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Hero & Zero: Olema asks for help saving the whales while grocery stores are up prices

HERO: Turtle Island Restoration Network, a conservation organization headquartered in Olema, plans to file a lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act to reinstate rules to protect endangered sperm whales from mile-long drift gillnets in waters off California. The National Marine Fisheries Service allowed temporary regulations to expire on Aug. 6 that required a certified observer to be on board vessels fishing in deep waters likely to be inhabited by sperm whales. If one sperm whale was seriously injured or killed, the regulation required the closure of the fishery. “Endangered whales should not be dying cruel deaths in California driftnets to provide high-priced swordfish steaks for our dinner plates,” said Todd Steiner, executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network. Support their efforts to save the gentle giants at www.seaturtles.org.

ZERO: Get the new game, The Price Isn’t Right, at your nearest Marin grocery store. Shoppers already have sticker shock when they carry out one bag of food that costs $50. Prepare for another jolt when you check your receipt. Although Sausalito resident Lois hadn’t purchased milk, she paid a milk bottle deposit at Mollie Stone’s in Sausalito. The big Whole Foods in Mill Valley charged her full price for cheese that was on sale for 50 percent off, an $8 difference. We checked out the Strawberry Safeway, where an end aisle display of chips had a 79-cent tag, yet we forked over $4.29. Fresh cherries, like other products, had no visible signage, but the whopping charge of $11.08 was 20 percent of our total tab.