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Teen Faces Life

In this week's Open Mic, Sonoma County Juvenile Justice Commission member Hank Mattimore argues that juvenile offenders should not be sent to adult prisons. That's exactly what teenager Marco Lopez is facing after being convicted of first degree murder by a Sonoma County jury Dec. 21. Lopez was 15 when he stabbed a 74-year-old Sebastopol man to death during a home robbery in October 2002. Because the murder was committed during a crime, Lopez could be sentenced to either life without the possibility of parole or 25 years to life by Superior Court Judge Cerena Wong. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Hello Kitty

It's a boy! Genetic Savings and Clone, the Sausalito-based bioengineering firm whose efforts to develop the pet clone market were first detailed locally in the Bohemian ("PerPetUal Life," May 19), announced delivery of its first clone last week. The nine-week-old male kitten, Little Nicky, was manufactured from genetic material provided from a deceased 17-year-old housecat owned by a woman from Texas. Little Nicky is apparently the spitting image of his genetic donor, much to the pleasure of his new owner, who ponied up $50,000 for the cloned kitten.

Tomato-Fish Replica

Luke Snyder, a credentialed teacher, is gathering signatures full-time for GE-Free Sonoma County. Lately, he has taken to wearing a tomato-fish hat. Says Snyder, "People ask, 'What is on your head? It looks like a tomato-fish!' It's an easy way to begin a conversation about genetic engineering." The hat illustrates a failed experiment in 1991, when researchers forced genetic information from the Arctic flounder into tomato plants, hoping the plants would withstand frost in the field and the tomatoes would resist cold damage in storage. To qualify the GE-Free Initiative for the March 2005 ballot, the campaign must collect several thousand more signatures by Jan 4. For more information, call 707.823.4410 or go to www.gefreesonoma.org.

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From the December 29, 2004-January 4, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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