By Sherman R. Frederick
Marin’s too poor for a 24/7 police presence in West Marin, but flush enough to fund a Rat Patrol that hunts down coronavirus rule breakers?
Alas, though I wish I were, I’m not making this up.
To cope with a $1.7 million budget cut, Sheriff Robert Doyle said he’s staffing the Point Reyes substation only from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. instead of the usual 24/7. (He forgot to tell the West Marin supervisor about it, but we’ll have to leave that bit of intrigue for later.) Here’s the bottom line: If people there experience, say, a home invasion in the dead of night, lock yourself in the bathroom and give the Novato substation a jingle. Otherwise, the West Marin substation will be back up and running at 11 a.m.
Look, suspending 24/7 police coverage seems so draconian, especially when you consider what other things upon which the county happily spends money.
Take Marin’s newly formed COVID-19 Rat Patrol. Please. The county launched this new group and tasked them with chasing down coronavirus scofflaws — businesses not practicing safe commerce, citizens not wearing masks, unlawful gatherings like birthday parties, prayer groups, funerals, etc.
Seriously, we’re going to fine people 25 bucks? In this lousy economy? Well, hey, are we also going after those little maskless skateboard urchins found everywhere in Marin? How about the homeless folk living the life in boonie camps or sleeping in downtown doorways?
Perhaps, the COVID rangers will skulk around Safeway looking for moms who let their kids pull their masks down under their noses?
It’s breathtakingly dystopian.
LOSING THE MIDDLE GROUND
Marin favorite son Elon Musk tweeted this last week — “The left is losing the middle.”
I’m not sure that’s true, but it’s an interesting observation.
If it happens, 2020 will be the biggest case in U.S. political history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
YES, HEROES LIVE AMONG US
This is an eerie note from a Las Vegs friend who had to go to the hospital there after a diabetic mistake. I pass it along because it is worth remembering the heroes in this Age of Coronavirus.
“Your love and prayers brought me home from the hospital last night after an ordeal that logically should not have. So many first hand nursing accounts of young dead COVID patients in the ICU hall next door was sobering to say the very least. I was in bad shape but my mountains were rolling hills in comparison to the desperation only 300 feet away I could occasionally hear when those sealed double doors opened. Some called it ‘the tomb’ while others called codes on the dead and dying. There are indeed heroes inside those walls whose dedication to serve seemingly outpaces their own need to survive. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Keep hope alive.”
It was dutifully reported last week that about 50 children aged 6 to 14 marched through Marin City and Sausalito last week. The little tykes held signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Children can change the world.” Speeches were made. It was a good media photo op.
Can we be honest for a moment and acknowledge that these planned events are organized and led by adults, not six-year-olds.
I’m not saying you can’t agree with the message. You can. And the message may be good and righteous. But let’s not pretend the children, in a moment of political and social consciousness, did this on their own. The children are props.
I CAN SEE VERMONT FROM HERE
Joe Biden’s winning the 2020 election going away. Why should he ever debate Donald Trump and risk another of his “where am I” gaffs like the one last week in Keene, New Hampshire.
Joe said to the good people of New Hampshire:
“I’ve been here a number of times … I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it.”
You’re in New Hampshire, Joe, not Vermont. Ouch.
ONE MORE THING
— It looks like a twig to me.
— “Dammit I’m mad” spelled backwards is “Dammit I’m mad.”
— Remember Darth Vader’s wife, Ella? So uplifting.
— To further disassociate Marin from Sir Francis Drake, the county henceforth bans male ducks until further notice.
— I saw a car in San Anselmo being driven by a sheep in a bathing suit. It was a lambikini.
— If I had a nickel for every pun, I’d have a punpernickel.
Ugh, that was bad, even for my low standards. Don’t bother getting up, I’ll let myself out. Until next week, please be safe, wear a mask, and avoid soreheads. Life is always better that way.
Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers in Nevada and California, including the Novato Advance, the San Rafael News Pointer, the Mill Valley Herald, the Ross Valley Reporter, the Twin Cities Times, the Sausalito Marin Scope and the Pacifica Tribune. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)