The Mayor of 42nd Avenue

eddie1Most days he would step inside the front door of our office on Northeast 42nd Avenue to declare, with a loud and dissonant voice, that it was going to rain that day; or announce something that was – or maybe wasn’t – happening up the street. He would then abruptly turn and leave to share his news report with other businesses or passersby along the avenue. Eddie Morgan, aka the Mayor of 42nd Avenue, was standing on the corner of 42nd and Alberta Street early one morning when he was shot to death.

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The Other Marin

IMG_3193Marin County is known for a number of things: German automobiles cluttering its roads, George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch and the stereotypical affluent California lifestyle in general. It’s also rolling hills and, miles from anything, the town of Nicasio, home to a church, a little league field, a volunteer fire department and the venerable Rancho Nicasio. The roadhouse was built in 1941, a year after the 1867-vintage Nicasio Hotel burned.

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Not In My Backyard!

ExxonMobil touts its success in extracting natural gas by fracking – hydraulic fracturing. They also want us to know how safe and inconsequential to the surroundings  it is. But just in case, ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson is suing to prevent fracking near his property in Texas. It would impinge on his “rural lifestyle.”

A Day at the Beach

beachcarOregon Governor Oswald West in 1913 signed legislation designating its ocean beaches as public highways. “The shore of the Pacific Ocean from the Columbia River on the north to the Oregon and California State line on the south, is hereby declared a public highway and shall forever remain open as such to the public.” Driving on the beach used to be common, as did the sight of a motorist frantically trying to get free from soft sand before an incoming tide claimed the vehicle. The law was revised in 1947, changing “public highway” to “recreation area.” In California, beaches are also, by law, public. The wealthy and the famous find that outrageously unfair to them.

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