Letters to the Editor
Fishing for Facts
I'm staring in disbelief at the many misleading statements, unsupported rhetoric and factual errors in the story on Marine Life Protection Act's Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting ("Upcoming MLPA Meeting," Blast, April 16). I thought that the North Bay Bohemian was a pretty unbiased paper, but not so for this article. A statement like "Proposal 4 . . . would close almost all recreational bottom fishing at Duxbury Reef" is incorrect and misleading.
The proponents of Proposal 4 spent over 120 hours working with the small Bolinas fishing fleet to address their concerns, and left over half of Duxbury Reef open to all fishing, closing the northern portion of the reef where only juvenile rockfish are caught. That's the definition of unsustainable fishery!
The author's bias against protecting the marine resources that belong to all Californians, not just the 14,000 members of Coastside Fishing Club, is clear in that no members of the conservation community were quoted.
For readers to get a well-rounded view of this process, go to www.caloceans.org to see what the conservation community has to say, and then go to www.keepamericafishing.org/california.asp to see what the fishermen are saying and judge for themselves.
The Bohemian has done a great disservice to its readers by publishing an article with a complete bias toward recreational fishing groups that omits the other viewpoint of the majority of Californians who strongly support marine conservation to ensure our waters aren't overfished—like Duxbury Reef.
Alastair Bland responds: While researching that short article, a DFG spokesperson assured me that Proposal 4 would tightly restrict bottom fishing on Duxbury Reef; the fact that a large group of fishermen are opposed to it is a telling fact. The DFG also points out that the details of the Duxbury closure are not yet etched in stone, so we can argue about percentages and regional boundaries defined by the three proposals, but the lawmakers are still adjusting them. Lastly, one of the main points of my piece was to illustrate the ironic divide that separates many fishermen from environmentalists, when they are ultimately fighting for most of the same goals. Here's to the great ocean!
Excuse me? A moose in Great Britain, observed by the queen? ("Local Lit," April 9.) There are no moose left there—in fact, there was a story in the Times of London this month about the importing of moose from North America to re-create that population.
It was a stag, folks. A royal stag of the Highlands.
We Don't Understand it Either
Heed the drunken prodigy trickling up!
Reading Eliot Fintushel's "Cross Purpose" (Open Mic, April 9), all I could picture was Jeff Bridges' astoundingly realistic one-on-one with a Pinocchio doll in The Fisher King. Disillusioned and drunk on electric Lucifer, I am a dancing fool until the blood, sweat and tears of the innocent cry up from the soil, "Life's no picnic." If Mother Earth would only write a biography, I'm sure she'd do it over a stiff gallon of cheap whiskey while spouting obscenities into the firmament. Then I'd ask her, as a kind favor, to swallow debutantes into her scorching mantle because life's no debutante ball, either. On God's ethereal switchboard, the last are first and the lower rung will grow the closest. So this planet will be the world's largest theremin playing a haunting air for the dregs and all the Blake Bitners of the world.
Enjoy your latte!
Modern HIstory, Writ in Blood
I did just as letter writer Michael Zebulon suggested (Letters, April 9). I went to the library and studied the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Naturally, one finds critics of Israel who give evidence that there was a mass expulsion of Arabs by Israel in 1948. The interesting thing is that today this view has come increasingly to be accepted by mainstream Israeli historians.
Benny Morris' exhaustive study Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881–2001 thoroughly documents the very violent expulsion, not as told by Arab refugees, who might be expected to harbor anti-Israel sentiments, but with the eyewitness accounts and official documents of Israeli participants. Uri Milstein, the authoritative Israeli military historian of the 1948 war, maintained that "every skirmish ended in a massacre of Arabs."
As Moshe Dayan said, "We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish, state here. . . . Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. . . . There is not a single community in the country that did not have a former Arab population."
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