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March 15-21, 2006

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News Briefs

By Patricia Lynn Henley


Going After Dubya

Support is growing to dethrone George W. Bush for misleading the public while taking the country into war, authorizing torture, eroding civil liberties and pursuing other acts of impeachable misconduct. Lynn Woolsey is one of 28 members of the U.S. Congress who have signed on to House Resolution 635, which would create a select committee to investigate possible grounds for impeachment. Other congressional representatives from California who have added their names to HR 635 include Lois Capps, Sam Farr, Mike Honda, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters. And on Feb. 28, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 7-3 to urge the city's Democratic congressional delegation to actively support impeachment efforts, targeting both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

B&N Marches On

Marin County residents hoping to block Barnes & Noble from opening a megabookstore just a block from the independent Book Passage shop shouldn't expect help from the city of Corte Madera. In a memorandum dated March 12, assistant town attorneys Veronica Nebb and Howard Stern say B&N's plan for a 27,000-square-foot operation in the Corte Madera Town Center shopping plaza is an acceptable, prezoned use that does not require special city review or approval. In February, a citizens group asked the town council to restrict "big-box" stores, because they harm the community's diversity by killing off locally owned businesses such as Book Passage. But the attorneys' memo says such a move "represents a legally impermissible use of the zoning power" and is "a legally questionable use of the town's police power," which would probably lead to litigation.

Refunds Lost

Low-income households in Napa County missed out on an estimated $2 million by not claiming their earned income tax credits for 2002. In Marin County, the total is $2.5 million. This special credit provides up to $4,400 for each qualified taxpayer. That's a lot of moolah for families on tight budgets in these high-cost areas, and the money can be claimed even if the worker owes no taxes. To help these folks, the United Way is coordinating the region's largest free tax assistance program. To be eligible, household income in 2005 must have been less than $37,263. For details about qualifying for free tax preparation in Marin or Napa counties, call 1.800.358.8832, or visit www.earnitkeepitsaveit.org.


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