Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California on July 16, 1971 · Page 23
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Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California · Page 23

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San Rafael, California
Issue Date:
Friday, July 16, 1971
Page:
Page 23
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MARIN FOOD CONSPIRACY DAILY Challenge To High Prices Sitòepenòeirt^oumal ^ SERVING AIL Of MAAIN COUNTY Est. 1861 By MARY LEYDECKER Is “Food Conspiracy” as ominous as is it sounds or is it merely an age old example of man's ingenuity in seeking food at the lowest cost? The White Panthers of Marin, who run one of Marin's food conspiracies from the big, rambling old house they occupy in Corte Madera, would certainly not consider the scheme old- fashioned. However, they say in their literature that “the Food Conspiracy is becoming famous for saving people 40 to 60 per cent on the price of food.” The conspiracy probably hasn't overstated the saving. There’s no question that they provide their members or customers fresh fruits and vegetables as well as cheese and eggs at considerably lower prices than in the markets. The conspiracy works they way: One must call in advance and order a box of the fruits and vegetables, which sells at $2.25. (The 25 cents is for handling and traveling cost, according to Tom Stephens, who is in charge of the operation.) Eggs and cheese may also be ordered. Early each Tuesday morning several of the White Panthers go to produce markets in San Francisco, carefully spending the money they have collected from members. T h e n it’s back to the big house at 128 Willow Avenue where members of the commune divide the food into boxes. Around 2 p.m. members of the conspiracy come to pick up their boxes. If they don’t all like all the items selected, there are "trade boxes.” For example, if squash or cauliflower are not one’s bag, one may trade them for some other kind of fruit or vegetable. The food is fresh and attractive. One week the boxes contained an assortment including blackberries, avocadoes, mushrooms, squash, lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. This week, there were strawberries, mushrooms, butter let- PICKUP TIME — Members of the Food Conspiracy pick up their weekly boxes of food from the big old house in Corte Madera where the White Panthers of Marin run the food buying program. tuce, an ear of corn, radishes, peaches, cauliflower, tomatoes, applies and two kinds of squash. A comparison of prices with a San Rafael market which carries a high grade of produce and where several of the articles were on special, showed that a bill of $223 would have been run up for the same items. The fruits and vegetables are not organically grown. “We’d like to get organic food but we have no choice at the produce markets,” Stephens said. Members of the conspiracy, who range from the young and hip through retired persons who have found a bargain, chat as they arrive at the old house to pick up t h e i r food but their v isits are not mainly social. Anyone and everyone is welcome to apply to the conspiracy for food, according to the commune. Although the conspiracy is primarily a way to get food to consumers at lower cost, there is also an idealistic side to it in the views of the members of the commune, which varies from about 10 to 20 persons at a time. “We’re against exploitation,” said Stephens, a 26-year-old former soldier. He explained that the White Panthers favor communal living because “If people share, they don't have to have so many things ” He said that in a commune, cars, refrigerators, food and even clothing can be shared. A 23-year-old feminine member of the commune joined in. “The usual way to live is two by two ... I prefer living with a larger family.” The members of the Food Conspiracy point out that not only is the profit motive re- P E OPLE’S PROGRAM — A member of the Food Conspiracy, a cooperative food buying program which is spreading throughout the Bay Area, examines a box of berries among the fresh fruits and vegetables boxed-for pickup at a Corte Madera commune. (Independent Journal photos by Jim Kean) Richmond Span Shows Sharp Traffic Hike The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge showed a sharp traffic increase for the second quarter of 1971, over the same period a year ago. The span ranked sixth among the eight bridges operated by the state Division of Toll Crossings. in terms of total traffic. Second-quarter volume of 1,815,231 vehicle crossings for the Richmond span was up 9.1 per cent from the 1,664,502 crossings for the same period in 1970, the state reported. Total volume for all state toll bridges was 31.6 million vehicles in the quarter, up 3.4 per cent from a year ago. More than half the volume was accounted for by the 15.6 million vehicles on the San Francisco- Oakland Bay Bridge, up 1 per cent over a year ago, the state reported. THIRD SECTION SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA, FRIDAY, JULY 16, 1971 23 moved from their operation but also packaging costs are saved. And there is no waste. “The Food Conspiracy is a model institution for the economically vilable, non-exploitive. counterculture that we are trying to build. sa>s their literature. Stephens said that in the commune everyone has a job and that the work is shared. He calls himself the “employee” for the food project and said that he has even become an expert at doing dishes, something he viewed with masculine disdain for years. The house on Willow Avenue is set back in a garden that is neat but could use some water. Only a signboard in front, which carries hotices of various "people’s projects” and a Communist star, sets it apart rom its neighbors on the quiet treelined street. Corte Madera Town Mgr. Ronald E. Bartels said that aside from a “couple of noise complaints” the Panthers have had a “good relationship” with other residents. One of the neighbors, however. has written several complaints about the commune to city officials. He has called the group a source of “social pollution.” His complaints were partly the cause of the White Panters failing to get a home occupation permit from the town council last month in order to carry on the food conspiracy in a residential neighborhood. “There were some legitimate complaints” in the beginning, Stephens said. However, he added, the conspiracy was “shut dow-n for tw>o months” and then started again about three months ago.” He pointed out that even during the hours when members were picking up their food cartons, there was no traffic or parking problem on Willow Avenue. “The council acted out of ignorance,” Stephens said. Stephens was not enthusiastic, however, about having a lawyer carry on the Panthers’ fight to continue the food program. As to his political philosophy, the former soldier said, “As long as people respect our right, we’re not militant.” Panel: Pay Hikes Not Automatic The annual step increase in pay given to Marin County employees is a privilege to be earned and not an automatic right, the Marin County Personnel Commissioners unanimously declared yesterday. On that basis, they backed County Health Officer Carolyn B. .Albrecht in not granting a step increase for Frances I. Jennings, senior typist in the tuberculosis control unit. Mrs. Jennings was fired by Dr. Albrecht on March 19, but she appealed the dismissal and got her job and full rights restored by the personnel commission on May 17. May was also the m o n t h when she was eligible for an annual step increase, raising her pay from $590 to $619 per month. When she was bypassed, she appealed to the personnel commission, charging that the denial was “vindictive.” Personnel commissioners held that the step increase is not automatic, but is discretionary with the department head Personnel Director Maren Rinne explained that if an employee's performance is not up to par, the department head can held up a step increase. “But in actual practice, most department heads will give step increases in the absence of a dereliction of duty.” Mrs. Rinne said this does not alter the fact that the step increase is given for increase in efficiency or value and not for the mere passage of time. The commission also recommended to the Marin County Board of Supervisors that salary classifications of county employees be reviewed quarterly instead of just once a year at budget time. It set the next meeting for 8:30 a.m. July 27 to hear several grievances from county employees who were reclassified downward during the June budget session and therefore did not get salary raises. Water Jets To Councilman s Power Ferries B y PAUL E. PETERZELL The Golden Gate Bridge District’s ferry fleet, in an innovation for civilian vessels their size, apparently will be propelled by triple water jets driven by gas turbine engines. The building and operating committee unanimously favored the proposal by the district’s consulting naval architect, Philip F. Spaulding. The committee went along with his suggestion that specifications provide for alternate bids for twin controllable pitch propellers, but it strongly favored the water jets. Spaulding said cost would be about the same for either. The committee also recommended hiring Walter Landor Associates to design the interiors of the fleet for $18,500. Spaulding, reviewing for the first time detailed specifications for the $15 million fleet of four 165-foot ferries, said they would be equipped with fully automated engine rooms. Only factory representatives would work on the equipment, he said. “All the operators have to do is drive it.” Hull tests in England confirmed the ferries’ ability to make 25 knots, almost 30 miles an hour, he reported. Seating will be provided for 600 of the Teen Hurt In Fall Off Truck A 14-year-old San Rafael youth who was injured Wednesday in a traffic accident was reported in satisfactory condition today at Marin General Hospital with a head injury and scrapes and bruises of the spine and left knee. He was expected to go home today, the hospital said. The California Highway Patrol said J. Leigh Gregg, of 716 Monticello Road, was injured when he fell from the bumper of a truck on Del Ganado Road in San Rafael. 750 passengers on the three decks. Some passengers prefer to walk about the ferries, Spaulding noted, “and at the bar they’ll be four or five deep.” The ferries, three of which will serve Larkspur and one Sausalito, will have electric duct heating and ventilation throught. Loading will be via six-foot- wide gangways and on the upper deck so passengers will not have to descend gangways to a float exposing them to the water. The $2.1 million ferries, to start operating late next year or early in 1973, will be joined by two more in later years tor the Larkspur service. Advantages of the water jet propulsion system, according to Spaulding, include transom mounting of the jets, thus eliminating below-hull projections and avoiding fouling propellers with debris. George A. Regula, manager of marine products for Jacuzzi Bros. Inc. of Little Rock, Ark., manufacturer of the jets, said they had been proved in over five million hours of Navy use in the past four years. Citing mechanical reliability, Regula said they had no clutches, internal gears or reversing mechanisms as found on conventional propulsion systems. Spaulding added that the jets tended to flatten the wake, permitting higher speed operations near shore and smaller vessels. Eliminating projections below the hull cut drag by about 10 per cent, he said. Walter Landor Associates est i m a t e d their design work would take six to eight weeks. It and Spaulding's specifications then must have federal approval before going to bids, in order to q u a 1 i f y for two- thirds federal grant. The committee’s recommendations will go before the full board next Friday. Resignation Accepted The Cotati City Council last night accepted the resignation of Councilman Kenneth Garner and appointed Lester Petersen to replace him. Garner said he would be moving outside the city limits and made his resignation effective Aug. 1. Petersen was unanimously elected to succeed him on the recommendation of Mayor John Groom. Petersen, 54. owns Petersen Well Drilling, and serves on the Cotati School District board. He and his wife, Harriet, have lived in Cotati since 1930. In other action, the council met jointly with the planning commission and approved an interim bypass plan of Plaza Park. All traffic would be routed on the hub streets of Olaf, William, George, Arthur, Charles and Henry. The major intersection of Old Redwood Highway, East Cotati Avenue and West Sierra Avenue would be removed so the Plaza Park can be free from traffic. The council asked Planner Herman D. Ruth of Berkeley to make cost estimates on the plan so that a projected timetable can be made for widening the hub streets to four lanes. The council rejected a suggestion by Groom to take a stand against college students being permitted to vote away from their homes. Guilty Plea Made To Mari|uana Count Anthony John Barbera. 20. of San Anselmo, pleaded guilty yesterday in Marin Municipal Court to a misdemeanor charge of possessing marijuana. He is to be sentenced Aug. 13. Barbera was arrested Sunday when San Rafael police found one marijuana cigarette in his car during a routine traffic stop. GIGANTIC JULY DODGE SALE! (STILL IN PROGRESS!) New Shipment Of Colts Just Arrived. All Models Available! Hurry! BRAND NEW 1971 DODGE 4 DOOR COLT SEDAN * Low, Low Down Payment! * 5 ’/ 2 % Financing Available! • Up To 60 Months To Pay! • Highest Trade-In Allowances! $ 2194 OUT THE DOOR INCLUDES EVERYTHING . . . TAX, LICENSE AND DEALER HANDLING. 70 Stk. #58 Sal« Ends Sun. 5:00 P.M. Prison Guards Held Balloting On Strike A Teamsters Union spokesman said today that his union is taking a strike vote among guards at San Quentin and a dozen other California prisons, over Gov. Ronald Reagan's veto of pay raises to the guards and other grievances. Rudy Thamm, international organizer for the Teamsters, said the union represents 85 per cent of the guard at San Quentin, and 1,0 00 of the 2,700 guards in the statewide prison The Federal Aviation Authority has ruled that civilian pilots should refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages at least eight hours before a flight. system. He said no date has been set for announcing results of the strike vote. At San Quentin, Associate Warden James W.L. Park said he could make no direct comment on the union action. He noted that in addition to the 5 per cent pay issue, prison staff members had been disturbed by state personnel board decisions denying them extra pay for night shifts and time-and- one-half for overtime, after the requests had been approved by the Legislature. The board ruled only that the prison guards “did not qualify” for the fringe benefits, Park reported. Novato Fire Board Delays Wage Decision The Novato Fire District board delayed a decision on w’ages and hours for firemen last night because a full board wasn’t present, Chief Jack Kidder reported. Firemen are seeking a 5 per cent cost-of-living pay raise and a reduction in their work week from 70 to 67 hours. The district’s tentative budget provides a 2 per cent pay hike for firemen. Director Henry V .Alvernaz was absent and directors postponed action until July 28, the chief said. Directors authorized payment to the Van Pelt Fire Equipment Co. of $49,258 for-the new pum­ per, housed at fire headquarters. Hub Bidder Wins Landscape Work At Civic Center Landscaping of fairgrounds behind the Veterans Memorial Building, to prepare for the annual Marin County Fair in October, will cost $176,119. That bid, by Watkin and Bortolussi of San Anselmo, was the lowest of four landscaping bids opened yesterday at the Civic Center. The high bid came in at $239,100. Mayta and J e n s e n of San Francisco submitted the lower of two bids for construction of a storage building north of the Veterans Memorial Building. Mayta and Jensen will do the job for $53,900, and the only other bid was for $65,616. The bids will be presented to the Marin County Board of Supervisors next’ Tuesday for awarding of contracts. PICK YOUR DODGE! PICK YOUR PRICE While You're Here . . Look Over Our Urge Inventory Of Beautiful Dart Demons, Challenges, Mono»*. Po'“ro!' Colts, 2 Doors, » Doors & Station Wagons. FOR SUMMER FUN SEE OUR LARGE SELECTION OF CAMPERS, PICK-UPS I MOBILE HOMES! MARIN DODGE 1075 Francisco Blvd. 456-5120 OPEN DAILY 9-9 SATURDAY 9-6 SUNDAY 10-6

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