A potpourri of legal trivia. | SierraSun.com

A potpourri of legal trivia.

Happy Cow ads

You know those “Happy Cow” ads where cows are contently chatting while they graze on green, hilly pastures. They usually close with “Great Cheese Comes from Happy Cows.”

They are pretty clever.

Not everyone is amused. John Robbins, son of a co-founder of

Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, and the People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals are going to court claiming that the Happy Cow ads are false and mislead consumers about environmental damages from the dairy industry and the way cows are treated.

I hope Robbins and PETA are as successful as the plaintiffs who sued McDonald’s for making them fat.

Big Foot

When I was a kid, the Northern California mountain monster, known as Big Foot, was big news. Footprints of Big Foot were found and several sightings were claimed. A 1967 snapshot conclusively showed Big Foot in the wild.

Being the doubting Thomas-type, I always assumed Big Foot was a prank or the result of over-imaginative believers.

Sorry to tell you folks, but Big Foot is a fake. He was orchestrated by a fellow named Ray Wallace who first planted Big Foot’s footprints in 1958.

The tale was an instant international event. According to Wallace, his wife was in a Big Foot suit when the photo was taken. My hunch is this isn’t the last you’ll hear of Big Foot.

Tall tales seldom die.

Toxic Wetlands

Here’s a discouraging conundrum. According to a U.S. Geological Survey study, when wetlands were restored on Twichell Island in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, high levels of dissolved organic carbons – dangerous to drinking water – were released. Wetlands are bad for drinking waters.

That would be a very unfortunate finding if true. Developers are encouraged, sometimes forced, to restore lost wetlands. This recent study may show there is an apparent wetlands restoration “unintended

consequence” – my watchword for the future.


This is a little off the beaten track, no pun intended, but if you don’t subscribe to the official newsletter of the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, Inc., “SnowLine”, sign up right away. Writer Randall Osterhuber, a veteran leader of Search and Rescue, is a talented writer. He weaves wry humor into his blow-by-blow descriptions of rescues. Believe me, putting humor into rescue efforts and law columns ain’t easy.

While you are checking out their web page or calling for a subscription, offer a team donation. Call (530) 581-4038 or visit the Web site http://www.tahoenordicsar.com.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter – Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno. He is a mediator and was the governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or at the firm’s web site http://www.portersimon.com.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User