Features

Eric Vaughn hits the right notes

07/26/2012
By day Eric Vaughn provides in-home care through West Marin Senior Services, but by night he sheds his delicate touch for that of a hard bebop and swing-playing pianist, preparing for the debut of his new album, Minor Relocation. The album, which hits shelves August 17, is the sum of...

Phillip Fradkin, 1935—2012

07/12/2012
Philip Fradkin, author, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist nationally renowned for his writing on the environment, died Saturday at his home in Point Reyes Station. He was 77. In his own words, Mr. Fradkin told stories. About the American West, about wilderness and its preservation, about earthquakes, and about a...

Songs for 
the dying

07/12/2012
While most of us sing lullabies to soothe our children’s cries or help them sleep, one woman is singing to the ears of the dying—along with hundreds of others she has trained around the world. “Watching and waiting by that beautiful gate, it’s welcoming door opens just for you, you...

West Marin dogs have scents

06/28/2012
Last weekend over a dozen four-legged, sniff-happy guests assailed a bed and breakfast on the Bolinas Mesa. There was not a bomb threat, or any cocaine. The 14 dogs that wandered throughout the Ocean Song Retreat were in search of the scent of birch. A swab soaked in essential oil...

Nell Melcher, 1927—2012

06/07/2012
Nell Melcher, world traveler, teacher and local artist whose work was shown in more than 50 galleries, featured by Kenwood Vineyards, and honored by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, died May 20 in Point Reyes Station after struggles with a long illness. She was 84. A life-long seeker...

Community sings ode to Bolinas-Stinson School legend

06/07/2012
A walk around this week’s art show at Bolinas-Stinson School might leave you staring at a peculiar photo in the room. Perched on the side of a window overlooking a tall building sits a curly-haired woman dressed in a cape and tight shirt bearing a giant “S”; the caption reads...

One woman’s life in fur

05/31/2012
For Allison Arnold, the secret to self sufficiency lies in one fuzzy word: Angora. The Woodacre farmer, who has been surrounded by rabbits for as long as she can remember, spins the fur of her seven-plus angora rabbits into high-end yarns. She barters their pelts and feeds them to her...

Don McIsaac, 1941—2012

05/31/2012
Donald J. McIsaac Jr., heir to West Marin’s golden era of dairy and cherished husband, father and friend, died on May 11 in Sparks, Nevada. He was 70 years old. Mr. McIsaac was born on August 29, 1941 to ranchers Lorraine and Donald J. McIsaac Sr. His Swiss-Italian great-grandfather had...

A Nicaraguan mission that altered history

05/17/2012
On April 31, 2012, Tomas Borge Martinez, the last of the founders of the Sandinistas, the rebel group that overthrew Nicaragua’s American-backed right-wing dictatorship 33 years ago, died. Most people remember Borge as a hero; some would argue he was the most powerful man in Nicaragua during his lifetime. He...

Growing care for paralytics, plant by plant

05/10/2012
Pumpkin, sunflower, kale, garlic, lettuce, roses, aloe, sedum, cosmos, hollyhock: Only speckles of concrete could be seen under the masses of plants that consumed Aneice Taylor’s Woodacre driveway last weekend. For those who just discovered the (18th annual) In Spirit plant sale by chance, the plants meant added decor to...

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