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Bodega Bay Beat - November 2015


Bodega Bay Beat - November 2015

by Joan Poulos

These are interesting times for legal junkies like me, and for others who have even a passing interest in laws and politics.   For those of us who supported the Death With Dignity legislation (SB 128) it was refreshing to see our Governor allow the legislation to stand.  His statement reflected his own angst (being Jesuit trained and with the Catholic church opposing the measure) and his understanding that his veto would have deprived many terminally ill of choices.  This helps remind us that when we support a candidate we need to inquire who they ARE, and not be swayed by groups that support or oppose, or even by individual votes that we disagree with.

This will be a crucial presidential election for many reasons. For me the single most important task (apart from decisions to avoid war) is to ask the new President to recognize that the new appointment to the US Supreme Court is very likely to happen soon (several present members are over 80). By June 2016 we will be nervously awaiting key decisions on many crucial issues.  Right now we don’t know the full extent of those issues (until the end of January the present Court continues to grant reviews) but we do know that important issues are already before them such as affirmative action in admissions, whether a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole possibilities is cruel and unusual punishment for juveniles convicted of homicide, and effect of pretrial seizure before trial of an alleged criminal defendant’s assets. (does this violate the 6th amendment right to counsel for defendants not yet convicted [especially where assets are untainted by the alleged crime.) The Court has important cases about voting rights cases involving the realigning election districts drawn to protect incumbents and on the rights of unions to require non-members to pay any part of the dues.

Our Future

Even without court cases pending, we still have local issues like the Gleason Beach road realignment issues; should the County put an informational center at Spud Point, should the Local Coastal Plan be updated to make clear what the Coastal Commission WILL allow under the guise of acceptable development and the omnipresent  county issue of how Air bnb affects our community.

The current county plan expects a population of 11,700 by the year 2020.  The plan acknowledges that we have a need for multi-family (and affordable) dwellings but most activists are fearful that the coast will be the site of the next development of Big Wine” uses. (The draft plan can be viewed at

Grange Raffle

The Grange raffle (for scholarships) was a big success.  Kudos as usual, to Joan Scoggins and thanks to all the contributors.  The ATM is in place; the generator came in under budget (thanks to Chuck Gentry and Rod Moore) We all, including our President Jim Moore, continue to scratch our heads about the front page article from the National Grange about how illegal we were by following exactly the terms of our California Corporation requirements and also keeping our funds/fees local instead of sending them to Washington (national—who never sent a cent back to the community.) We are proud of our Grange. The community puts it to good use (from tamale-making to weddings and fish marketing meetings). If the song Happy Birthday has been found by the court to not be covered by any copyright, it is hard to see how the word grange could not have passed into the public domain ( will they take on Home on the Range next? Kansans will object…it is our state song.)

Enjoy Bodega Bay

Fall is beautiful. Sunsets are plentiful .Bodega Bay School is in session; the osprey are busy. The Chamber of Commerce is busy, my puppy is getting trained, I am getting the use of my hand back. All is well. Mark your calendar…Fish Fest is April 11; the Tall Ships are scheduled to be here, and it is the opening day of salmon season (may it be better than this one.)

Do something nice for a stranger; take time to stop and admire all the rock cairns along Westshore  Road and the new equestrian area the county has designated (affirming what we all already knew.)  Enjoy Bodega Bay; one of the best vacation spots in the world (but don’t tell anyone..) and continue to pray for Peace.