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Campaign Trail

Representative Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, may be stumping on the campaign trail for reelection, but she's also greasing the local voter skids with $25 million for a new bike and pedestrian program in Marin County. Woolsey says that the program "will create a transportation hub so that walking and biking is truly safe and convenient, and part of Marin's overall transportation plan." The money is part of a larger $58 million allocated toward relieving North Bay congestion, and includes funds for a commuter rail system, buses and widening the Novato Narrows. "Through building the bicycle and pedestrian network, we will be able to show that walking and bicycling can substantially contribute towards reducing congestion, decreasing energy use, improving the environment and providing public-health benefits," says Deb Hubsmith, advocacy director for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.

Bird Bite

More local birds have tested positive for the West Nile virus, previously appearing in Sonoma and Marin counties. The virus is an avian virus that humans can catch and which may occasionally be fatal. There is no vaccine. Two ringed turtledoves on Fairbank Avenue in Sebastopol along with a Steller's jay on Storybrook Court in Novato have been recently found to carry the virus. A total of 14 birds (13 in Sonoma and one in Marin) have tested positive for it this year. No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported locally. The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District is investigating known mosquito sites and has set traps in the areas the infected birds were found. "The best way to avoid the disease is to reduce exposure to and eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes," said Nathalie Bera, deputy public health officer of Marin County. The district prefers online reporting of dead birds that may have the virus at www.westnile.ca.gov. Concerned residents can also report suspiciously inert birds at a toll-free number, 877.WNV.BIRD.

Friend in Need

Napa Emergency Women's Services, an agency that provides emergency shelter for women and children suffering from domestic violence, has launched a website (www.napanews.org) and elected a new board of directors. The site was created through a grant from Auction Napa Valley. Lupe Rincon was elected president of the board. Rincon says she is pleased to be serving an organization "with such dedicated, caring and professional staff who provide vital services to so many individuals and families in our community who suffer from domestic violence." The service, which opened in 1981, has a 24-hour crisis line at 707.255.6397.

--Chip McAuley

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From the August 10-16, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.