Narcissus' Echo

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Make way for Mountain Biker One!



I'm back.
Here's a little jeer at liberals cheer:




Bush hits the trail in Angwin

By Carlos Villatoro, Register Staff Writer
Sunday, April 23, 2006 1:12 AM PDT


If Pat Patterson's car hadn't died Saturday, he never would have seen President George W. Bush whooping it up while he biked on a Napa County forest trail.

Patterson, the owner of St. Helena Hearing Aid, was leaving his home on Las Posadas Road in Angwin on Saturday morning when he noticed that Secret Service agents had shut down his street. He convinced the agents that he lived on the street and was making his way down Cold Springs Road when his car died.

He walked back home.

Looking for a rest, Patterson sat on a large stone near his front gate. That's when he heard the sounds of whooping and hollering followed by the sight of President Bush riding his mountain bike up a hill in nearby Las Posadas State Forest. Two Secret Service agents followed on all-terrain vehicles.

"I could hear him when he was cresting the hill saying "Woo hoo!'" Patterson said. "It's quite a climb. I'm sure he got his morning exercise."

Patterson said "I thought he was great. I was happy to see him. He's got a tough job."

Down the road from Angwin, in front of Meadowood Napa Valley -- where the president spent Friday night -- 300 or more protesters did not share Patterson's sentiments.

Demonstrators overwhelmingly opposed to the president's policies gathered at the resort's front entrance, carrying signs and hot cups of coffee. Most of the crowd had come to protest the war in Iraq, but others were there for different reasons.

"It feels like a slap in the face having President Bush come here on Earth Day," said Curtis Harding, 24, who grew up in St. Helena and lives in Sacramento. "I could go yell somewhere else, but people would think I'm crazy."

Harding said Bush's policies are harming the environment, and added that "when a bomb goes off, that has a huge, indirect effect on global warming."


[-ben: What is this guy smoking? Must be pretty good 420.]

New Tech High School student Cory Lustig, 15, expressed concern that the U.S. has not done enough to stop the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

"I would tell him that people are dying because of the choices he's made," she said.

Lustig, Harding and their many counterparts were joined by five Bush supporters on Silverado Trail.

"I can't say that I agree with everything that's going on, but by God I support my president," said St. Helena resident Walter Kuntz as he shouldered an American flag. "I'd say (to Bush) 'Thank God you are our president.'"

"We want to let President Bush know that he has support here," said Kevin Hangman, a Napa resident who carried a pro-Bush sign.

Hangman's son, Aaron, 15, said the president is "doing a good job."


Circus in town

A circus-like atmosphere permeated Meadowood's normally quiet front entrance Saturday. Protesters chanted everything from "Impeach Bush," "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Bush and Cheney have to go," and "Honk for peace." Protesters also sang John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance."

Jes Richardson, a resident of San Geronimo, made the trip to Napa along with an 10-foot, papier-mache statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Richardson used the statue at protests throughout the Bay Area, he said, as part of the Gandhi Peace Brigade, a group that opposes the war in Iraq.

"I am in Napa to open (Bush's) heart and basically have him look at this as a creation of peace," he said.

Jim Kerrigan, of Napa, paraded wildly in front of anti-Bush protesters holding a pro-Bush sign.

"I just want to piss them off," he said. "(They say) blood for oil, but how many people walked here?
I would tell ... (Bush) 'Thanks for coming.'"

Several dozen officers from each of the county's law enforcement agencies were also on the Trail as part of the president's security detail. California Highway Patrol Sgt. Elfido Montez said that Friday's protest along the Trail was peaceful, and that he expected it to remain so Saturday.

A handful of news trucks from television stations throughout the Bay Area were also on the Trail, attempting to get footage of the president during his stay in St. Helena.


President's stay

Bush's motorcade left the resort around 9 a.m. Saturday for nearby Las Posadas State Forest followed by numerous black SUVs and vans, CHP vehicles and an ambulance. His motorcade exited Meadowood from its front entrance, sparking jeers from protesters, and went north along the Trail. From there the caravan made its way east on to Deer Park Road, en route to the park.

After biking at the park, Bush then returned to the resort, entering Meadowood through its alternate entrance. When he left Napa, he did so the same way he arrived, by way of presidential helicopter Marine One at Angwin Airport.

As he left Angwin around 1:30 p.m., about 35 supporters lined up near Pacific Union College to bid him farewell. Daniel Madrid, a Pacific Union College professor of international business, sat in a lawn chair holding an American Flag and wearing a flag-patterned necktie.

Earlier in the day Madrid took his two dogs for a walk at Las Posadas forest, when he was stopped by a Secret Service agent.

Madrid said he often walks his dogs in the park and does a bit of mountain biking himself. He said didn't mind that he was not allowed to enter the park while the president was having fun.

"Some of them (the trails) are pretty rough," he chuckled. "I'm surprised he can handle that."

Bush's visit to California was not all rest and relaxation. From St. Helena, Bush flew to West Sacramento to tour the plant of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a group of manufacturers that promotes hydrogen-fueled cars.


(Source)

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