Hero & Zero


With trees to climb and video games to conquer, 12-year-old kids are usually too busy to become heroes. Enter Ryan Wolk, 12, of Tiburon. Ryan finished in first place and took home the gold from the 16th Annual Marin County Scholastic Chess Championship Tournament.

Almost 150 Marin children, from kindergarten through eighth grade, competed in the tournament—which is sanctioned by the U.S. Chess Federation—last month.

In the kindergarten category, Kingston Thomas took top honors. James Micheltorena was first in first grade. Allen Mao won the second grade section and Daniel Almengor aced the third graders. Sebby Suarez and Benjamin Dahmen-Hwang tied for the fourth grade championship and Evan Zohar took home the gold for the 5th–8th grade division.

Congrats to Ryan on reigning supreme in Marin’s chess world.


Police responded in full force to reports of a masked gunman with an AK-47 rifle near Tamalpais High School last week. As the school went on lockdown, police surrounded the area as they searched for the suspect.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Department determined that Michael Kessler, 21, of Fairfield, was allegedly responsible for the incident and they located the weapon in the bushes near his relative’s home.

The gun turned out to be a replica airsoft gun. In a real Mensa move, Kessler had covered the orange tip, which indicates the gun is a toy, with electrical tape.

According to the Marin County Sheriff’s department, Kessler, a former Tam High student, admitted to using the gun, and a mask, to shoot a Snapchat video. Then he followed law enforcement social media pages during the incident.

Though police say Kessler expressed remorse, he was arrested on a variety of charges.

We’d say he needs a new hobby.

email: [email protected]
Nikki Silverstein
Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to [email protected] Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeroes at pacificsun.com.
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