In Marin / CURRENTS
MAN Y OF US drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on a reg- ular basis without thinking much about the toll — until we get our Fas Trak invoice,
that is. But without human toll collectors (this
system of collection was eliminated in 2013)
there are some tollbooth scenarios that raise
questions. What happens when you get a new
car? What if you are using a rental car? We’ve
gathered some information to provide you with
smoothest crossing possible. goldengate.org
CON TINUED FROM PAGE 25
• Talk to a rental agent about enrolling in the company’s tolling program if you anticipate crossing the
bridge in your temporary ride. Most major companies
offer a few different options depending on your needs.
• Do you enjoy discounted tolls and automatic deductions? So do other drivers, making Fas Trak the most
popular and convenient option for daily commuters.
• The pay-by-plate option allows drivers to have
their card charged per crossing without a transponder or the prepaid toll balance that Fas Trak requires,
but unfortunately drivers won’t receive the $1 off per
crossing that Fas Trak offers.
• One-time payments are great for visitors who
don’t live in the area. Payments can be made 30 days
before crossing, or within 48 hours after.
• If you haven’t set up any payments or enrolled
in any of the available programs, make sure your
car registration information contains your correct
address, because a toll invoice will be sent there.
Unpaid tolls will incur an additional $25 penalty and
out-of-state defaulters are taken to collection.
• New car? No toll. Yes, you can set up a Fas Trak
account, or make a one-time payment, or simply take
advantage of toll-free crossings until you register
your vehicle with the DMV.
Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM) began in 2008 when founder Jane Kramer purchased 15
soprano recorders and began offering music lessons for elementary school students in San Rafael’s
Canal neighborhood. Today, ELM reaches more than 120 Canal-area students, but Kramer’s mission remains the same: to promote confidence, resilience and community inclusion through music.
ELM was founded in the image of Venezuela’s El Sistema, a free classical music
initiative created in 1975 by conductor Jose Antonio Abreu to benefit children in
impoverished communities. “When children learn that they can be really good
at music, they transfer this knowledge — they realize they can be good at anything they want,”
Kramer says. Students ages 4–15 can partake in ELM’s Saturday classes (organized by skill level),
instructive summer camp, after-school program and family music workshops. Whether a child
gravitates toward choral, orchestral, chamber music or jazz, ELM provides an environment for
mastering skills that extend far beyond the music room. Kramer is quick to quote Abreu as the
visionary behind this approach: “ ‘If you teach the children the beauty of music, the music will
teach them the beauty of life.’ ” elmprogram.org CALIN VAN PARIS
Ecstasy, the drug first popularized during
the late ’80s and early ’90s rave scene, has
made a resurgence in Marin County and
no, we’re not referring to a new electronic
dance festival. A team of therapists led by
San Anselmo–based psychiatrist Dr. Philip
Wolfson has been granted permission to
use MDMA in an 18-person study that will
take place over the next year. The research
will be largely funded by money from the
late Tim Butcher. Butcher, who was the son
of Precious Moments figurines founder
Sam Butcher, was a supporter of MDMA
therapy and left $1.9 million in his will to the
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
Studies, the group who is sponsoring the sessions. Recruitment is currently underway for
the project that is designed to reduce anxiety
for people with life-threatening diseases. K.P.