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Marin's Royal Visit

Prince Charles and his bride Camilla will visit West Marin's organic farms Nov. 5 to promote healthy agriculture. Though it's not well known on this side of the pond, the Prince of Wales is a devotee of the slow food movement, which supports organic farming, heirloom varieties and sustainable practices. He also strongly opposes genetic engineering of food. His itinerary calls for a visit to the Pt. Reyes Farmers Market and lunch at a West Marin organic farm. The farmers market is open Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Charles will greet patrons before lunching at Warren Weber's Star Route Farms. Helge Hellberg, executive director of Marin Organic, said the prince's visit shows that the importance of organic foods and sustainable agriculture reaches well beyond California's shores.

Voters: Tax Thyself

In response to diminished state funding, a slew of measures in Marin seek to restore funds for firefighters, libraries, parks and infrastructure. To prevent closure of fire stations and community centers and to preserve vital city services, San Rafael is seeking to add a half-cent to its sales tax. Measure S requires a simple majority and would expire in 10 years. In San Anselmo, voters are being asked to approve a $250 per year parcel tax to fund police and fire services as well as park and libraries. Measure B requires two-thirds approval to pass. Muir Beach is seeking $300 per household (and $3,250 per commercial property) to fund capital improvements to its water system. Measure C requires a two-thirds majority and would remain in effect for four years.

School Measures, Etc.

Meanwhile, the Reed school district in Tiburon and Belvedere, is seeking a $13 million bond for such school improvements as a new gym and auditorium, as well as classroom renovations. It needs 55 percent of the vote to pass. In Napa, a $2.7 million bond for the Howell Elementary School District would fund capital improvements and computers for students--it requires 55 percent approval to pass. Over in Bolinas, citizens will vote on two advisory measures: Measure D would implement parking restrictions, such as resident-only spots and timed zones, while Measure E would advise against pesticide use, except for pesticides allowed in organic farming, in the Bolinas public utility district and lagoon area. Perhaps Bolinas could consider an advisory measure to bring to justice those scofflaws who tear down street signs pointing towards Bobotown.

--Briefs by Michael Shapiro

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From the November 2-8, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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