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What does 'green' even mean?

Thank you for publishing last week's article about Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey and the "greening" of Marin ( "Beyond the Trails," Green Zone, Oct. 7). I use quotations around "greening," because what Supervisor Kinsey is working on is not the typical greening that has prevailed in Marin (or most places) over the last century. Instead of focusing on trees and wetlands, this type of greening focuses on people and communities. And let's face it: it's the people, not the trees, who are having the problem with sustainability. And it's the people, just as much as the trees, who are suffering the consequences.

It's time we turn our attention toward human behavior and realize that there is no such thing as an "environmental" problem. From deforestation to groundwater contamination to traffic congestion to sea level rise, there is a giant people problem at the core—and the environment is a victim. Conservation alone will not solve our problems as long as basic human needs are not met, and environmental conditions will not improve unless we improve our behaviors. Fortunately for Marin, Supervisor Kinsey understands this- hopefully the Sierra Club and the Marin Conservation League will, too.

Julia Prange


Resist the asphalt

Thank you for printing the arguments against the Novato Narrows highway widening project (Letters, Sept. 30). It is a shame that many public transit projects, like the SMART train, are subject to great debate and require a public vote in order to proceed, yet highway and road expansions proceed with much less scrutiny and public discourse. Our lives, and almost certainly the lives of our children and grandchildren, would be better if transit was the priority. Highway expansions enable us to carry on with our unsustainable driving habits. Higher gas prices are needed, but if that is hard to come by then we must think locally and resist the impulse to add asphalt to our landscape.

Sprague Terplan

San Francisco

NRA, we hardly knew ye

Introducing a new political party: Never Re-Elect Anyone (NRA). Never Re-Elect Anyone is the new political party seeking your vote. We don't ask for any membership dues, don't send you any material in the mail, have no solicitation of funds, will never phone you, have no meetings. We only ask you to Never Re-Elect Anyone.

P. S.: Remember, a new broom sweeps clean.

Walter Schivo


Not that guy in black face

The Nov. 17 special election represents an unprecedented watershed moment for Cotati voters. One way lies George Barich, who has repeatedly exercised poor judgment, demonstrating an inability to listen to, work with, respect or represent others. His lack of respect for city staff and colleagues and for due processes of government, and his belligerent attitude, have alienated many. Cotati can't take any more of this!

The other way: recall George Barich.

Choose instead a candidate who is steady, sensible, down-to-earth and honest, with integrity, who has a keen sense of responsibility and a proven track record. Someone who has lived in Cotati for many years and knows the community well. Someone who listens and has a heart and cares.

Linell Hardy fits the bill. She has lived in Cotati for 31 years, raised her family and run a business here. She has been a regular attendee at city council meetings, where her contributions are sensible, positive and to the point. She has been on the Planning Commission for two years and the chair since January 2009. She expresses her opinion—you know where she stands—but listens to different points of view and can work well with others to achieve a common goal. As a city council member she will be careful and considerate, forthright and reliable, with the prudent attitude to finances that the city needs right now.

Jenny Blaker


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