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There is a rising tide of tragedy in the Southern Salish Sea: the resident orca whales are facing extinction.
The staff of the Islands' Sounder and Journal of the San Juans held a meeting last week to discuss the candidates running for San Juan County Council. Read below for our endorsements.
Is it just me, or is anyone else confused over the six initiatives on the November ballot? They're tricky. Reading quickly, you may findyourself agreeing with one part of each measure yet disagreeing with another part. You have two options: You can "rubber stamp" whatyour political party wants you to do, or you can spend a frustrating half hour reading the "Voters' Pamphlet" and deciding for yourself. Ithink you know the answer here.
This is an exceptionally depressing election season, with one primary presidential candidate wholly unfit for office and the other whoresents an historic opportunity to become our first female president, but is opposed by a not-insignificant portion of the electorate.
Michael Durland has amazing analytical skills that are applied to getting work done just right. The job always turns out better. His longtenure on Orcas Island breeds understanding. He does think of others first and has a good sense of what is best. He will work out theissues on a personal level. He knows how to care. He is open and honest. Lots of us know that voting for Michael is important.
This letter is to encourage that you vote for Bob Jarman for county council. He now has four years on the job and has proved his valuetime and again. He came into the job with a unique work ethic, skill set, and about 40 years of county knowledge under his belt. He'sindependent, perceptive, smart and balanced. Along with his co- councilmen, he's improved the communication, cooperation, andperformance of county government within and without. We are fortunate to have such a devoted, hard-working, and effective leader whois actually a public servant seeking balanced solutions. He has no ax to grind and thinks for himself.
Bill Watson has my vote for county council district 1 – and I'll tell you why. In my 40-year residency in San Juan County, I owned asuccessful land surveying business that took me to just about to every corner on every island. I have viewed the changing landscape,changing land use and the population that has driven it. I have been on the Town of Friday Harbor Planning Commission as chair for thelast eight years and am a member of the Friday Harbor Historic Preservation Review Board. My small surveying business and thesecommissions have introduced me to a good many of the past and present county commissioners, council members and most planning,permitting, and deed recording employees of the town and county.
I have known Bill Watson for many years. I find him to be exactly the sort of thoughtful person we need leading this great county of ours.We need strong, intelligent advocates for the issues that bind us together as a community. Bill joining Jamie and Rick on the countycouncil would create a team that would work exceptionally well together to represent our island communities. We have unique needsliving on these beautiful islands, from needing a county council that will continue to be strong advocates for our ferries, to making surewe grow our economy as well as opportunities for more housing, while protecting the beautiful environment. We need a San Juan CountyCouncil that is fully dedicated to tirelessly advocating for our core values. That is exactly why I support Bill Watson. Please join me invoting for Bill Watson.
Bob Jarman gets my vote, hands down.
As a long-time islander, teacher, farmer, wife and mother, I am very grateful to Bob Jarman for all he has done and continues to do forour county. I, and my family, have known and worked with Bob for many years. His commitment to the job, whether it's helping those ofus who farm, providing customer service and expertise at the phone company, serving as a fire commissioner, or as a county councilman,Bob gives it his all. He cares about the people in this county and works diligently to represent each and every person. It is important tokeep Bob on the job. He has the knowledge and the hands on experience. Please join us in voting for Bob Jarman, county councilman, onNov. 8.
Bob Jarman is the obvious choice for county council District 1. Having known Bob for over 20 years, I feel qualified to make thatstatement.
Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, Local 1849 (San Juan County employee's union)have endorsed Bill Watson.
Bill Watson has impressed me ever since we first met. I was immediately struck by his commitment to and understanding of our islands.For one thing, he had done his homework –since January, when he first decided to run, for example, he has taken in every single councilmeeting! Not only that, but in the ten years he has lived here he not only has continued his software consulting business, but also hasmade a significant impact on our islands and on many things I consider vital.
I've known Bob Jarman for many years and have always been impressed with his honesty, his integrity, and his work ethic.
Submitted by the San Juan Public Schools Foundation
Others have written letters of support for Bob Jarman, and I feel compelled to join that list. I have been on a board with Bob and have worked with him on a committee looking at the health care needs of SJC. I have been impressed with his diligence (he always comes to meetings prepared), his willingness to ask questions on issues in need of further explanation. He is nonpartisan, and responds only after considering what's best for San Juan County residents.
I am very uneasy about another term on County Council for Bob Jarman. I am not in any way a political insider and I have not been here for 85 years but I have a right to expect fair representation across the board. I am very clear that I have not had this from Mr. Jarman.
So what if the storm from last weekend didn't turn out to be the biggest storm to hit SJI since the Columbus Day 1962 blow-out? I still disagree with the quote in the Journal (10/19/16, p. 16) by weather expert Cliff Mass that his profession "has to stop providing the worst case" scenario for a storm. I would rather know what the worst possibilities of a storm system could be, than to be lulled into a sense of complacency and inattention with "full probablistic guidance."
The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association announced its winners for the 2016 Washington Better Newspaper Contest in Wenatchee, Washington. The Islands' Sounder and Journal of the San Juans took home 44 awards including general excellence. This year, the entries were judged by the New York Press Association.
Submitted by Merri Ann Simonson
We here on San Juan Island are very generous with our applause after events at the San Juan Community Theatre.
I began visiting the San Juans in the 1990s, having heard of their uniqueness from family members who lived and worked here starting a century ago. Buying a home in 2002 and later moving here permanently from a major metropolis has givenme good insight into the issues islanders face. My career in science taught me critical thinking, especially the value ofproperly assessing relevant data before analysis. I'm supporting Bill Watson because we share that background. Adequatedata are fundamental to problem solving and our islands do have problems, such as our growing population unsupportedby a variety of housing and employment opportunities. I feel Bill brings a fresh perspective because of his understanding ofthe step-wise nature of resolving issues. Knowing Bill as a friend for about seven years and attending the recent candidateforum confirms for me his genuine integrity. Bill is a man of his word and if he says he will work diligently as a councilman,respecting staff input and other's viewpoints, he indeed will do so. Bill and I also share a deep love of the natural beauty ofthese islands. Having lived in an urban setting neither of us elects to duplicate that lifestyle here, by our own choices or bypassively accepting the poorly made decisions of others. Bill recognizes that we cannot create a community for only theprivileged few on either end of a bell curve of an environmental versus property rights agenda. His skills and strengthsinclude an ability to a forge a realistic compromise of protection and regulation fairness. Let's rise above the infighting wesee tragically occurring in our larger governmental arenas and bring a sense of really working together at our county levelby voting for Bill Watson for county councilman.
Our sincerest thanks to the San Juan Island Community Foundation for their recent grant award to help Islands' Oil SpillAssociation obtain a badly-needed new outboard motor for our spill response vessel that is stationed at the Port of FridayHarbor.
Bob Jarman has my vote. Bob has worked hard, along with incumbents Rick Hughes and Jamie Stephens, to move tocompletion several critical projects. They have worked cooperatively to represent all San Juan County citizens.
As full-time San Juan County residents since 1983, we've watched the county grow from sleepy little laid-back communities to vital location destinations with great eco-tourism appeal. We appreciate the difficult balance between economic survivaland potential destruction of what makes the islands so treasured and magical. Bill understands that fragile balance.
I met Chris Reykdal in January 2016, when he and five other candidates running for the Superintendent of Public Instructionspoke to a cohort of WSU grad students. I could see then that Chris, hands down, was the front-runner of all thecandidates. In May, I was able to witness Chris captivate a room of over a thousand teachers in Spokane.
I first met Bob Jarman when he was in charge of Pacific Telephone operations here in the county. Those were the days whenyou actually felt satisfied if you had a problem and called in for service. They actually knew we were on an island and caredabout getting your phones fixed. Customer service was a big part of Bob's approach to his job.
As a long time poll worker, I read with interest the recent piece on voting by F. Milne Hanley. Whereas I agree with most ofthe piece, I find a critical piece missing. Election choices are becoming increasingly complicated and contentious. One ismet with a dizzying array of candidates and issues. Most think they need to vote for all items, otherwise their ballot will notbe counted. I advised many people on this while working the polls. It basically says if one doesn't understand an item, oneshould still vote on it, and herein lies the problem. Votes should be made based on knowledge, not a coin toss. A ballot isonly invalidated when one votes twice for one item. I will leave a position blank if I do not understand the item. Our systemmust be about quality of the votes, not quantity. For a democracy to work, a majority of the voters must be literate. Cointoss voting removes that critical piece.
We are delighted to support Bob Jarman for San Juan County Commissioner in District 1. Bob brings great synergy andbalance to the existing team of three with his focus on making the basic county government services work well beforeadding more responsibility and burden to our small community; historical experience in all the islands so he's not focusinghis energy on just his "home" island; his time as a San Juan Island Fire Commissioner so he understands our needs foremergency services while at the same time our need to be able to take care of ourselves as much as possible and not relyon mainland services to be able to come to our rescue; and for his calm accountability.
Sometimes things happen in life that then come full circle and deliver a surprise – which is how my dear friend reacted whenI told her we were supporting Bob Jarman for County Council District 1. Given past events, she asked me to explain mystance, which I will share with you as well.
Dear fellow Bernie Sanders supporters,
As a business owner and farmer, I am voting for Bob Jarman for county councilman. Bob has solid historical knowledge of our county andits many needs through decades. He has a proven record of working for communication, business, transportation, agriculture andenvironment conservation projects. Why? Because the islands are his family. I am confident Bob's love for our county weighs heavy in hisdecisions. We are fortunate to have had his leadership in SJC. I encourage everyone to vote for Bob Jarman, a good man and leader, forSan Juan County Council District 1.
I would like to thank the volunteers of the San Juan Grange, the Eagle Forum and the League of Women Voters for hosting candidateforums these past two weeks. The service these organizations do for our county, by providing the voters of San Juan County a chance tomeet the candidates running for office, ask questions and voice their concerns in a non-partisan format, is very important. Attending theforums was a positive experience for me. I am a non-partisan candidate in a non-partisan election. I strive to be accessible andresponsive to all county citizens regardless of any political affiliation or special interest group.
We would like to urge our fellow San Juan Islanders to support Rick Hughes for the county council position from Orcas Island. Rickconsistently sees the big picture and seeks what is best for our county as a whole.
Many of you know that I am passionate about recycling and the need for siting of Essential Public Facilities. I can attest to the fact thatover the last four years, Bob Jarman has been the only council member to agree to meet with me on these two issues, and to publiclysupport Community Treasures' activities. Last month, I organized a public meeting to discuss the future of Community Treasures and itsbeing at a crossroad. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gvfbjOLM5Q The questions and answers are posted on Youtubeas well. I invited Bob Jarman and Bill Watson to that public meeting via email. Bob Jarman was the only council member to show up andspeak in support of CT. I hope Bill Watson will, at some point, see the value of CT, and speak out in favor of it. Months earlier when Iasked Rick Hughes to meet with me on the topic, he wrote back, "I don't think it is a good idea to meet." When I wrote back listing theEssential Public Facility issues and reasons to meet, he refused to reply. When I challenged Hughes about not meeting with me on a ferryride to Lopez, his reply was that he was not going to support me.
Fall is in the air, the throngs of tourists are beginning to thin, and the children are back in school. For those of us who live here full time,it's time to take stock in what makes San Juan Island such a desirable place to live. We are a vibrant community, at least in part, becausewe invest in one another.
Thank you social services, hospital staff and the EMT support we have on the islands. The caring community coupled with all the peoplewho helped Richard Campbell in the ferry line deserve our heartfelt praise. Coworkers, neighbors and friends have all stepped up duringthis very difficult time to help our family navigate the loss. We are over-whelmed by your kindness and appreciate all you have done toshow your respect.
Submitted by SAFE San Juans, from "How's Your Relationship?" published by the Washington Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The human spirit yearns to forgo the inevitable: the closing of books, the shutting of doors and that bitter dying of the light. Eternal darkness or even the afterlife can fill us with dread, so when one individual steps up and lights an orange torch in a landscape of black, we, too, take heart.
By Merry-Ann Keane