No Thanksgiving for oyster debate


The California Democratic Party debated—but did not ultimately weigh in on—the fate of Drakes Bay Oyster Company this month, which is fighting the federal government to continue operating in the estero where the bivalve has been cultivated for close to a century. Two resolutions, one in support of the farm and one in support of the federal government’s decision to shutter it, were brought to a meeting the weekend before Thanksgiving. The resolution to support the government received more votes than the other, but the party’s executive board refrained from taking a stance on either one. “I invited both resolutions to the environmental caucus because both sides have environmental arguments to be made,” the head of the caucus, R. L. Miller, wrote on Facebook. “As we move into a season of thanks, I want to express gratitude to all folk who participated in the democratic process for your passion and civility on a difficult issue, and all keep in mind that there is more that unites us than divides us.” But the Drakes Bay debate flared rather than sputtered over the Thanksgiving weekend: a pro-Drakes Bay Oyster Company sign was glued to the sign for the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin’s office, and a brochure condemning the oyster farm that makes accusations of sinister connections to the Koch brothers and imminent ecological disaster was placed under the doors of at least several local businesses, including Ace Building Supply Center, Rancho Nicasio and Viewpoints. Lee Flynn, who owns Viewpoints, remarked, “My only reaction was that no one had pride enough to put their name on it and take responsibility for creating the brochure.”