Letters To The Editor

Sometimes a dead fish is just a dead fish

We need to establish a genuinely supportable nexus between problem and solution. We need to take alarming claims out of the realm of psychology and fear, and establish a framework to rationally answer the questions that are posed.

  • Jan 26th, 2010

Not sure styrofoam is worse than ‘biodegradable’ products

I asked Neil Hansen, the Lopez guru of garbage, about the acceptability of recyclable food containers. Knowing the corrugated paper board that has absorbed oil is not acceptable for recycling, I wondered about messy little paper boxes that have remnants of food stuck to them. “Our present vendor would not accept them,” was his answer.

  • Jan 26th, 2010

Supports renewal of San Juan EMS levy

While partnering with island community leaders to work toward a new critical access hospital in Friday Harbor, I have been privileged to get to know some of the people and programs serving the island communities’ healthcare needs.

  • Jan 26th, 2010

CAPR looks forward to producing boots-on-the-ground conservation actions that make a real difference

Recently Mike Kaill, president of Friends of the San Juans, submitted a letter suggesting that the presence of surfactants in stormwater and other runoff is a justification for what he considers to be appropriate setbacks from the shoreline for development on shoreline properties.

  • Jan 19th, 2010

School levy election is about investing in our children

Although Washington State's Constitution defines education as the "paramount duty" of the state, school districts increasingly rely on local funding sources. About 16 percent of total statewide school funding comes from local taxes, primarily property taxes through maintenance and operations levies. A levy loss, which can make up to approximately 20 percent of a district's revenue, can be devastating to a school district. A levy is a request by a school district of voters to raise or continue property taxes for a limited number of years for operations costs or capital improvements that help to fund essential education programs and activities such as school libraries, textbooks, computers, tutoring programs, teachers and aides, all-day kindergarten, food service, special education, transportation and extracurriculars.

  • Jan 19th, 2010

An outstanding EMS is critical for the life safety of island residents

As PeaceHealth’s project lead for the new San Juan Island hospital, I’ve heard from dozens of islanders about San Juan Island EMS. By all accounts, your EMS is held in high regard for its expertise, quality of care and responsiveness. I have also read about many real-life stories of heroic, compassionate and at times life-saving care provided by the EMTs and first responders. And I’m aware of national measures of performance for which the San Juan Island EMS is rated among the very best in the country.

  • Jan 19th, 2010

Thank you, King’s Market, for donating turkey cards to the Food Bank

We have reached a new year, with two special holidays behind us. I want to thank the customers at King's Market who gave their turkey cards to the Food Bank. There were enough points to get turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. And thanks to John McBride for picking up the extra funds needed to give out hams for Christmas to our customers.

  • Jan 11th, 2010

Each and every person who walks into Islands Convalescent Center to share with residents makes a huge difference

On behalf of Islands Convalescent Center residents and staff, I would like to genuinely thank the island and inter-island community for all of your precious gifts of time at our facility this holiday season.

  • Jan 8th, 2010

Volunteers make a big difference on San Juan Island

Thank you to the dedicated group of WSU Master Gardeners who have spent many hours composting, weeding, planting and educating at the Demonstration Garden. In 2009, they grew and harvested more than 700 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and vegetable starts for our friends and neighbors at the Friday Harbor Food Bank. These volunteers are not only dedicated to growing fresh local food, but to enhancing the well being of our community.

  • Jan 4th, 2010

Maintain convenient reasonably priced self haul — and keep trash off the road sides

Roadside trash collection means there will be roadside trash. Animals and wind will see to that. It also means there will be cans, bags, and some dumpsters out along the road, some cans for days before and/or after scheduled pickup, and dumpsters all the time. So much for our “scenic byways.”

  • Jan 4th, 2010

There’s a lot downtown to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’

I went through town last night finding myself saying “oh” and “ah” seeing all the wonderful lights and decorations. I thought, what a lot of hard work and time decorating, business owners and town workers had done.

  • Dec 22nd, 2009

From Team Linde: ‘Your outpouring of love for John and for us is amazing’

On the back of an envelope sent by a long-time friend and client was written: "In Friday Harbor we all are family!" We couldn’t agree more. Your outpouring of love for John and for us is amazing. We thank you all so very much.

  • Dec 14th, 2009

A letter to our nation’s service members

We are so fortunate to be able to gather to enjoy each other’s company, to see old friends. No one has to be alone on Thanksgiving Day in Friday Harbor. I look out the window at the port and a ferry coming to the land.

  • Dec 14th, 2009

Spirit of holiday giving is evident on San Juan

During my five years here, my heart has never failed to be warmed by the many Letters to the Editor that praise the solicited and unsolicited generosity of our island members. That giving spirit was never more evident than on Dec. 8 at the Medical Guild’s annual Christmas Luncheon and Auction.

  • Dec 14th, 2009

New twist on shopping local

I was going through my “pile of stuff for future reference” and came upon this quote from David Bentley that he sent me last year. This great suggestion for bringing dollars to our local economy may be a little too late for some of this year’s gift-givers, but remember ... there are birthdays and special occasions year round!

  • Dec 14th, 2009

Don’t miss ‘Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol’

“May our lives bring light and joy to those around us!” These closing lines of Stage Left’s production of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” bring a message perfect for 2009 and this time of economic uncertainty.

  • Dec 14th, 2009

In the best tradition of town and rural partnership to foster economic growth

The recent public forum concerning the purchase of 150 Nichols St. for historic preservation, public access, and a permanent farmers market revealed strong support within the community, but also some very important questions from community members. Most of these questions, such as parking, have been discussed in the pages of the Journal and other newspapers. But I'm hearing concerns that the Nichols project represents a "subsidy" to a small special-interest group — local farmers — and I wanted to add some perspective to this concern.

  • Nov 27th, 2009

Some things you should know about H1N1

The severity of the illness and its symptoms are similar to the seasonal flu: Children will have fever and either cough or sore throat, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea, and adults will commonly have fever, cough and/or sore throat often associated with body aches and headaches. In most cases, symptoms can be treated with bed rest, fluids, and fever-lowering medicines.

  • Nov 17th, 2009

Permanent farmers market site will enhance the economy of the town and island

In these difficult economic times, it is exciting to see a project that can help local businesses without negatively impacting the environment. The local produce of our farmers is, in large part, sustainably produced, using a fraction of the greenhouse gas promoting fuels that off-island produce represents.

  • Nov 17th, 2009

An opportunity to preserve historic property and enhance local economy

I urge the Town Council not to miss this one-time opportunity to partner with the county Land Bank and the Agricultural Guild to preserve this historic property and enhance the economy and livability of the town and the islands.

  • Nov 17th, 2009

Health care reform begins with tort reform

Every time government asserted itself into the health care system, I witnessed further reduction of patient access to quality care and an increase in a system where number of patients seen was more important than actually treating them. They were herded through so quickly there was no time for discussion with their doctors and our elderly patients were left totally confused by the system and about their own health.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Thank you, United Way of San Juan County

The San Juan Island Family Resource Center has greatly benefited from the financial support of United Way. Support has included funding for the Prenatal through Four Program, the Mentoring Program, Readiness To Learn Program, the Preschool to Kindergarten Transitions Program, and the Rental Assistance Program. These programs are making a difference for the children and families in our community.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Work locally on orca recovery plan

Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decided to extend the comment period on its proposed regulations to close off much of the west side of San Juan Island to boat traffic in order to protect the orca. By doing so, they state that this will mean that the regulations cannot be implemented in 2010.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Safely dispose of medicines: Crush, don’t flush

One of the many reasons not to flush medicines down the drain or throw them out with the trash is to prevent the chemicals from decomposing in water and soil. Our local wastewater treatment plants are not equipped to remove contaminants from medicines. Also, pharmaceuticals thrown out with regular garbage can leach out of landfills and this leachate may not be adequately treated.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

New fire engine is a necessary expenditure that is in the best interests of the town

As a past fire chief for Friday Harbor, I, too, was initially skeptical about the need to spend around $600,000 for a new fire engine. So I spent time talking to Chief Long and other fire personnel and became convinced this is a necessary expenditure in the best interests of the town.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Is it a dog park or kids park?

For six years of his life, my very large dog, Toby, lived in a big house on several acres of land. He spent the day running and exploring anytime he wished. Then things changed for us. I needed something smaller and easier to keep up, so Toby soon found himself in a small town home with the tiniest back yard. I walk him twice a day but that is not enough. He knows when my days off are and eagerly waits to be loaded in the car for a trip to his favorite place, the dog park, and do his favorite thing, play ball.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Encourages Town Council to approve Nichols Street site for permanent farmers market

An open letter to the Friday Harbor Town Council: I am writing to encourage your support of the Nichols Street farmers market proposal. We are all well aware of the social, cultural and nutritional benefits of having a vibrant farmers market in our community. We must also be made aware of what a positive economic impact this has on the town.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Supports Nichols Street site for permanent farmers market

This is a response to Christine Miller’s letter in regard to locating the Farmers’ Market at the fairgrounds (“Move market to fairgrounds,” page 6, Nov. 4 Journal). I agree that it would be wonderful to see the fairgrounds develop into a thriving community resource, but I do not support the idea of moving the Farmers’ Market there.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Upset by vote upholding fireworks ban

As a student in San Juan County, I am upset and disappointed that Referendum 2008-2 was passed Nov. 3. Referendum 2008-2 will ban the possession, use and detonation of any fireworks without a permit. There are only two differences that I found between the state law that bans fireworks, and the county law: It bans the use of “safe and sane,” which include sparklers and pinwheels, and it bans the use of these fireworks on Fourth of July without a permit.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Thank you for supporting Proposition 1

I want to thank our voters for their support of San Juan County Proposition No. 1. The levy lid lift approved assures continuation of our vital, key county programs that support seniors, health services, parks, 4-H, and more for at least six years.

  • Nov 11th, 2009

Voting is our opportunity to help create what we want in our town, our community, and our country

Voting is particularly meaningful to me this year because I am running for mayor. And of course, I would appreciate your vote because your vote for me is a vote for a positive and dynamic future for Friday Harbor. I see a challenging but bright future for our town. I am committed to collaboration, active listening, and creative workable solutions for our town. I bet you are, too.

  • Oct 29th, 2009
Julie Tate ... 'I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like without 4-H.'

Vote ‘yes’ on Prop. 1: 4-H empowers youth and builds strong families

We are not voting whether we should fund the 4-H program “a little less” or a “little more.” If Proposition 1 fails, the 4-H PROGRAM WILL BE ELIMINATED. On behalf of the more than 350 4-H kids in San Juan County, please vote "yes" on Prop. 1.

  • Oct 28th, 2009
Julie Tate ... 'I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like without 4-H.'

Approve the Orcas Island Recreation District

This past July, more than 650 people signed a petition to place the Orcas Island Recreation District Proposal on the ballot. Now is the time to vote to approve the district.

  • Oct 27th, 2009

Mayor Jones endorses Lacher in Nov. 3 election

I wish to add my name to the list of those who have publicly endorsed Carrie Lacher as their candidate for mayor of the Town of Friday Harbor. During the months that I have served with Carrie on the council, I have noticed two traits that make her an exceptionally qualified candidate.

  • Oct 14th, 2009

Supports Lacher for mayor ‘because of her experience on the council and knowledge of the local government’

I don't live in Friday Harbor anymore but I've been following the mayor's race. I'm leaning toward Carrie Lacher, simply because of her experience on the council and knowledge of the local government.

  • Oct 14th, 2009

Heartwarming show of support for Greg Sawyer

A huge “thank you” to so many who made the fundraiser for Greg Sawyer so successful! Well over $17,000 was raised to help defray medical expenses, and it was heartwarming to see so many in our community come together to support Mr. Sawyer.

  • Oct 13th, 2009

Enjoying fruits of many labors

How about our president being selected for the Nobel Prize? I don’t really expect anyone to understand the special inner glow I feel about this and all other honors and respect being shown these days for black people! Each time something like this happens, I feel a surge of pride and gratitude as real as if the honoree was one of my kids!

  • Oct 13th, 2009

Supports Island Rec levy and county Proposition 1: ‘Directly affecting the quality of life which we value’

I strongly support both the San Juan County Proposition 1 levy and the Island Rec levy. As islanders, we share laughter, as well as arguments, but we all care deeply about each other and our islands. I feel both these levies represent a broad consensus to support our children, youth, senior citizens and other programs which directly affect the quality of life which we value.

  • Oct 13th, 2009

Supports Island Rec levy and county Proposition 1: ‘Values that make our island one of the most civilized places on earth’

We’ve decided to vote yes in the November election for the levies for San Juan County and our island Recreation District. Both of these levies further the values that make our island one of the most civilized places on earth.

  • Oct 13th, 2009

Supports Lacher for mayor: ‘Articulate and knowledgeable when discussing complex issues’

When I came to Friday Harbor last fall, I was eager to understand the issues facing the town and got hooked on watching the Town Council meetings on public access cable TV. My first impression of Carrie Lacher was that she is articulate and knowledgeable when discussing the many complex issues facing the town.

  • Oct 13th, 2009