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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing — January 30, 2014
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Safety Update

I know that we are all unsettled by the incident that occurred last week on the Kentfield Campus in parking lot 13. Let me assure you, the safety of our students and employees is our number-one priority. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, we are unable to release complete details at this time.
While we should always be precautious and focused on safety, unfortunate incidents such as this remind us all to be vigilant. It may be beneficial to remind ourselves and our students of the following:
Be aware of your surroundings.
Always lock vehicle doors.

  • Take keys out before you get to your vehicle.
  • Look underneath and into the vehicle before getting in.
  • Walk in groups after evening classes conclude.
  • Request a police escort at (415) 485-9696 if you have to walk alone to your destination.
  • Sign up for AlertU, our emergency response system at
  • If you observe something out of the ordinary, contact the Campus Police at (415) 485-9696.

Going forward, parking lot 13 will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. only. Parking lot 12 will be free after 5 p.m. Please plan ahead. Temporary lighting has been set up in lot 13 and will be on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. until the entrance to lot 13 is secured.
Students and others may want to discuss the specifics of the incident. I recommend we focus on how students, employees, and community members can empower themselves to remain safe. We can assure them that the investigation is underway and remind them that it takes time to resolve such matters. Students who need additional support to process feelings and concerns may contact Student Health Services or the Counseling Department. Employees may access counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program at 1 (800) 854-1446 or
We are hosting open forums for the purpose of discussing safety concerns at both campuses. The forums are open to students, employees, and members of the community.
Thursday, January 30, noon – 1 p.m.
Student Services Building, Emeritus Meeting Room, SS 146
Kentfield Campus
Tuesday, February 4, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Building 17
Indian Valley Campus
Tuesday, February 4, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Building 17
Indian Valley Campus
Do not hesitate to let me know if additional clarification is desired.


Thanks to the great work of a host of creative organizers and presenters, we’ve recently concluded the second successful Hooked on Marin speaker series. Hooked on Marin is a community-based collaborative of Marin County public service agencies and educational districts that foster social, educational, and cultural enrichment opportunities. This year, speakers drew large, enthusiastic crowds to learn about California native peoples, the award-winning behind-the-scenes visual effects of the Star Wars saga, the history of trains in Marin and the regional history of rock ’n’ roll. Thanks to the Community Media Center of Marin and Marin TV networks, these events are available for online viewing. About 100 people attended the final event of the season last week with College of Marin Instructor Richie Unterberger and Ben Fong-Torres of Rolling Stone Magazine who were recently featured in the Marinscope Community Newspapers and online magazine. In addition to Unterberger, we were fortunate to have several other outstanding College of Marin presenters such as instructors Betty Goerke and Terence McGovern. I'd like to thank everyone, and especially Cathy Summa-Wolfe and her office, for supporting and promoting our events.

Cop's Corner—How to Contact Campus Police
In the event of a life or death emergency, to report a crime in progress or suspicious activity, or for urgent police assistance, you can get immediate help by calling Campus Police at 9-1-1 or the 24-hour dispatcher at extension 7696 from a campus phone, or at (415) 485-9696 from a cell phone.
For services that do not require an immediate response, please call (415) 485-9455 from a cell phone, or extension 7455 from a campus phone. As this is a business line, there may not be someone in the office available to answer the phone. It may be two hours or more before messages are received.
Campus Police business hours: Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Fridays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Building TB1, Kentfield Campus
Building 11, room 106, Indian Valley Campus*
* Please note that the Indian Valley Campus Police Office has moved from Building 22 and is in a new location.

Upcoming Events

Final Week of Exhibit—Agathe Bennich, Selected Works

You are invited to experience the current exhibit in the Fine Arts Gallery featuring the work of Agathe Bennich whose work has been shown extensively nationally and internationally. Born in Sweden, Bennich (1939–2012) lived in France, Austria, Italy and Mexico before settling in San Francisco. She attended San Francisco Art Institute where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in fine arts. Her investigation into painting began while living in Italy in the early ’60s. The arc of her early work evolved from the painted exploration of the Italian and Mexican landscapes to complex shaped canvases driven by meditations on the human condition, a theme that would recur later in her work. Bennich pursued an intense, psychological form of portrait painting and, in 1995, she moved to Wales to immerse herself in her process as a painter. It was a period of immense growth for her work. In addition to the exhibit, there will be an in memoriam gathering on Friday, January 24.
Exhibit: Weekdays through Friday, February 7, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In Memoriam Gathering: Friday, January 24, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
College of Marin Fine Arts Gallery
Kentfield Campus
Free admission. Donations welcome.

The Groundwork of Organic Gardening: Establishing a Productive Garden

This three-Saturday organic gardening workshop series is designed for beginning and seasoned growers alike. Each session includes classroom instruction and practical teaching at the certified Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus, a partnership program with the Marin Master Gardeners. The February workshop, with instructor Jeff Creque, will cover the principles and practices of organic soil cultivation with a focus on the physical and biological properties of soil. The May 17 workshop, with instructor Wendy Johnson, covers soil mixes, seasonal planting schedules, irrigation, pest management and disease control and harvesting. The October workshop, with instructor Liza Buckner, will include discussion about annual winter gardens, harvesting cultivated and native plant seed, dividing and propagating perennials and establishing a sound winter composting system. Participants may register for individual sessions or for the full series. Class size is limited to 35 participants. You may register online.

Saturdays, February 1, May 17, October 4, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden
Indian Valley Campus
$30 per class (or $75 for the series when you register for all three at once)
Weekend parking is free.

For more information, contact Liz Peer.

Fair Accreditation and the Struggle at City College of San Francisco

A City College of San Francsico trustee, instructor and student will be on campus to talk about the ongoing accreditation problem that has affected their college and what this means for community colleges throughout California. The event is sponsored by United Professors of Marin and the Academic Senate.

Thursday, February 6, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Deedy Staff Lounge, Student Services Building
Kentfield Campus

In Search of My Father...Walkin’ Talkin’ Bill Hawkins

College of Marin Drama Professor W. Allen Taylor is bringing his 90-minute award-winning solo show back to the stage for a special fundraising event honoring the 50th anniversary of the College Drama Department. Winner of the Best Solo Performance of 2006 by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, the show explores the intimate story of Taylor’s life-long search for his father, Bill Hawkins, the first black disc jockey in Cleveland, Ohio. Taylor portrays several characters in a bittersweet journey of self-discovery. He celebrates the rich cultural legacy of black radio with rhythm and blues, gospel, and jazz music serving as a rich backdrop. More information is available online, or call the Drama Department at (415) 485-9555. Donations may be made by cash, check, or charge. Proceeds benefit the Drama Department.

Thursday, February 6, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8, 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 9, 2 p.m.
Suggested donation for preview performance on February 6 is $10: Suggested donation for all other performances is $25.
Studio Theatre, Kentfield Campus (Corner of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Laurel Avenue)
Advance Reservations: Drama Department, (415) 485-9555. Unclaimed reservations will be released 15 minutes prior to the performance. On the day of the show, unreserved seats will be available at the door 45 minutes prior to the performance.

Benefit for Teens Injured in Christmas Eve Car Accident

Louie Vaccaro, son of DSPS Program Technician Miles Mayo, suffered major injuries from a car accident on Christmas Eve, and remains in long-term care at Kaiser Hospital. His condition is improving; however, his recovery will be long and difficult. Louie sustained three damaged vertebrae in the accident and was on life support for the first three weeks after the accident. He is now on and off a ventilator and working towards the goal of breathing on his own. He is currently paralyzed from the chest down and has a long road ahead of rehabilitation.

Five other teenagers were also injured in the accident that night. One of them had intended on starting classes at COM this month. All six teenagers in the vehicle received injuries of varying severity and the emotional trauma is extensive. In support of these students and their families, the town of Fairfax is hosting a huge fundraising benefit on Saturday, February 8.

Music performances by various Drake High School Bands
The Steakhouse
at Deer Park Villa, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
367 Bolinas Road, Fairfax
Buffet dinner and drinks
$30 adults; $20 kids (4-12)
Purchase tickets at Revolution 9 in Fairfax or email Dianne Zellers for will call tickets or more information about the benefit.

Performances at 19 Broadway, The Sleeping Lady, and Peri’s Silver Dollar, 8 p.m. – closing

Wristbands are $20 and can be purchased at any of the above venues for entrance to all shows.

Performers include:
Danny Click, Vinyl, Members of Monophonics, Kortuzi, Swoop Unit, Elephant Listening Project, Fiver Brown, Mark Karan, Elliot’s Evil Plan, Tommy Odetto

Jazz Ensemble at the Seahorse in Sausalito

Cayce Carnahan, director

The COM Jazz Ensemble performs the second Thursday of each month at the Seahorse in Sausalito. Enjoy great music, great food, and great atmosphere. Bring your dancing shoes and swing the night away. There is no cover charge. For more information, go online or call (415) 485-9460. To receive performance notices electronically, subscribe by email.

Thursday, February 13, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sausalito Seahorse
305 Harbor Drive, Sausalito

Ongoing Events

Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden Stand Open Wednesdays

The produce and flower stand for the flagship organic farm and teaching garden is open for business every Wednesday, rain or shine. Bring your own bag and select your favorite fresh produce and flowers. Launched in the spring of 2009, the farm and garden is part of an initiative developed from a countywide commitment to teach Marin residents about the valuable role of agriculture in Marin County and to promote local food systems. It is the only teaching farm in Marin County.
Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Indian Valley Campus

Evening Assistance

Evening public service assistants are available on both campuses Monday through Thursday. If you need assistance, please call one of the numbers listed below:

Kentfield Campus, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., (415) 747-0699
Indian Valley Campus, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., (415) 747-0658

If you would like a campus police officer to contact you, call dispatch at extension 7696 or (415) 485-9696. For life- or property-threatening emergencies, call 911.

Conversation Partners Program

Practice your language skills and meet our interesting global students through the Conversation Partners Program, which matches individuals for informal language exchange. Faculty and staff are invited to participate in this innovative program developed by the International Education Office. It’s a wonderful way to promote international friendship and cross-cultural understanding while practicing a language that interests you. You may sign up online any time. For more information, contact Rebecca Freeland, program coordinator, at ext. 7740.

In Memoriam

Harry J. Pieper, 91, a former College of Marin football and track coach and athletic director, died January 17. Pieper was a second-team All-America selection as a center and linebacker on the UC Berkeley football team. He joined the College athletic department staff in 1948 and coached the football team to the conference championship in 1956. As athletic director, he presided over the construction of the athletic portion of campus. He retired in 1983 and was inducted into the COM’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He is survived by Lenore, his wife of 65 years, sons Rod and Stephen, a daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Services were held last Friday. The family requests that any donations be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Sacramento.
Services have been planned for College of Marin Instructor Janet Thormann-Mackintosh who passed away January 3. She was a professor in the English/Humanities Department from 1974 to 2007. A memorial service will be held in a private residence. All are welcome to attend—please share with Janet’s former students, friends, and colleagues.
Saturday, March 1, 3 p.m.
2288 Vineyard Road, Novato

RSVP to Connie Lehua, Human Resources Specialist, (415) 485-9361; or to Elizabeth Spinner, (415) 388-6912.


Bay Valley Conference Basketball Tournaments
Men’s Basketball vs. Los Medanos
Friday, January 31, 7:30 p.m. in Pittsburg
Men’s Basketball vs. Merritt
Friday, February 7, 7:30 p.m. in Kentfield
Men’s Basketball vs. Solano
Wednesday, February 12, 7:30 p.m. in Fairfield
Women’s Basketball vs. Los Medanos
Friday, January 31, 5:30 p.m. in Pittsburgh
Women’s Basketball vs. Merritt
Friday, February 7, 5:30 p.m. in Kentfield
Women’s Basketball vs. Solano
Wednesday, February 12, 5:30 p.m. in Fairfield
Men’s Baseball vs. Hartnell
Friday, January 31, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Men’s Baseball vs. Hartnell
Saturday, February 1, noon in Salinas
Men’s Baseball—College of the Sequoias Tournament
Thurs-Sat, February 6–February 8, TBA, in Visalia
Men’s Baseball vs. Cabrillo
Tuesday, February 11, 2 p.m. in Aptos
Men’s Baseball vs. San Mateo
Thursday, February 13, 2 p.m. in San Mateo
Women’s Softball vs. Redwoods
Saturday, February 1, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Kentfield
Women’s Softball vs. CCSF
Tuesday, February 11, 1 p.m., TBA

Submissions to the Weekly Briefing

Please submit information no later than Friday for the next week. Submissions received later than Friday will be included in the following week’s edition.

Have a great weekend,

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.


President's Weekly Briefing Web Page
Technical Contact: Nicole Cruz, Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement, (415) 485-9648
Content Responsible: Cathy Summa-Wolfe, Executive Director, Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement, (415) 485-9528