Rancho boss charged with conspiracy, bad meat and mail fraud

A federal grand jury indicted three Rancho Feeding Corporation employees last week for deliberately selling meat from cancer-afflicted cows, a criminal action that instigated a nationwide recall. Jesse “Babe” Amaral, the 76-year-old co-owner of the Petaluma slaughterhouse and the manager of daily operations, allegedly directed his employees to slaughter cattle...

Dick Velloza, who drove diesel to ranches, dies at 89

Richard “Dick” Velloza, a lifelong West Marin resident who built a house and a family in Point Reyes Station while delivering gas to ranches and tinkering for a water utility, died, on August 1 at age 89. Dick’s father, Richard Velloza, Sr., was a Portuguese native who grew up in...

Leaving home: Danielle Steel’s $9 million listing

Bestselling romance novelist Danielle Steel’s adoring, 12-year love affair with her home at 164 Seadrift appears to be coming to an end with a listing for sale last week. But like some divorcées, Ms. Steel won’t be leaving the relationship empty-handed: her 3,425 square-foot home with four bedrooms, a solarium...

centers on 
Bolinas bond spending

In the first contested election in eight years, a business consultant and mother of two will challenge three incumbents this November for a spot on the Bolinas-Stinson school board as the district readies itself for a facilities overhaul. Christine Cunha, an active member of the Fiscal Oversight and Facilities Planning Advisory Committee since 2011, wants a seat on the board after becoming so “vested” in...

Stinson water board 
approves ration plan

The Stinson Beach County Water District approved a rationing ordinance on Saturday that includes a quickly escalating fine system and allowances for full-time residents and residences with second units. The ordinance, whose terms were drafted over several months, will take effect only if the town’s supply drops below 70 percent...

Fatal plane crash sparks wildland fire on ranch

A pilot was found dead after his single-engine passenger plane crashed on a ranch north of Hicks Valley on Monday night, sparking a brush fire that consumed 40 acres of hilly terrain before sheriff’s deputies and firemen discovered it in the wee hours Tuesday. The Marin County Communications Center received...

Righting capitalism with dividends

Peter Barnes’s new book, With Liberty And Dividends For All , extends the author’s ongoing investigation of capitalism, identifying the system’s shortcomings and offering ideas about how to improve it for the benefit of the shrinking American middle class. Barnes, a West Marin resident who founded the Mesa Refuge writers...

Waldorf charter finds home in west Fairfax

Marin parents interested in a Waldorf education now have a second public option with the opening this September of Wise Academy, a charter school launched by former families of the Lagunitas School District’s Waldorf-inspired program. On Monday the elementary school announced it secured a home at the Henry Bothin Youth...