The 1989 earthquake shook up many Marin residents.

50 Years Ago

Gasoline is seeping into the San Rafael Canal near the San Rafael Yacht Harbor from somewhere. It may be from the nearby Disco Service Station, or it may be from ground which was saturated with gasoline from a leak in a storage tank five years ago. Boat owners are decidedly unhappy. So is the harbormaster, who says that gasoline can dissolve the styrofoam floats on which the piers rest. There was a bizarre incident associated with all this: An angry boat owner scooped up some surface water gasoline, put it in a can and set fire to it with a match. Meanwhile, the San Rafael fire marshall pulled out a gizmo, tested the water and pronounced it safe.

⁠—Newsgram, 12/3/69

40 Years Ago

California, to no one’s surprise, produces more marijuana than any other state – or so law enforcement authorities believe. Most counties produce at least $1 million of grass a year and while it is not possible to verify the figures, it’s clear the un-taxed commercial growers make big money. In addition, a new strain of marijuana, a seedless, very strong type, has emerged in the last five years. The new breed, called sinsemilla, costs up to $125 to $200 an ounce, way up from the $10 an ounce that pot went for in the Sixties. Demand for homegrown has increased since paraquat poison was found on dope imported from Mexico, also driving up the price.

⁠—Author Unknown, 11/30/79

30 Years Ago

It’s a trend that promises to revolutionize American business. Ten years ago the ranks of professionals working full-time out of their homes was limited mostly to doctors, lawyers, architects and real estate agents. That has changed dramatically in the electronic age. In recent years, the computer has fueled an army of professional consultants in the management, financial, marketing, high-tech, computer and public relations fields. With an estimated 14.8 million home-based businesses already on line, the number is increasing by a million each year. According to Denton, they pump an estimated $200 billion a year into the economy.

⁠—Greg Cahill, 12/1/89

Gays and lesbians were bashed pretty good at a meeting of the board of the Novato Unified School District. At issue was a proposed extension of anti-discrimination polices to cover sexual orientation. That brought out a crowd of some 100 people. Most of them felt that if the trustees approved the policy, they were either evil or incompetent. The board voted 5-2 to refer the matter to their attorneys.

⁠—Steve McNamara, 12/1/89

20 Years Ago

Wells Fargo, Starbucks, Chevron and Safeway. They all have at least two things in common. They are all part of national chains and they all have more than one outlet in Mill Valley, a community whose residents hold chains in the same regard as nuclear weapons.

The city currently has an ordinance in development that is designed to keep chains from proliferating like so many Blockbusters. And Mill Valley is far from the only community in Marin that has cast an increasingly evil eye toward chain outlets. San Anselmo is at work on an anti-chain ordinance of its own. In Fairfax, the proliferation of chains was an election issue.

⁠—Bill Meagher and Peter Seidman, 12/1/99


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