polish American web site www.PoloniaSF.org . I would like to share with you very exciting news. An adventurous Polish couple biking around the world , after more than 25,000 miles, 5 years and 25 days, 4 continents, made it to the San Francisco Bay Area. Adela and Kris are on the way to their next destination: Alaska. For more information check out http://www.biketheworld.pl/en

I am really excited about the couple from Poland who is traveling around the world on their bicycles. I was hoping that you will read this short note about such unusual event and like witnessing those two people being on your local roads in Marin County and continuing their quest around the world. They will be in front of the Point Reyes Station post office around 10 am on April 2.

If you can think of any ways to spread the information about them passing by and welcoming them, just making people aware that this friendly couple is traveling on bicycles already 5 years one month and 2 days, and counting, …. would be very much appreciated. People at least can make them feel welcome by waving to them, saying hello, flashing headlights, friendly honking, etc. Attached are some pictures from their trip and myself welcoming them to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thank you for your assistance.

Pozdrawiam ciepło i serdecznie,
Edmund Lewandowski
www.PoloniaSF.org

The Citizen posted this information on Facebook April 1st and shared with the popular face book page, Christian Anthony’s “ The West Marin Feed”, and with KWMR, where it was mentioned on air around 8 am April 2.
The morning of April 2nd Margit Pirsch of Lagunitas saw the posting with a photo on the West Marin Feed. She could not believe that Adela and Kris were passing through the area unbeknownst to her. She and her partner James Polack, also cycling through South America in 2013, had met them in Argentina a year and a half ago and camped together. Margit and James returned home a year ago and had not had any contact with Adela and Chris since. Upon seeing the facebook posting, Margit hopped on her bike, the same one which she had used on her travels, and quickly pedaled to Point Reyes Station for a very happy and unexpected reunion. There was yet another coincidence: Adela and Kris are now heading to Alaska where they hope to reach in August. Margit and James are also going to Alaska, traveling by air and returning by cycle, at the same time.
Adela and Kris stayed that night with Margit and James in Lagunitas, spending a great evening swapping travel stories.
Linda Petersen

Executive directors of non-profits in West Marin

“We gather West Marin's non-profit Executive Directors quarterly to share common concerns and new ideas. It's such a good idea, and a good time too. This morning PRNSA hosted - and here's the team! So much devoted service, so many events coming up to support these organizations.  Please see the new West Marin Commons calendar to find out about upcoming opportunities.” Catherine Porter, West Marin Fund Executive Director  Back row:  Skip Schwartz, WM Senior Services; Susan Tillett, Mesa Refuge; Mark Switzer, EAH and WM Commons; Marika Bergsund, Slide Ranch; Jamison Watts, MALT Middle row: Louise Franklin, Dance Palace; Samaria Jaffe, PRNSA; Steve Siegel, Coastal Health Alliance; Bonny White, Marin County Free Library Lower row:  Wendy Friefeld, WM Community Services; Oren Slozberg, Commonweal; Kim Thompson, CLAM; Amanda Eichstaedt’, KWMR; Jennifer Gately, Bolinas

“We gather West Marin’s non-profit Executive Directors quarterly to share common concerns and new ideas. It’s such a good idea, and a good time too. This morning PRNSA hosted – and here’s the team! So much devoted service, so many events coming up to support these organizations. Please see the new West Marin Commons calendar to find out about upcoming opportunities.” Catherine Porter, West Marin Fund Executive Director
Back row: Skip Schwartz, WM Senior Services; Susan Tillett, Mesa Refuge; Mark Switzer, EAH and WM Commons; Marika Bergsund, Slide Ranch; Jamison Watts, MALT
Middle row: Louise Franklin, Dance Palace; Samaria Jaffe, PRNSA; Steve Siegel, Coastal Health Alliance; Bonny White, Marin County Free Library
Lower row: Wendy Friefeld, WM Community Services; Oren Slozberg, Commonweal; Kim Thompson, CLAM; Amanda Eichstaedt’, KWMR; Jennifer Gately, Bolinas

Arch Rock collapse at Point Reyes National Seashore

 

San Francisco preschool teacher, 58-year-old Nancy Blum, died Saturday. A section of seashore bluff at Arch Rock collapsed beneath her and her companion. Her companion survived the fall without life-threatening injuries. Bystanders told emergency personnel the ground gave way all at once with a terrifying and thunderous crash Saturday, hurling the San Francisco woman and her companion toward the beach 75 feet below amid tons of broken sandstone that had been part of the Point Reyes National Seashore’s Arch Rock.

Rescue personnel, including Sonoma County’s Henry 1 helicopter and crew, credited bystanders with helping to free the injured man’s trapped foot and lower leg from the rubble. In the meantime, the incoming tide was rising around him and the fog was closing in.

Earlier that day many hikers paused at Arch Rock to examine the reported fissures.

Rangers discovered the fissure on the cliff’s edge last Wednesday and posted signs warning hikers that “hazardous conditions exist on Arch Rock. Fissures along the top of Arch Rock may have weakened the cliff.”

The sign at the Bear Valley trailhead warned bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. They are prone to crumbling and sliding. It is very dangerous to climb or walk along the edge of cliffs. Be aware of falling rocks if walking near the base of a rock face. The warning did not specifically tell hikers to stay off of Arch Rock. The sign on the trail at Bear Valley parking lot included a photo of the fissure. Another photo, also by the Park service, posted on the PRNS website, showed a much wider fissure.

The day before the collapse, the Point Reyes National Seashore had posted a photo on Facebook of the fissure in the rock structure — with a warning to use caution.

“Visitors using Bear Valley Trail to Arch Rock — watch out! At the very end of the trail, the cliff is breaking away — seen here in a photo taken Wednesday,” the government organization said.

The Bear Valley trail is very popular on the weekends, with the parking lot nearly full by late morning. Scores of hikers headed up the Bear Valley trail, many with Arch Rock as their destination.

John Dell’Osso from the Point Reyes National Seashore told CNN and other news outlets that it had posted warnings after being notified last Thursday that a crack had formed in the arch.

“We posted all kinds of notices up and down that particular trail (Bear Valley), which is how probably 99% of the people who would hike that far would (go), and all around our visitors’ center in Trail Heads, just to warn people of the hazard that was out there,” Dell’Osso said.

“We didn’t know what could happen and what unfortunately did happen is on Saturday afternoon a large portion of that overlook actually collapsed down onto the beach and partly onto the ocean,” he said. “The tragedy is that there were two people that were standing out there who fell with all of that rubble.”

After emergency personnel reached Blum and her hiking companion, she was flown to Bear Valley Ranger Station, where she was pronounced dead.

Citizen Staff

 

 

 

Editor’s comments:

The Park Service was aware of the dangerous nature of the bluff, with the recent fissure widening. Such a condition needed stronger measures than passive signs at such a popular and well used trail.

There are many photographs being posted on social media showing groups of hikers standing on Arch Rock that Saturday, and even jumping over the crack.

I do not know if this type of cliff fissure is common at Pt Reyes, or if they occur often and do not presage a major collapse. But a few questions come to mind: why was the warning not more specific? Why were there no rangers at the site during the day, when it would have been apparent that hikers were not heeding the warning? There seem to be enough staff on duty most weekends to snag dog owners with dogs off-leash on Limantour Beach, or even on a rainy New Years Eve in the Giacomini Wetlands, which happened to me. The Bear Valley trail is very popular on the weekends, with the parking lot nearly full by late morning and scores of hikers heading up Bear Valley road, many with Arch Rock as their destination. The hikers I spoke with on Sunday morning were studying the sign, photographing it, and when told that the cliff had collapsed the previous day, discussed how they could hike close to observe the slide. It appears that the sign drew people to the site to see the fissure for themselves. It seems that it would have been prudent to close off the trail immediately and post some rangers in the area after it became apparent that it was widening rapidly. Trails have been closed for much more benign reasons in the past. Linda Petersen

A letter to my community

GirlsPortlandMy granddaughters Luna and Ariana who will soon

As owner and sole proprietor of the West Marin Citizen I am in negotiations over a sale of the paper to Tess Elliott and David Briggs of the Point Reyes Light Publishing Company (the sale will not involve the Marin Media Institute). We were hoping to have a bit more time to hash out the details before announcing this plan to our community, but a former editor of the Point Reyes Light and the WM Citizen, jumped the gun with a “blog-post” sent out via mass emails and posting on social networks, expressing his dismay over the sale. He disconnected himself from the Citizen in November 2010, when he resigned and has no insight into that paper’s finances or structure.

The three of us believe that West Marin can only support a single viable weekly newspaper—and we know we are not alone in that belief. Advertisers are stretched thin and readers and contributors are often uncomfortably stuck in the middle. Meanwhile our staffs and pay have dwindled. Our vision is that the Light will incorporate the community coverage and the voices that have made the Citizen so valuable and so beloved. We are approaching this sale in the spirit of a merger. We need all of you to help make that happen.

 

I will be leaving California in a few months, joining my family in Portland, Oregon. My son and his family and my daughter and her family have relocated to Portland with their small daughters, my granddaughters, due to the high cost of housing in the Bay Area.

 

I joined the Citizen in the summer of 2007 when Joel Hack started the paper during a period of dissatisfaction with the new owner of the Pt Reyes Light. The Citizen fulfilled a need in the community for grass-roots local news.

The two papers helped define what readers were looking for in a local paper and I feel it’s time to bow out and allow the Pt Reyes Light, with the support of the community, begin a new era in West Marin journalism.

. I trust that you all will encourage and support Tess and David, and continue the “community conversations” via letters, opinion, and stories about local people doing local things.

This is a bitter-sweet moment for me and the many Citizen supporters and contributors, but it does not mean the spirit of the Citizen will disappear. I hope all of you will sustain your passion and dedication to community and help Tess and David incorporate this energy into the “new” Light.

There are too many people I want to thank, too many to name but I do want to mention how grateful I am for all the hugs, phone calls and messages of support for my difficult decision this past week. Most important is my gratitude to David Bunnett and Joel Hack for convincing me that I could take on the role of publisher in 2011, among my many other responsibilities.

I will still be publishing the Coast Guide twice a year which will bring me to West Marin now and then to bother business owners for advertising. You are not rid of me yet!

The Citizen will cease publishing after April 30th.  Subscriptions will be honored by the Point Reyes Light.

At this time we continue to accept your stories and photos and letters and calendar entries as usual. We welcome your thoughts and memories of the nearly eight WM Citizen years!

With great affection, Linda Petersen

 

Cultural Potholes

By Donna Sheehan and Paul Reffell

Sometimes you just have to take the leap. It’s better to jump into cold water than wade in slowly. It’s better to rip off the BandAid than to slowly pull every hair. Better to leave a harmful situation.

 

We get all worked up about change. We get scared of unseen developments, of life’s uncertainties, of death. We want to be sure of our footing. We want time to be able to form expectations. We feel safe with the status quo. But that belies our adaptive nature – the quality that has made our species so successful.

 

A skydiver doesn’t exit the plane a little at a time. It’s a leap. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been careful preparation for jumping into thin air.

 

A sailing vessel would never leave port if captain and crew were not ready to face unknown dangers. They stock the boat, stop leaks, repair sails, check the rigging, but they set sail not truly knowing what’s in store. That’s why logbook entries used to be written “sailing towards” not “sailing to” the destination, just in case they had to divert.

 

Prepare for heavy weather, for transformation, for change. Then sail for your destination, aware of your ability to take what comes.

 

 

 

 

A few comments from community on the sale:

 

Linda Petersen and Tess Elliott and the Point Reyes Light and the West Marin Citizen -wishing you peace and wisdom and space and support from your community as you work together right now on a new future for all. I honor your efforts! Robin Carpenter

 

I support Linda’s decision to sell to the Point Reyes Light. I support the concept of one newspaper and I know that this community can work together to support one newspaper. It is time. Linda put a lot of thought into this and did not make this decision lightly. Linda and Tess are planning to come on KWMR and talk more about the process at a future date. Stay tuned. Amanda Eichstaedt

 

hi Tess and Linda …..

 

`just a short word praising each of you for such polite and  ethical behaviour.

 

`i look forward to the merger of    journalistic philosophies. We will all be the better for it.

 

JeanettePontacq