Letters to the Editor
May 21, 2008 · 4:24 PM
An islander's plea for humanity
Presidents, as seems reasonable, are concerned how history will perceive their tenure in office. From my perspective, here is an idea that would drastically improve the current president’s mark on history.
It has been more than 10 days since the cyclone hit Burma (Myanmar). Tens of thousands have died, and the political climate has prevented all but a trickle of immediate relief. Myanmar's military regime has done more to prevent assistance than to aid the more than 2 million people in need.
Numbers of this size demand a global humanitarian relief effort. Rightfully so, government officials and relief agencies from around the world have been very critical of the lack of concern and cooperation for global relief efforts from the Myanmar junta.
Daily, the world is now seeing how despicable it is. The Burmese have had to endure this for decades.
For a brief time, the U.N. talked of dropping aid shipments by air to the hundreds of thousands that are in need and cut off either physically, or politically, from the rest of the world — with or without the blessings of the Myanmar regime. The idea was quickly quashed by the U.N., with China voicing one of the strongest objections.
Due to the lack of food and fresh water for hundreds of thousands for over 10 days, the death toll is now rising exponentially. Disease is also running rampant.
Carpe diem, President Bush! You have already established that you will invade a country without the blessings of the United Nations. I implore you to do it again today! Not with arms and munitions, but with open arms. Let this be the largest humanitarian invasion in world history. Start dropping basic necessities that the people need to survive.
A person in your position will always be criticized, but by taking positive action the people of Myanmar, the world and history will applaud you.
I just recently returned from a 20-day trip to Burma, seeing first-hand the effects that decades of this horrendous military regime has had on the people. Now the whole world knows of their lack of humanity.
Tell them you want local radio
Since San Juan Island Community Radio’s construction permit application was held up, due to possible interference with Canadian broadcasting by some 1,500 yards, we have contracted with an FCC-approved broadcast engineer to finish our application, which is now on file with the FCC for public inspection.
The changes in our application include a much more expensive tunable antenna than originally planned, several baffles and deflectors (ferrite cores and the like spaced on our antenna), to adjust our transmissions within international regulations. Our first funding need is to pay this engineer a total of $3,600 for services already rendered, as the re-application had to be filed by May 2.
While we have pledges and interest in our community radio station, we have held off asking for actual funds because all of the above — "possible interference ..." and "finish our application ..." are virtual, or computer-held, events, with FCC computers using "modeled contours" to look for interference, while our engineer made other computer "modeled contours" back at them, the meter running merrily all the while.
An example of how complex a small glitch in radio can be and how expensive the technical fix, even at a "non-profit" level.
We are a "pay as you go" island, so before you pay any more, tell us how you want this to go. While much public funding is available — (75 percent start-up expenses in many cases, up to 50 percent of daily costs) — much of our local productions should be locally funded, if only for local pride. And local productions are cheaper and often better suited to our region than high-cost syndicated shows heard on larger stations.
Sometimes better. "Prairie Home Companion" (hats off, please) was a local show just for Minnesota and Michigan when that's all that National Public Radio covered. It became one of NPR's flagship productions when that company sold nationally on several hundred educational stations like KPLU.
We have several recording studios on this island, performers to stuff four separate theater groups, several open-mike bars, and money when the need is real.
We can do this, in style.
Michael Calhoun, president
San Juan Island Community Radio Board of Directors
Appreciates island EMTs, paramedics
We would like to congratulate Weyshawn Koons on her high score of 99 percent from Medical College of Georgia. The fact she ranked first in her class is not at all surprising; she's fantastic!
Over the years, we have been the beneficiaries of her and many other EMS paramedics skills, knowledge and compassion.
Weyshawn has held our hands on each occasion and we can't thank her (and others) enough for the great job they do day in and day out.
John has been airlifted enough times that he feels he qualifies for "frequent flyer" miles.
Thank you, one and all.
Correction to Island Rec guide
By now, San Juan Island residents should have received Island Rec's 20-page summer recreation program guide in the mail. There is a great picture of a young archer on the front cover and the Children's Festival poster is on the back.
On page 18, there are several ads. Regretfully the dates listed for Bill & Rita Ament's Summer Creative Arts Day Camp are wrong. The correct dates for their camps are July 7-10; July 14-17; July 21-24 and Aug. 4-7.
This summer is the 23rd year for the Aments' camp. You can find more information about their Summer Creative Arts Day Camp by calling 378-9628 or by visiting www.amentsummercamp.com
Slow down and watch for foxes
Bless your heart, whoever you are, who put up the "Slow ... Fox Pups" signs on Westside Road.
Please pay attention, folks, and give those adorable little pups a chance to make it.
Likes the 'new' online Journal
The "new" San Juan Journal Online is such an improvement. I looked at the old one occasionally but was never impressed. I will become a regular reader.
San Juan Island