News

Rancho recalls a year's worth of meat

02/13/2014
After nearly a century in business, the Bay Area’s last major slaughterhouse facility has once again closed its doors, for the second time in less than a month. Following a massive recall of 8.7 million pounds of beef and the launch of an investigation into potential criminal charges, Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma has ceased its operations while they retrieve the meat. The financial burden of reimbursing clients could mean the plant may not reopen, multiple ranchers said, posing a threat to the region’s beef and dairy producers. Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a recall of all cattle slaughtered...

Inverness family, bereaved, receives deluge of support

02/13/2014
A memorial service for Roneil Laverne Powell, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 43 earlier this month, drew hundreds to the Dance Palace on Saturday. The church space filled quickly, so the crowd spilled into the lobby, huddled under tents or braved the rainy weather to remember the...

Library sweeps out dead stock

02/06/2014
The Marin County Free Library this month discarded 7,500 items of mostly adult and teen fiction in the midst of growing dead stock that library managers attribute to the rising popularity of e-books and tablets. The sweep removed about 3.5 percent of West Marin’s stock, or about 1,900 books—though in...

A new pastor in Point Reyes

02/06/2014
Kaye Whitney, the new pastor at Point Reyes Presbyterian Church, felt a calling to the ministry over four decades ago, but gender norms dissuaded her. “Back when I was a young girl, women weren’t necessarily accepted into the ministry… So while it called to me, I didn’t see a way...

Library plans June ballot measure

02/06/2014
The Marin County Free Library plans to put another measure on the ballot for the upcoming June election to sustain funding provided by Measure A’s $49 parcel, set to expire on June 30, 2015. Library staff on Tuesday presented findings to the Board of Supervisors from a telephone survey taken...

Drakes claims violation of act

02/06/2014
Drakes Bay Oyster Company filed a cross-complaint against the California Coastal Commission last week, claiming that its failure to process the oyster farm’s coastal permit application and the actions it has taken against the farm constitute a violation of the Coastal Act because of the law’s provisions safeguarding aquaculture. “The...

Levine asks for quick tule elk relief

02/06/2014
At the request of Point Reyes ranchers, State Assemblyman Mark Levine sent a letter to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Jan. 22, asking the agency to consider helping Point Reyes National Seashore producers affected by the intrusion of tule elk on agricultural lands. Since a free-ranging herd...

County renews smart meter ban

02/06/2014
A moratorium on the installation of Pacific Gas & Electric smart meters was renewed Tuesday by county supervisors to allow time for the state utilities regulator to develop policies for individuals, and possibly communities, choosing to opt out. Bans of the wireless meter now exist in over a dozen towns,...

Starfish struck by disease

02/06/2014
The night sky may still be full of them, but our tide pools are suddenly dark and empty. A disease known as sea-star wasting syndrome has caused significant harm to starfish along the West Coast, decimating the population in Marin, local scientists and beachcombers said. George Clyde, a Marshall resident,...

In new permit, park denies home to historic ranching family

02/06/2014
The National Park Service has denied a request by third-generation ranchers to inhabit a home on their historic ranch, a narrow 340-acre parcel that sits between Point Reyes Station and Olema. Virginia McFadden, whose family has ties to the land dating to 1918, and her husband, Jim, sought a permit to allow them to continue agricultural operations after their 25-year reservation of use of occupancy expired late last year. But the government says that because the McFaddens sublet the land for ranching by someone outside their clan while their son and his family lived in the residence in recent years, the two uses—agricultural and residential—have been irrevocably split. Mr. McFadden said his decision to return to the land was prompted in part by the Interior Secretary’s announcement when he decided to shut down Drakes Bay Oyster Company that the park...

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