Fri 20 Mar 2009
The Miwok Indian cemetery at Reynolds (where Tony’s Seafood is located; the restaurant’s white buildings can be seen in the background) — From 1875 to 1930, Reynolds was a whistlestop on the narrow-gauge railroad, and numerous Miwoks lived nearby. A few of their descendants still do. The cemetery belongs to the Miwok Rancheria in Graton, Sonoma County.
Today, of course, is the first day of Spring, and wildflowers have begun blooming around the plastic flowers that decorate each cross.
Now that it’s Spring, “the time has come,” as the walrus said, “to speak of many things,” and I’m going to speak my piece about a couple of West Marin news stories that I’d like to see get more coverage. Both have interesting ramifications.
The first occurred last week when an IRS agent shot himself in the leg while at a practice range in Tomales. Other than brief Sheriff’s Calls in The West Marin Citizen and Point Reyes Light, the incident wasn’t covered in the weekly press.
The Marin Independent Journal gave the story greater play, noting that the gun was a .40-caliber Glock and that the target range is open to the public Thursdays through Mondays for $10 per person. The IJ even went so far as to report the 19-acre range at Alexander and Tomales-Petaluma roads has a county use permit through 2016.
A Miwok inscription near the entrance to the cemetery.
But the real story of the shooting, which no paper has covered, is the handgun itself. Why? Glocks don’t have external-switch safeties. If you squeeze the trigger, they fire.
This might be an appropriate weapon for a liquor store owner who presumably doesn’t have time to release a safety when bad guys burst through his door their guns a’blazing; however, I would think that criminal investigators — even those working for the IRS — probably have a smidgen more advance warning when there may be a need to start shooting people.
I first heard about the problem with single-action Glocks from new-media consultant Dave LaFontaine of Los Angeles, who previously was an investigator for a law firm with law-enforcement clients. As it turns out, there’s been quite a debate in recent years over whether law enforcement officers and others can safely carry Glocks. The rules for law enforcement apparently vary from state to state.
Critics complain that if you holster or unholster a Glock pistol with your finger on the trigger, you may well shoot yourself in the thigh, as numerous people have done. In fact, it has happened to enough people that a DEA agent has even been caught on video accidentally shooting himself. Now there’s a lead for the press to follow up on.
Gravemarkers in the Miwok cemetery are mostly Catholic crosses, but there are also military plaques and this bicultural memorial.
Here’s another story for the West Marin press. As was noted in my last posting, Mark Allen of Inverness Park was lead cameraman for a segment of 60 Minutes that would air Sunday evening. The segment profiled Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, who is leading a “slow-food” movement. It turned out that Mark had a cameo appearance in the segment, with the Berkeley chef hand-feeding him Mexican food at a farmers’ market.
The Bay Area, perhaps to no one’s surprise, is also home to a “slow-sex” movement, The New York Times reported last Friday. At the forefront of this movement, The Times says, is One Taste Urban Retreat Center, which it describes as “a coed live-in commune dedicated to the female orgasm….
“The heart of the group’s activity, listed cryptically on its Web site’s calendar as ‘morning practice,’ is closed to all but the residents. At 7 a.m. each day,” The Times reports, “about a dozen women, naked from the waist down, lie with eyes closed in a velvet-curtained room, while clothed men huddle over them, stroking them in a ritual known as orgasmic meditation — “OMing,” for short.
“The couples, who may or may not be romantically involved, call one another ‘research partners.’”
Heading the South of Market commune, which is now four and a half years old, is a former art gallery owner named Nicole Daedone. While obviously intrigued by her, The Times quotes a former resident as saying Ms. Daedone exerts too much control over residents’ personal lives, and she herself acknowledges, “There’s a high potential for this to be a cult.”
However, Ms. Daedone adds, partly to keep that from happening she’s moved out of the commune and in with her boyfriend, Reese Jones. The Times describes him as a “venture capitalist/geek,” a “braniac who sold a computer-software company he founded, Netopia, to Motorola for $208 million.”
Why should the West Marin press pay attention to all this? Because The Times also reported that “Mr. Jones… makes financial resources available to One Taste, including helping to buy a retreat in Stinson Beach.” Who, what, when, where? Of course the weekly press should cover this One Tastefully.