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News
07.09.08

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News Blast

By P. Joseph Potocki


Leaky Hulls

It's been eight months since 58,000 gallons of Cosco Busan bunker fuel severely damaged Bay Area waters and beaches, killing, injuring and endangering wildlife—with monetary costs now exceeding the $61 million federal insurance liability limit.

One North Bay organization working to prevent future spills is especially devoted to protecting Bay Area marine wildlife by providing hands-on opportunities for citizen action. Marin Headlands–based Seaflow "is an educational nonprofit organization building an international movement dedicated to protecting whales, dolphins and all marine life from active sonars and other lethal ocean noise pollution." In addition to focusing on audio threats, Seaflow's Vessel Watch Project, modeled after the Beach Watch movement, asks concerned citizens, surfers, swimmers and beach walkers to help monitor large vessel traffic into the Bay. The aim is to prevent another Cosco Busan–type disaster.

This Saturday, July 12, Seaflow invites volunteers to sail with them to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and newly proposed state Marine Protected Areas. California Assemblyman Jared Huffman is expected be present at the launch. A Scripps Marine Laboratory acoustician will be aboard assisting volunteers while they sight, listen to and record whales and other marine wildlife. Participants will also track radar, monitoring large ships passing through the Sanctuary area for potential Coast Guard violations.

To sign up for either Saturday's cruise, for a second trip on Aug. 2, or to participate in the Vessel Watch Project go to www.vesselwatchproject.org, or contact Jackie Dragon at 415.229.9354.


Legal Marriage

Though hundreds of LGBT's have now legally tied the knot, their travails have not yet ended. The next state challenge to marriage between two humans in love comes this November in the form of Proposition 8, the "Anti-Marriage Ballot Initiative." The proposition, if passed, would constitutionally ban same sex-marriage, thus overriding the recent State Supreme Court decision permitting it.

To highlight the issue, Spectrum LGBT Center, serving Marin and Sonoma counties, along with underwriting sponsor Fountaingrove Lodge and a host of co-sponsors, holds a town-hall gathering at Santa Rosa's Glaser Center on Tuesday, July 15. A reception kicks things off at 6:30pm, followed by four prominent local presenters: LCLR executive director Kate Kendell, Maya Harris, Northern Cal's ACLU executive director Deb Kinney, Chair of Equality California's Marriage PAC Committee and Evan Wolfson, author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry.

To RSVP (not required), call 415.457.1115, ext. 209, or email events@spectrumlgbtcenter.org. A $5–$10 donation is suggested.


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