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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
By David Turnoy
This is a reminder to your readers that Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau will make a decision in early December regarding expansion ofthe Trans Mountain Pipeline. If approved, there will be a subsequent increase from five to 35 tankers a month plying the waters ofBoundary Pass and Haro Strait. This will result in a much increased risk of an Exxon Valdez type spill, with environmental and economicdevastation, stretching for tens to hundreds of miles depending on weather, tides and the size of the spill. This warning is written to urgeyour readers to contact Senators Murray and Cantwell and Governor Inslee urging then to try and persuade Prime Minister Trudeau not toapprove the permitting of the pipeline expansion.
Wow! Not only was The Whale Museum's 10th annual "Greeting Ceremony" event a lot of fun, it raised much needed funds for our exhibitsand facility. Our heartfelt thanks are expressed to everyone who helped make this such a successful event.
On the morning of June 18, 2016 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union, Local 1849 (SanJuan County employee's union) gathered to meet the San Juan County Council candidates for District 2. The candidates addressed thelocal and responded directly to questions from the members.
I want to express my satisfaction and admiration at your courageous decision to provide complete and factual coverage on the recentmurder-suicide incident here on my home island of Lopez. Another reader and I were discussing this story when your first article came outin Volume 36, Number 35 of the Weekly. We came to a reluctant agreement that your staff would most likely bow to political correctness andnot provide any further details in subsequent issues. But you surprised us with your professional and accurate reporting and for this I amgrateful. Sadly, it's not so common these days for the printed press to do its job and give the people the full and relevant details of a story,no matter how much discomfort they may cause to a particular segment of our society.
I wanted you to know that I appreciate these stories about what's going on in our community and I think it's important for people to knowthat just like anywhere else, we have crime here.
Thank you for being a "news"paper. Serious news should be printed in the proper place, including the front page. The paper should beprimarily for adults, not children.
On an evening ferry sailing to Anacortes on Sept. 23, passengers heard a disturbing message from the loudspeakers: "We have very sad news. There has been a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington. If you have shopping, we urge you to not go to the mall, as the shooter is still at large."
My phone and email have been very busy lately with community members who want to talk about the heart-breaking event in our island community this month.
I, too, was shocked to see the headline "Reality of Heroin Addiction – Is heroin becoming more common in the San Juan Islands?" on the covers of our local papers on Aug. 17. I applaud the writers of this well-written article as well as the editors for printing it as it behooves us all to be well-informed in matters that significantly affect our communities.
I'm delighted to say that the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs' 16th Jazz at the Labs fundraiser in support of the Friday Harbor Labs (K-12) Science Outreach Program was a great success! It was a perfect summer evening for excellent music, delicious food and generous giving. Dr. Adam Summers the "fabulous fish guy" was entertaining and engaging as he collected donations from the audience in support of two terrific science projects - the 9 day Biotechnology Invasive Mussel Lab and the Diver for a Day Program conducted aboard the Research Vessel Centennial.
By Doug McCutchen
I just wanted to give a shout out to the San Juan Island Land Bank and the library for sponsoring the Discover San Juan Scavenger Hunt. All summer long, we had so much fun exploring the public preserves around our amazing island. My sister and nieces live in Nashville, Tenn. and visit Friday Harbor every summer. We loved hunting for the tile rubbings together and finding new areas so well cared for. Islanders are lucky to have the Land Bank secure these special spots for us to enjoy. Sidney and Sam had a great day on Labor Day hiking to the last two venues. Booklet completed!
With another school year about to begin, I'd like to acknowledge the important work that United Way of San Juan County does to ensure that all children in our community have the support they need to thrive in the classroom.
This is way more detail than we need.
Lest we forget, the combined emergency services, clergy and elected officials of San Juan Island will hold a short service in memory of all those who responded to the call that went out in New York City, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania on the morning of September 11, 2001.
A representative of I-732 will be at the San Juan Grange, 6 p.m., Sept. 1.
(Editor's note: The quote mentioned below ["If this becomes a problem," Larsen said, "let me know immediately and I will see what I can do."] appeared in the article "Affordable housing,the dilemma continues" on Aug. 24 and was his response to the USDA affordable home loan program issue not the housing problem.)
This year our nation and our community mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11. While we continue to grieve that traumatic day and our tragic losses, we also have a renewed opportunity to re-commit to the unity, dedication, and patriotism we witnessed and experienced on that day and in its aftermath.
The Spanish founded the island and named it Isla y Archipelago de San Juan. That is our history. We speak the words almost every day, "The San Juans." But the first ones did not come in a ship from Europe. They were an ancient people who traveled here on foot after the great ice sheet thawed. More than 8,000 years ago they made their homes on the shores of the islands. They fished for salmon off the coast and gathered oysters and mussels. If you have ever appreciated the pretty purple flowers that bloom in the San Juan national park, then you have seen a primary food source for the islands' early people. They picked the camas bulbs and cooked them in the earth like potatoes.
The San Juan County Council congratulates the National Park Service on its Aug. 25 centennial anniversary. We who live in the San Juan Islands are fortunate to have had a National Historic Landmark site designated in 1961, which commemorates and preserves the history of our founding.
Summer is really here now and its hot. PLEASE don't lock children or pets inside your car. Temperatures can soar to over a hundred in a few minutes, even with the windows cracked.
Community Treasures (CT) has lost its lease and will be moving, or closing down over the next 6 months, because the property is going up for sale. For those who want more details:
Last week during our county fair the temperature here on the island rose to well over 80 degrees several days in a row. Sadly, those of us working at the Animal Protection Society booth were notified on four separate occasions that people had parked their cars in the lots across the street from the fairgrounds, leaving dogs inside those cars for periods of over two hours.
I am disappointed with the recent series of articles featuring drugs, sexual abuse and other criminal activities on the front page of the Sounder. I could not help feeling embarrassed when I saw last week's headline about heroin abuse as I rode the inter-island ferry full of tourists and families traveling to the San Juan County Fair. Is this really necessary during the height of the vacation season? These stories are certainly of community interest and should be reported, but they do not warrant front page display. Our summer visitors come here to enjoy their vacations. They are only here a short time and are a vital part of our economy. It is in poor taste to publicize such negativity, especially when there is so much other newsworthy material to choose from. Nobody is under any illusions. We all know that Orcas Island faces the same types of problems as any other rural community. Why the need to continually bombard everyone with this information?
Heroin, and drug use in general, is right up there with domestic violence as issues we all know exist on our islands, but prefer not to talk about. I congratulate the Journal on their courage to bring the heroin topic front and center. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the county, but there is a dark side. Its going to take all of us, law enforcement, the schools, government, medical facilities and most of all families and neighborhoods, to come together and work cooperatively to solve these complex issues. Parents, talk, and more importantly, listen to your children. Citizens, open your eyes, look out for your neighbors, and report suspicious activity. We can beat this, but it's going to take a full-scale community effort.
As someone who has worked with elected officials for over 12 years, I can tell you that most first-time candidates seeking election believe, naively, that leaders just need to really understand issues to turn government around.