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Discrimination and Fear
When 11 "red states" passed laws banning gay marriage in the recent election, the mainstream media quickly seized on what's now being called George W. Bush's moral mandate. Spectrum, the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns in Marin County, begs to differ. "The bottom line is those states were won with a campaign of discrimination and fear, not of morality," says Paula Pilecki, Spectrum's executive director. Those red states could learn a thing or two from Marin, which bucked homophobia by recently electing three openly gay public officials: Superior Court Judge Faye D'Opal, Sausalito Marin City School Board member Whitney Hoyt and California State Senator Carol Migden. The threesome join two other LGBT community members already serving in local public office--College of Marin trustee Wanden Treanor and Lagunitas District School Board member Stephanie O'Brien. "We have people who are participating in the community, raising families and performing public service," says Pilecki. Spectrum will honor the five officials in a special ceremony on Dec. 6.
To Catch a Killer
Napa community leaders and business owners have raised $100,000 in reward money for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who murdered Adriane Insogna and Leslie Massara, both 26, on Nov. 1. According to Napa Police Department Cmdr. Jeff Troendly, a state DNA analysis of blood found at the scene indicates that the assailant, who broke into the victims' home and stabbed the two women to death, is definitely male. "People should keep an eye open for anyone who may have injuries as the result of a struggle incurred after Nov. 1," Troendly says, adding that other tell-tale signs include missing work, a sudden vacation or unusual signs of stress and anxiety. If anyone has such information, "then we'd probably like to hear from them," Troendly says. Tips can be given anonymously at 707.257.9566 or
No Weeping Willow
A native Santa Rosan who goes by the name of Willow celebrated his first anniversary in Jerry, a 2,000-year-old redwood tree in Humboldt County. "I felt like protecting old-growth trees was more important than going to school," Willow says by cell phone from his platform some 100 feet up. A graduate of Montgomery High School, Willow moved north last year to attend classes at Humboldt State. After meeting local Earth First! activists who've been protesting the devastating logging practices of Pacific Lumber for decades, he climbed Jerry (named after Jerry Garcia) on Nov. 11, 2003, changed his name to Willow and hasn't come down since. "It's between me and the universe," the 20-year-old says, before giving credit where credit's due. "My mom's really environmentally conscious, maybe she planted the seed."
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From the November 17-23, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.
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