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Don MacKay: A pioneer at the intersection of language and memory

05/01/2014
In 1957 a man named Henry Molaison, who became one of psychology’s most famous patients, had his hippocampus removed in an attempt to control his life-threatening seizures. After the surgery, he was unable to form new memories without years or even decades of effort. Many at the time believed the...

Restoring the bond between agriculture and the environment, one meeting at a time

05/01/2014
On Friday morning, ranchers and environmentalists sat side by side for a wide-ranging discussion of the most pressing challenges to the region’s agriculture at the first meeting of the Marin Conservation League’s new Agricultural Land Use Committee. For decades, a broad coalition like it—the forward guard in sustainable agriculture—would have been a familiar sight at the Marin County Farm Bureau office in Point Reyes Station. But recent controversy over Drakes Bay Oyster Company made last week’s gathering seem unlikely...

Warmer ocean spurs feasting along coast

05/01/2014
Large schools of baitfish off the coast of Point Reyes, presenting a feast for birds and sea mammals and a strange sight for locals last month, may have been lured north and inland because of warmer ocean temperatures this year. A fisheries scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it was too early to tell if the oceanographic conditions might indicate a coming El Niño, since those conditions can be highly variable from year to year; however, last month NOAA reported that the chances of an El Niño event kicking off by this summer exceed 50 percent. An avian ecologist with Petaluma-based Point Blue said that “off the charts” numbers of pelicans in the area last month might also point to abnormal ocean conditions and a coming El Niño event.

Lagunitas stays course on Bourgea

05/01/2014
The Lagunitas School District board of trustees voted 4-1 in closed session on Thursday not to rescind the resignation of middle school teacher Yosha Bourgea. Trustee Richard Sloan, who also cast the sole vote against the recent closure of the Waldorf program, was the only dissenter. Mr. Bourgea, who started...

Circuit court denies EAC appeal

05/01/2014
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed a lower court ruling denying a request by the Environmental Action Committee, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Save our Seashore to be named intervenors in federal litigation between Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the federal...

Deputies to test body cameras

05/01/2014
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office plans to test the effectiveness of implementing on-body cameras for its deputies, contrary to a finding in a February Civil Grand Jury report, “Get the Picture? Audiovisual Technology and Marin Law Enforcement,” which recommended purchasing the cameras that can be attached to hats, collars or...

Inverness Almanac invites wisdom

05/01/2014
One night every week, a cohort of West Marin’s scarce 20 and 30-somethings gather in an office above the Old Western Saloon. The walls bear evidence of their twin focus on the land and the arts: a six-by-four foot United States Geological Survey map of the peninsula, shelves of poetry,...

Seat open on Peace Commission

05/01/2014
Marin County’s five-member Peace Conversion Commission has a new vacancy. Created by the voter-enacted Nuclear-Free Zone law, the commission enforces the prohibition of the county’s investments in, or purchases of, civilian products and services from nuclear weapons contractors and their subsidiaries, unless no reasonable alternative exists. More information and applications...

Fund gives third round of grants

05/01/2014
The West Marin Fund this month announced a third round of grants totaling more than $66,000 to 34 local nonprofits. The grants, which ranged from $5,000 to $8,000, were designed to help groups achieve whatever they need most—from hiring fundraising consultants to purchasing shop tools, efficient lighting or new computers...

Board approves Latino liaisons

04/24/2014
After nearly five months of debating the issue, Shoreline trustees unanimously approved an advisory position for a Latino representative at each school site last Thursday. The school board initially planned to vote on adding a regular report from the English Language Advisory Council to future agendas, but after hearing comments...

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