Hero & Zero: A $250,000 Toilet & A Snake Bite

Hero: We flipped our lids when we learned that the City of Mill Valley was set to waste $250,000 on a single toidy housed in a wood structure. Sure, it would be nice to have a restroom in Sycamore Park, but we suggest that you rent a couple of porta potties, rather than drop the whole load on one toilet. Thankfully, we just received news that we weren’t the only folks feeling this way. At the eleventh hour, just before the city awarded a construction contract, concerned citizens decided that this plan didn’t pass the smell test and contacted officials. The public outcry worked. Progress on the project has been paused and community members will be invited to further discussions. Bravo to the rabble-rousers.

Zero: Let sleeping snakes lie has always been our motto, but apparently it’s not everyone’s. Last week, a 79-year-old hiker was bitten two-to-three times after he picked up a poisonous young rattler on the Old Railroad Grade fire road on Mount Tam. The juvenile snake, whose bite is thought to be more venomous than that of an adult, chomped the solo hiker at least once on each hand. The Sonoma County resident was transported off the mountain on an all-terrain vehicle and airlifted by a California Highway Patrol helicopter to a hospital in Walnut Creek. Fortunately, he’s in stable condition. According to rescuers, the senior thought he was handling a harmless gopher snake. After much ado and expense, lesson number one: Don’t pick up snakes.

Nikki Silverstein
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