Flashback

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50 Years Ago

Sausalito School District Superintendent Phil] Schneider believes that in Sausalito there must first be a bringing together of the races. Allowances must be made for the frustrations and anger inherent in the backgrounds of black children.

White parents, more and more liberals among them, believe that Schneider makes too many allowances; that if it is a choice between integration and learning he will take integration, believing that this must come before there can be any real learning.

Most good white liberals would approve of this, in principle. But then comes the crunch of putting it into practice. Working together with blacks is fine, they say, but my third-grader simply isn’t learning what he should. How will he ever get into Princeton, or even Cal Poly? Blacks, accustomed to rather more gutsy problems, have scant sympathy.

—Steve McNamara, 8/27/69

40 Years Ago

Vandalism is becoming Marin’s newest high-risk sport right up there with hang gliding, ice climbing and parachute jumping. “There’s need for adventure in our lives, for taking risks,” says the author of The Ultimate Athlete, George Leonard of Mill Valley, who believes the current emphasis on high-risk sports is a way of making conquests, discovering new frontiers of the self. But when sanctioned ways of taking risks aren’t available people ⁠— especially the young ⁠— turn to unlawful ways of finding excitement. “People want to test themselves,” Leonard says.

Vandalism has jumped noticeably in Novato ⁠— up 11% this summer. It’s been sporadic, sometimes severe, in San Rafael, Terra Linda and Mill Valley. It includes systematically cutting trees in parks, trashing schools, slashing tires, shooting out car windows, breaking and entering schools and homes. Sometimes there’s burglary, sometimes not. Sometimes kids drink six packs; often they smoke marijuana. When they get high, their behavior becomes impulsive.

—Joanne Williams, 8/24/79

30 Years Ago

On Thursday afternoons when the lunch dishes have been cleared away, a handful of the guests at St. Vincent’s San Rafael soup kitchen remain behind for a weekly “rap” group. Gathered around one of the low slug tables, homeless men and women sit and talk. Sometimes they talk about individual problems, sometimes about broader issues.

On this particular mid-August afternoon, talk focuses on the news that local efforts to build a temporary 55-bed tent shelter in San Rafael have been abandoned, even though $328,000 of the $400,000 needed has already been raised. The announcement, made two days earlier by members of Marin’s homeless task force, was a blow to those who have been sleeping on the streets since late July, when the county’s National Guard armory was closed as a homeless shelter. —Joy Zimmerman, 8/25/89

20 Years Ago

A bunch of guys are running for the Republican presidential nomination for 2000. One guy is absolutely rolling in cash like a pig wallowing in mud. And how? Because he is the suck-up king. His name is George. He sucks up to corporate interests like there’s no tomorrow. The media like him, because they also have to suck up to corporations. The media have decided to do us a favor; they’ve decided to save Americans the trouble of having to think, to pick, and choose between the Republican candidates. Slowly but surely the other candidates magically vanish from magazine pages, the airwaves, your TV screen, et. al., and all we are left with is the Cheshire Cat grin of George the Suck-Up Jr., the $37-million-dollar man himself.

Is something wrong with this picture? —Beatrice Portinar, 8/25/99

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The Pacific Sun publishes every Wednesday, delivering 21,000 copies to 520 locations throughout Marin County.

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