Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bobolicious opens

About to sip the fruits of labor, Brandon Smith and Julie Augustyn work late into the night adding finishing touches to the new smoothie bar “Bobolicious” opening in downtown Bolinas this weekend. The grand opening celebrates community participation in seeing the project through fruition on Saturday, October 9 from noon to 2 p.m.. Following a brief opening ceremony and blessing with Bolinas Community Land Trust Executive Director Lesa Kramer and dream analyst Mimi Calpestri, Bobolicious will offer smoothie samples from the “Pick a Fruit–Not a Fight” menu to the sound of live music by Charlie Docherty. Bobolicious will serve baked goods, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and smoothies from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Tuesdays. Guests are encouraged to bring their own cup or mug for to go orders.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Feast or Famine: Inverness Fair

Point Reyes Peninsula village will jump start the day with the Inverness Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Pancake breakfast at 8 a.m..
Inverness Fair vendors will unfurl their wares and fine food fare for attendees between 10 and 11 a.m..  The fair founder, Kay Holbrook, envisioned all community groups coming together one day each summer to perform a fundraising extravaganza that would rise above the fun any single group could raise and bolster the efforts of all.
Everybody’s favorite, the Library Book Sale, offers nearly 3000 books in this years’ sale—Nancy Hemingway’s volunteers will be sorting.
Back by popular demand, for the third consecutive year, System 9, a seven-piece band, is said to garner approval from young and old with a broad base of familiar tunes loved by all.
In the Children’s Corner: Huckberry Forest, Waldorf inspired preschool, offers craft and handwork projects to little ones; interactive singer and performer Jerry Tenney at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (previously toured the West Marin Libraries).
Famous Foodstuff Lunching begins at 11 a.m. with…
Inverness store producing BBQ oysters and beer on draft; Inverness Yacht club slicing up watermelon and serving hot dogs to benefit the youth sailing group; West Marin Community Services returns with Tostadas and beer to benefit the Waterdogs; KT’S Kitchen, new to the fair, offers “French” hamburgers with Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Halibut Burgers with special Hollandaise Sauce or Pecan Coffee Cake to polish off your meal or just wet the appetite; The Dickson Family roaming bicycle ice cream cart; and Jim and Julie Monsoon selling Ice Cream to benefit West Marin Senior Services.
The Inverness Garden Club rummage sale famously benefits the scholarship fund, the volunteer fire department selling tee shirts and caps or recharging fire extinguishers;
The Dance Palace selling Duck Derby opportunities; Saint Columbus jamming and  jelling; Inverness Garden Club shares products from bush and tree-jams, jellies and more;
Maidee Moore walking canes can be procured, and will benefit children with cleft lip;
The Inverness Association, selling tickets to the famous raffle, encouraging new memberships, and accepting donations on behalf of Fair host, Inverness Village;
Informational booths include: Coastal Health Alliance, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and the Point Reyes National Park Service.  The Park Service will unveil one of two electric service vehicles now in the fleet, small SUV’s being tested for NPS service viability.
Up the street in the Art Ghetto find Kathleen Goodwin and Richard Blair photography and books; Jeff Wilson b&w photography; Carol Branan oils; Flower Sierra returns to West Marin with her beaded things, sterling-n-stone jewelry and other curiosities; Lina Prarie displaying her “oh so West Marin” seaweed baskets (as seen in Zuma); and last but certainly not least Dolly Allshire jams and jellies. As rumored–one year, Dolly did not appear. The following week a letter to the editor, to her credit, complained that it was a poorly planned fair—Dolly with her homemade jams and jellies had not been there.

Parking is limited on Inverness way between south of downtown and Highland Road, please carpool. (Wealth of information provided by Jerry Abbott who co-chairs this years’ event with Tom Branon and Ken Emanuels).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dance Palace Summer Stock Players are present

Sara Tanner, Summer Cassel, Ruby Fisher-Smith (Citizen photo by Linda Petersen)
edited by SF Dell (West Marin Citizen August 5, 2010) 

“After we had read the play together and I got an OK [from the actors] to do this show,” says Dance Palace Summer Stock director Sam Fisher, “we started to cast it.”
“We immediately got into trouble,” says Fisher, “There were not enough guys. What girls would play guys this year, I asked? The play calls for nine men and five women. At the time, we had ten female and four male actors on the crew.”
“It occurred to me that we could flip the sexes of all the roles. With that in mind, I read it again,” says Fisher. “It worked without having to change much, maybe rewriting a scene or two.”
“I ran the idea by a couple of cast members. They were keen on the idea.”
“A friend and I sat down to rewrite; we ended up changing very little. It is a farce –a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations–afterall. Does it need to be water tight?” he asks.
“This is my largest group yet,” says Fisher.
 Catch the Summer Stock production, A Flea in Her Ear, at the Dance Palace Friday, Saturday and Sunday August 6, 7 & 8 or Friday, Saturday and Sunday August 13, 14 &15 at 7:30 p.m..

Summer Stock Cast and Crew 2010:
Terra Hagen
Raini Kellog
Alyssa Tanner
Laurel Ann Riley
Amelia Riley
Ruby Fisher-Smith
Claire Marshal
Nathaniel Buteux
Sara Tanner
Summer Cassel
Evan McGiffers
Bronomir Alder-Ivanbrook
Aaron Boyes
Silas Blunk
Avery Stray

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shoreline School District: First grade teacher gets job back

By Shari Faye Dell (West Marin Citizen July 20, 2010)
Educator Melissa Riley will teach first grade at Inverness school this fall after a controversial vote at the second special school board meeting in as many weeks approved funds to reinstate the popular bilingual teacher.
The sense of relief was palpable in the Tomales High school library on Tuesday night, where the meeting was held, but was tinged with the district superintendent’s message that this was not a true solution but merely put off hard decisions and perpetuated a budget shortfall for another year.
Most of those present seemed ok with that.
Less than two weeks earlier parents decried a similar vote which failed to produce the necessary support. Only five of seven trustees were present at the July 8 meeting where the board considered reinstating Riley using the district’s general funds – the traditional source for paying staff.
At that meeting, three trustees – Tim Kehoe, Jane Healy and Scott McMorrow – voted to employ Riley. Julie Titus and Monique Moretti did not. A minimum of four votes was needed. Jim Lino and Jill Manning Sartori were not present, resulting in a significant statistical disadvantage for Riley.
Days later board president Jim Lino asked for a re-vote, but the source of funds this time would be the West Marin School's discretionary budget, called "site-specific funds." The offer came from West Marin School principal Anne Harris.
While Harris’ offer to use her discretionary funds helped propel the re-vote, trustee Manning Sartori on Tuesday moved to amend the motion back to the original, to keep the source of money the district’s general fund. The motion passed.
Tuesday’s vote to rehire Riley using general funds passed unanimously.
Intervention program
Riley also teaches Spanish at West Marin School parttime. Along with bilingual teachers Sharon Zarate and Anne Halley Harper, the three comprise a literacy intervention program at the school where roughly half the students are Latino. West Marin School this year won a coveted “Distinguished School” award largely because of this program.
Tuesday’s vote makes Riley a fulltime employee, but she is still considered a temporary hire. For such employees, the district does not have to ensure a source of funding for three years as it does for tenured staff.
District superintendent Rosenthal warned trustees on Tuesday they would face the same vote again next spring when pink slips must be delivered to staff without secure funding. “I have really struggled with this,” Rosenthal said. “I have concerns with where we are going regarding staffing and budget. We need to continue to talk about it. As long as the board fully understands that unless there is some sort of radical change, such as retirements or a teacher on leave not coming back, that this can only be for one year.”
Rosenthal offered his support while clarifying his long-term stance. “I will be coming to you in February and/or March asking for at least the temporary staff to be laid off. I am making this statement right now, publicly, so that everyone understands that for obvious reasons, we are not out of the financial high water, by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, luck has been on our side, somehow we keep riding it in a very lucky way.”
It was principal Harris whose final words before the vote charted a clear course for trustees and compelled them to follow the district’s own strategic plan, called a “position paper.”
“Going back to the ‘position paper’ the board asked me to write six months ago, the first priority is classroom teachers,” Harris said. “The second priority is intervention support. Restoring [Riley’s position] gives us both of those things.”
Harris went on to say, “I worked for a long time with staff and with parents regarding [the drafting of] that position paper. At every staff and site council meeting we reviewed budget, checked priorities and double-checked priorities,” she said. “We are very united as a school community. That is where our priorities are. And that is where our priorities need to be – for our students, our classroom teachers and our intervention support for students who are struggling. Everything else comes after that.”

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Eight squared: A rite of passage before starting high school

by SF Dell (West Marin Citizen June 3, 2010)
                                                                                                                                                                                                 A complex formula beyond perception. How does Gallery Route One’s (GRO) Artists in Schools Program affect participating students? No simple answer could encompass the truth.
Proudly, we in the far west believe that art programs in schools are the norm–a neccesity–rather than the exception.
Amongst the vast array of hands on projects supported by GRO Artists in the Schools, for eight years eighth grade students in West Marin schools have enjoyed “Self Reflective Portraits” with facilitator and artist Vickisa Feinberg.
Vickisa "Frida"

In collaboration with the teachers, students nearing the end of their eighth grade year are guided through a series of projects and studies designed to stimulate introspective consideration. Cultural and Art history lessons prime the surface for this end of year assignment.
Over the course of four sessions the students journey inward. It all begins with exploring differet methods to creating a portrait, followed by how to create a self-portrait. Next, the students become familiar with watercolor pencil technique and experiment a little. Finally, an introduction to the work of philosopher and painter Frida Kahlo, best known for her colorful paintings, often depicting herself. Part of her legacy is 55 recognized self-portraits.
David Reyes

Former West Marin School principal, James J. Patterson composed a letter in support of the program. “It is the best Artists in Schools experience I have ever witnessed,” he writes. “In this lesson, Vickisa works along with the classroom teachers to help the graduating students pause and reflect on who they are, who they are becoming and what they want out of life,” he says. “Classroom teachers were so impressed with the quality of the discussion and engagement that they created a written component to the lesson to record the students‘ reflections.”
“Students really examine themselves, literally using a mirror,” says Vickisa. “After three sequential lessons the students have created a self-portrait in Frida Kahlo style framed in a Mexican folk art tin frame that can be hung during and before a graduation celebration. The students do a writing project with their teacher or Poets in the Schools,” she explains. With the quest complete, “The students emerge with a sense of empowerment and achievement.”

West Marin School eighth grade students.

Visit: Gallery Route One Artists in Schools program website.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Painting to preserve

Fern, oil on canvas, 8”x15” by Jannette Le Grue. “I wanted to express that she was above me, because she was. She actually reared up on her back legs. I couldn’t get her to leave me alone.” The painting appears in the exhibit with four companion paintings created on Toluma Farms in MALT’s 12 annual Ranches and Rolling Hills Art Show and Sale in Nicasio Druid Hall May 14 and 15. 
 by Shari Faye Dell

In her fourth year as one of the MALT painters, landscape artist Janette Le Grue recently had the good fortune to work from Toluma Farms in Tomales.
Toluma Farms is the first and only goat dairy in Marin County, as well as, a certified organic agricultural property and the newest member of MALT’s agricultural conservation easement family.
“The owner, David, was very nice and told me I could go anywhere on the property, just close the gate behind me.” Le Grue explains feeling very welcome. “I walked around a little bit and went ‘Oh my gosh, this is a gold mine’.”
 After surveying the lay of the land, taking numerous photos and drafting several sketches, Le Grue set up her gear along a well-traveled path and started painting. Surrounded by rolling hills and playful frollicing goats with kids, she says she, “experienced a real sense of freedom.” The 160 acre farm is home to a herd of 200 hundred goats. “Literally, hundreds of goats were walking right by me. I was having a great time. And they were leaving me alone.” She describes a familiarity with goat behavior, having previously kept one as a pet, “I know they can be mischevious and that is a nice way to say it,” she says.

Encounter with Fern
LeGrue completed some field sketches before delving into her work en plein aire. She returned to the studio for some minor adjustments. On the third day, after painting with out incident, “I went back with two paintings I had already started,” she says, “I had really great starts and that is when I encountered Fern.” The goat bit down on the artist’s palette and tugged on the easel, “She had my brushes in her mouth and they were all over the path.” Grit and goat hair and saliva. “She [Fern] had blue paint on her face, red paint on her chin.”
LeGrue was unable to deter the goat or reclaim her painting place 'with a view along the path.' Eventually, she moved to the otherside of the fence. The paintings proved salvagable. Scraping sand and genetic material from the canvases, LeGrue describer her pleasure discovering the figures of goats, kids and the sheppardess had not been touched. “I went ahead and kept working,” she says.
After telling the tale of the menacing milker to her husband Scott Taylor, LeGrue and he visited the property to take in the views. When the hiking couple came down from the hills, they were invited to observe activities in the milking barn. “While we were watching them we heard this thump,” says LeGrue, unable to keep from laughing, “you know, this loud noise, beating up against the barn and sure enough; it was Fern.”
Le Grue says Fern was easily identified from the rest of the herd by the piece of duct tape on her horns. “She gave me a great big smile.”
“It was quite and adventure.”

Janette Le Grue lives and works in Tomales. Her work can be viewed year round in Tomales Fine Arts on Highway One, the Gallery owned and operated by her and her husband Scott Taylor. Online galleries include: and A book authored by Taylor, “Painting From Life: With colorist Jeanette Le Grue” is available through the websites.

Ranches & Rolling Hills: Art of West Marin—A Land in Trust is a compilation of plein-air artwork in the vein of Marin Agricultural Land Trust’s annual landscape art show, this year scheduled for May 14 and 15. Published by Windgate Press, and written by Elisabeth Ptak, MALT’s Associate Director, the book features more than 135 full-color works of art. The book is available for $50 at Toby's Feed Barn, Point Reyes Books, and the MALT office in Point Reyes Station. For information or to order the book delivered, priced at $65 including shipping, call 663-1158 or <>