Letters to the Editor

San Juan Journal Letters to the Editor | July 16

Supports Gaylord for Superior Court
This letter is in support of Randy Gaylord for San Juan County Superior Court judge. My recommendation is based on the following ...

I spent over 54 years as a practicing lawyer in Washington. This experience includes extensive civil and criminal trial and appellate practice in state and federal court, almost all counties in Washington, as well as Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

I also had much pro-tem judicial practice, and served four years as U.S. Magistrate in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle. I have litigated with both Superior Court candidates.

I have been before judges of all kind, size, type and ability. I believe I know the qualities that a good judge must have. Based on the foregoing, I support and recommend Mr. Gaylord.

Alan L. Froelich
Cape San Juan

Randy Gaylord is an excellent choice for Superior Court judge of San Juan County. I have known Randy 14 years. He is energetic and dedicated to his work, family and community.

Randy and I formed a lasting friendship when his son, Colin, began playing football for me. He and his entire family are tireless supporters of schools and activities.

Randy is ready and willing to do any task, like drive all the way to Ritzville to film our next opponent or talk his brother into flying us down to Raymond to film a game. Randy’s energy, character and work ethic show up in his actions, and these traits will serve him well as judge.

Randy’s work with other county prosecutors and organizations add to his qualifications. His clear guidance on issues, his passion for the law and his sound judgements are recognized and appreciated. His fellow prosecutors elected him president of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in 2007.

Randy Gaylord has shown remarkable dedication to San Juan County. He has served the public uninterrupted for 14 years as our prosecutor. He knows and understands the issues important to our county and respects every person who lives here.

Please join me in supporting Randy Gaylord for Superior Court judge of San Juan County.

Dennis Dahl
Orcas Island

Supports Linde for Superior Court
I reviewed the letter of July 2 by Bern Shanks with surprise (“Supports Gaylord for Superior Court,” page 6A). He is attacking the very process Randy Gaylord was strongly and publicly advocating for last year, while at the same time saying he supports Randy Gaylord in the election for Superior Court judge.

Mr. Gaylord and I both pushed hard and long to support the process of the governor in exercising her constitutional duty to appoint someone to serve as the San Juan Superior Court judge in 2008, with a follow-up election to occur in the 2008 election cycle (while others lobbied the County Council to ask the governor to waive her duty to make the appointment).

If Mr. Shanks believes in Mr. Gaylord’s judgment as a judge, why not support his judgment about the judicial selection process?

Voters are now in a good position to ratify or reject Gov. Gregoire’s appointment, made in a careful selection process in which she determined that John Linde was the superior candidate available in the appointment process. He served as the regular pro-tem Superior Court judge for San Juan County in 2007, allowing the public, the attorneys and the governor the opportunity to evaluate his impartiality, fairness, judicial temperament and technical judicial skills. He had served as the District Court judge here for more than 20 years, leaving a record open to review as well.

The governor received input from hundreds of local residents, as well as many attorneys (including myself) who practiced in front of Judge Linde or as opposing counsel in his cases as an attorney; judges who heard his cases as an attorney as well as those judges who heard Prosecutor Gaylord’s cases; and attorneys who practiced with or as opposing counsel to Prosecutor Gaylord.

At that time, I endorsed neither candidate and simply reported my experiences and perceptions about the relevant skills and qualities of both candidates to the governor. She has done an outstanding job on previous judicial appointments and I trusted she would do no less for us.

There is no “hidden agenda” or “dynasty” at play. John Linde’s service as our pro-tem judge last year was by the appointment of our then-judges, Vickie Churchill and Alan Hancock. If they believe they made the right choice for the pro-tem appointment, they should publicly endorse Judge Linde for this election, in the county they served with distinction for so many years.

One of the governor’s highest duties is to appoint judges and appoint the best candidate available. She believes in her appointment and therefore has publicly endorsed Judge Linde for election by serving as honorary chair of the Committee to Retain Judge Linde.

If any voter has any questions about whether Judge Linde should continue to serve the people of San Juan County, come to Superior Court on a Friday morning, the most complicated calendar of the week, watch the action and make an informed decision.

John Wickham
Friday Harbor

When you cast your vote for Superior Court judge, I urge you to vote to retain Judge John Linde.

There are many reasons to vote for Judge Linde. I offer three for your consideration.

1. At the time that Gov. Gregoire filled the newly created judgeship for San Juan County, she gave careful thought before she chose John Linde over other candidates, including Judge Linde’s current opponent. She had more information concerning each applicant than any of us could possibly have.

Since nothing has changed between the appointment and now, her decision still stands as the best choice, namely Judge Linde.

2. Judges hold a non-political office. We expect our judges will make their decisions as neutrally and fairly as possible without regard to political consequences. That is why we speak of an independent judiciary.

By challenging a judge for no reason other than someone wants his or her job, we make it much more difficult for that judge to avoid taking the popular or political views into consideration when making tough decisions. Therefore, challenges should be reserved for situations of malfeasance. That is most assuredly not the case with Judge Linde.

3. Judges are called upon daily to make instantaneous rulings on evidentiary and procedural issues during the course of a trial. The more in-court trial experience an attorney has before assuming the role of a judge, the better equipped he or she is to make the correct or appropriate ruling.

Judge Linde had substantial trial court experience over his 35 years as a lawyer before Gov. Gregoire appointed him to the bench.

In making these comments, I do not mean to denigrate Judge Linde’s opponent. Rather, I want to emphasize why voters should be sure to vote for Judge Linde.

Fritz Kraetzer
Orcas Island

Supports Petersen for San Juan South
I am writing to urge voters to cast their ballot for Gordy Petersen in the upcoming San Juan County Council election.

He has an extensive background in county matters, volunteering his time to serve on the committee that drafted the Comprehensive Plan and Uniform Development Code and to serve on the San Juan County Planning Commission. Most recently, Gordy was elected to serve on the committee that drafted the San Juan County Charter.

Gordy was the leader who stopped the unwanted mega-marina development in Orcas Village, was instrumental in securing the award-winning sewer system for Orcas Village and directed the development of the village water system. In other words, Gordy knows how to get things done! He will do the same as a councilman for citizens on San Juan Island.

I have known Gordy for more than 20 years. He is forthright, impeccably honest, has a strong sense of community and is blessed with plenty of good old-fashioned common sense. He understands the quality of life we wish to maintain in the islands.

Gordy voted for the charter. In doing so, he also made a clear statement that the charter was going to increase the cost of county government. He was criticized by some for his honest assessment of the charter’s impending financial cost. As it turns out, Gordy’s analysis was certainly correct.

As a voter, I greatly appreciate a person with Gordy’s strong business background and who understands budgets at a time when the county is headed for serious financial difficulties. Having a person with Gordy Petersen’s experience on the council, an elected official who will “tell it like it is” and who is not beholding to special interests. will benefit all of us.

John Evans
Olga

— Evans served as a San Juan County commissioner for 12 years.

Supports Pratt for San Juan South
I think we, the constituents of San Juan County Council District 1, are very fortunate to have four terrific people vying to represent us on the county council.

I like Gordy Petersen and Lisa Guard very much. Daniel Miller I see around town but don’t know. And Lovel Pratt, I seem to run into multiple times a week at community functions.

That said, I have decided to support Lovel because of her long track record of community service and getting things done.

I have known Lovel since our children were in pre-school together and have observed over those 12 years her constant dedicated involvement in community projects. She has been a strong advocate and dedicated proponent of local agriculture, affordable housing and education.

Lovel is and has been active in local agricultural development for years, from Farmers Market development to family CSA to WSU coordinator and Agricultural Guild. She has actively participated in schools and the San Juan Public Schools Foundation. Lovel has been a strong proponent of affordable housing and served as executive director of the San Juan Community Home Trust, worked on the San Juan County Planning Commission, and in 2003 was named “Citizen of the Year” by The Journal of the San Juan Islands.

Lovel has shown over and over her dedication to community improvement through service both as a team member and a leader. For example, this past weekend, it was announced on very short notice that Gov. Gregoire would be speaking on Orcas and be available for questions afterword. While other candidates appear to have been putting signs all over the roadsides, Lovel went to Orcas and spoke with the governor one on one, discussing ferry system concerns and our acute lack of state funding for education. That’s the person I want working for me to get things done in San Juan District 1. 

Lovel will work tirelessly on behalf of our community on many issues — as she has been doing for years. Her only shortcoming as a candidate may be she doesn’t advertise herself enough, but I’m one voter who doesn’t need a campaign sign or ad to realize who the best person for the job is. 

Please join me in voting for Lovel Pratt for San Juan County Council, District 1.

Drew Dawson
San Juan Island

No committee necessary on art
Kudos for Richard Walker’s recommendation that “we need to nourish the roots of our culture” (page 7A, July 9 Journal). Pity that his further comments drifted so far from our most basic roots.

These, lest readers have forgotten, date from our Revolution, and one of the key “roots” was the concept of limited government, or restraining government; of leaving as much as possible to what back then were “sovereign individuals.”

I submit that our Founding Fathers’ principle of limited government affords much to consider at the local level. I would like to believe that most readers would agree with our county’s Vision Statement that “independence, privacy and personal freedom are values prized by islanders.” The tone of our vision statement also affirms Jefferson’s concern that “government tends to increase …” needing ultimately “the blood of patriots” to redress the problems of power ceded to an ever-expanding government.

Mr. Walker cited Terry Fox. Lest we overlook the fact, Terry Fox undertook his Marathon of Hope on his own. He epitomized our islanders’ above noted values. He did not call for a public committee, nor did he seek some sort of approval of any advisory committee.

The Town of Friday Harbor should NOT create an “Public Art Advisory Committee.” And the best reason to NOT do so has everything to do with nourishing our culture’s most basic roots.

Albert B. Hall
Friday Harbor

If you smoke, use an ashtray
Fire chiefs Steve Marler and Vern Long make an important statement in Trash Talk, published July 9, about using your ashtray. I’m sorry to admit that both my wife and I are smokers. As such, we feel a responsibility to be safe and courteous with our smoking.

Yes, many cars do not have ashtrays. Neither of our vehicles came with an ashtray. A short stop and a couple of dollars spent at a local auto parts store resolved that issue.

Even if you “don’t want the cigarette smell” in your car there are options. Smokers: Find an ashtray that works for you! This is not rocket surgery! It appalls me to drive by a blackened roadside brush fire aftermath. There are at least a few every summer. Everyone knows it was a tossed cigarette butt. With a broad brush, all smokers are to blame.

Unless we smokers change our ways, we will continue to be regulated and legislated until we can’t leave our property with a cigarette. Note: there have been attempts to make it illegal to DRIVE while smoking! Don’t laugh; 10 years ago it seemed inconceivable to imagine voter approval to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants.

As well, we need to use ashtrays on the streets, or any public space. My wife and I have picked up literally hundreds of cigarette butts laying on the ground within a few feet of a public ashtray. Yeah, gross, but we feel strongly about it. Please use the ashtrays provided all throughout the town!

And a suggestion for business owners: If you see an inordinate amount of cigarette butts outside your business, see where the nearest ashtray is, take action. Most smokers are happy to use them; we have to do something with our cigarettes before we can come in and shop.

Most importantly though, stop throwing lit cigarettes out your car window! You make us all look bad, feed the anti-smoking frenzy, and often start dangerous and unsightly brush fires.

Joel Ecob
San Juan Island

New Web site for Friends of Kunya
Happy news flash: Joanruth Baumann and Dick Coffey are on the road spreading the word, so I will announce for them:

The brand new Friends of Kunya Web site — www.friendsofkunya.org — is up and ready for visitors!

Some $23,000 or so is still needed to complete the Kunya village water project, so hopefully this will help increase the $$$ flow. Pass it on!

Anne Sheridan
Friday Harbor

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