Letters To The Editor

Supports levy for Island Rec and school sports

The following letter was written by my son, Otto, and posted at our local bulletin board on Shaw Island last spring. He collected more than $400 for Friday Harbor High School’s athletic program from our community for his sponsored run from Friday Harbor to Roche Harbor and back.

  • Oct 13th, 2009

Supports San Juan County Proposition 1

This is not a “blank check.” We should continue to pressure the County Council to make more responsible financial decisions. There will be a group of freeholders elected next year to review our home rule charter. I expect there will be further changes proposed for the charter that will provide for lower costs in the administrative area.

  • Oct 13th, 2009

Supports Low for mayor: ‘Bob is a planner and not a knee-jerk decision maker’

I'm writing in support of Bob Low's run for Mayor. I generally keep quiet about a lot of political stuff, but after reading and hearing about the decisions Bob's opponent has been making, I felt I had to speak out.

  • Oct 5th, 2009

Supports Lacher for mayor: ‘She’s an active, assertive and dynamically thoughtful Friday Harbor Town Council member’

At last, a first, a woman campaigning for mayor. About time, especially since this woman, Carrie Lacher — active, assertive and dynamically thoughtful Friday Harbor Town Council member — seems to have all the right civic qualities to make one fine Mayor for Friday Harbor.

  • Oct 5th, 2009

Supports Low for mayor: ‘He will make sure that increases come only after every other option is considered’

I'm not a letter writer but I feel I have to do it this time because if things keep going the way they are, I won't be able to afford to live in town any more. I'm in support of Bob Low for Mayor.

  • Oct 5th, 2009

Supports Lacher for mayor: ‘I like her ability to listen and her common-sense approach to issues’

As a long-time resident and business owner, I urge the residents of Friday Harbor to vote for Carrie Lacher for mayor. I recently had a one-on-one sit-down meeting with her and I came away from it with the belief that she has the qualities necessary to make a great mayor. I immediately liked her ability to listen and her common-sense approach to issues.

  • Oct 5th, 2009

Supports Cantwell’s Medicare reform proposal

Our nation’s health care system is broken and in urgent need of repair. We need to figure out how to insure the 47 million Americans living without coverage, fix what’s broken with our current system, and rein in the skyrocketing insurance premiums that far outpace our wage growth.

  • Oct 2nd, 2009

Do we want to give away our marine community so cheaply?

I am responding to Donald Hendrix’s letter written in response to Janet Alderson’s about nearshore buffers and pyrethroids. In work done in Friday Harbor, some of the principles stated by Mr. Hendrix would work in the opposite direction than he suggests. For example, surfactants bind to organic particles in a way similar to that stated by Mr. Hendrix for pyrethroids. But rather than disperse, as he suggests, they settle to the bottom of the harbor and form a concentrated, toxic, mud layer.

  • Oct 2nd, 2009

Proposition 1 will provide funding for Senior Services

I am writing this letter in favor of Proposition 1, which will provide funding for Senior Services at the current pared-down 2009 level. I want to tell you about some of the work that Curt Van Hyning does. Curt is the Senior Services coordinator on San Juan Island. He currently works four days per week, but often puts in more time because there are just not enough hours in the already shortened workweek for him to do all that is requested of him.

  • Oct 1st, 2009

Thank you, patrons of the arts who supported and attended the ‘Outside the Box – Inside the Museum’

Thank you, patrons of the arts — all 225 patrons — who supported and attended the “Outside the Box - Inside the Museum” Exhibition Opening Sept. 25 at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA), 28 First St., Friday Harbor.

  • Sep 30th, 2009

Thank you for making ‘Gear Up for Our Schools’ a success

Thank you for making the Islanders Bank 2009-10 Gear Up for Our Schools Campaign a huge success. Thank you to everyone who donated supplies and monetary donations for our schools during our first annual campaign. Your support makes a difference not only for our students, but for our teachers too!

  • Sep 30th, 2009

Carefully crafted regulations can help preserve and increase our whale population

It is our impression that most San Juan Island residents (including the owners of commercial whale-watch boats and commercial kayak companies) were jubilant when our Southern Resident killer whales were listed as endangered under the ESA on Nov. 18, 2005. San Juan Island finally had the federal government’s support to help ensure the survival and well-being of this precious resource.

  • Sep 29th, 2009

Supports Lacher for mayor of Friday Harbor

The recent letter from Jill Meyer was outrageous ("Not the kind of 'Pennywatching' to brag about," Sept. 22 SanJuanJournal.com). Do we really need this personal nastiness in Friday Harbor?

  • Sep 29th, 2009

From where comes effective environmental stewardship?

Last week’s decision by the County Council to remove shoreline critical areas from updates to county code for another three years is another example of the lethargy in our county offices to update environmental protections for our community.

  • Sep 25th, 2009

Salmon Yoga Party candidate says hydrogen is the answer to our energy problems

For starters, I wish my collegue, Kevin Ranker of Anacortes, the best of health and recovery from what ails him. I am very grateful to have met him last year during the 40th District Senate race in the 2008 election of San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties. His secretary says that he has some health issues, so I would encourage everyone in our area to contact him at his office in Anacortes and wish him the very best. It's good karma.

  • Sep 23rd, 2009

Not the kind of ‘Pennywatching’ to brag about

I was there at Carrie Lacher's presentation to a church pastoral council meeting in 2003. She told us our finances were fine. At the next meeting (under new leadership) she reported that our finances were in terrible shape and we didn’t have enough to meet immediate payroll obligations. It was quite a shock to us all. This is not the kind of “Pennywatching” to brag about.

  • Sep 22nd, 2009

No-go zone is not necessary

What I have observed outside my front window in the last month should bust some myths about orca whales, but I doubt that it will. It seems as if nothing can put a dent in the orca orthodoxy. Why don’t facts matter when it comes to our beloved whales?

  • Sep 21st, 2009

Mayoral candidate speaks out against purchase of $600,000 fire engine

Three of the Town Council members passed a resolution for $600,000 for a new specialty fire engine (Thursday). They used the emergency funds that the town treasurer has saved for many years for emergencies like a break in the water transmission line or sewer line or some other catastrophic failure of the town infrastructure. And they did it by sneaking it by us. They even caught the treasurer off guard. Council member Noel Monin was the only one to vote against it.

  • Sep 19th, 2009

Ferry Advisory Committee chairman explains fall schedule

Ferry Advisory Committee members asked that I provide you with a letter for publication that explains the changes in the new fall schedule that is effective Sept. 27. Summer is nearly over, and the new WSF fall schedule will take effect on Sunday, Sept. 27. There are several changes that everyone needs to understand.

  • Sep 17th, 2009

Outburst was designed to take attention away from desire to give Americans proper health care

Last night at President Obama's much-awaited speech on health care, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., raised his voice and shouted at the president "You lie." Never before in the history of the Congress has there been such a distasteful display of insolence and disrespect shown to a standing President of the United States, no matter what side of the isle you are on.

  • Sep 10th, 2009

Write a letter and support human rights

This fall, the local Amnesty group will provide more opportunities to write to people experiencing human rights violations and to those in governments that have the power to stop those violations. We’ll hold Write-A-Thons at the Naked Bean Café, 150B First St., in Friday Harbor, on the second Thursday of each month from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Sep 9th, 2009

Don’t ‘go along to get along’ with the generic canned opinions of state agencies

This is a small community. It is disappointing to hear from people who have had conversations with one or two of the council members and who have come away with the observation that those council members have closed their minds to any other views on critical areas and environmental protection.

  • Sep 8th, 2009

A reason why we need substantially wider shoreline buffers

On Aug. 25 in Friday Harbor, County Councilman Richard Fralick, Orcas West, presented a very good question to the Critical Areas Ordinance panel of experts. He asked what harm is done by a house on the shoreline. A state wildlife biologist thought carefully about the question, and then answered that a house removes habitat. That is a very good answer for someone who studies land-based ecology. Hearing this answer, you might then think: Well, a house removes habitat if it is near or far from the shoreline, so why do larger shoreline buffers matter?

  • Sep 8th, 2009

Heed ye these environmental lessons from the Book of Vern

And these 52 souls traveled to Seattle, joining the Great Migration to one of the designated Doomed Cities, there to live out Humanity's few remaining days in the Hell that the Great Environmental Leader foretold would befall Man/Womankind Humanity who failed to convert to the Word.

  • Sep 8th, 2009

Stricter rules and tighter enforcement are needed in order to protect killer whales

For the last couple of days, we've been vacationing on San Juan Island and have been fortunate to see the orca whales several times off the southwest side of the island. What an amazing sight! It's even more amazing to see how close the whale-watching boats get to them.

  • Sep 8th, 2009

More on research related to whales’ starvation

Isn’t it a shame — and a bit typical — that your next-door neighbor complains about you to the newspaper, instead of walking 30 feet across the grass and asking you directly about things? (“Threats to local orcas,” page 8, Sept. 2 Journal). Jim Pound would have saved himself a lot of embarrassment if he had only taken the time to come over.

  • Sep 4th, 2009

Thanks for making a great event better

There are too many to list individually, but thank you to those who volunteered and worked a shift or two at the booth during the fair. I also want to thank everyone who bought a burger or hot dog at the American Legion Auxiliary booth at the fair.

  • Sep 2nd, 2009

The real threat to our local orcas

If we really want to save the whales, we should be focusing our efforts on these issues rather than perceived notions and unproven claims based on an organization’s agenda that will have little or no impact.

  • Sep 2nd, 2009

An opportunity to recycle your agricultural plastics

Save the dates: This year’s recycling collections of agricultural plastics are as follows (all from noon to 5 p.m.).

  • Sep 2nd, 2009

Make health care available to all

Many of us are not fully aware that all industrialized countries except the United States guarantee necessary health care to all their citizens, and usually to visitors as well.

  • Sep 2nd, 2009

Let voters decide legality of fireworks

In response to a recent letter from an interested citizen regarding this July’s Independence Day celebrations, we share the sentiment that it is wonderful that there were only a few minor fires and no reported fireworks-related injuries in our county.

  • Sep 2nd, 2009

There’s a Good Samaritan on San Juan Island

As a resident of Lopez Island, I wish to share a little story about a Good Samaritan on San Juan Island. My son and wife were visiting from New Wilmington, Pa., and wanted to visit San Juan Island and to stay in a B&B, and with bikes they could explore the island. Upon meeting a family on the ferry, they were told about a great ride out Roche Harbor way.

  • Sep 2nd, 2009

Gale Carter was truly one of God’s affable creatures

I remember Gale Carter. I was come-lately in Gale’s life. I was at Mullis Center perhaps a couple years ago when this bear of a man out of the blue seized my hand, pumped it several times and asked who I was, what I was doing there and what I had done with my life. At that point, Gale did not know me or I him, but from the vise-grip he had on my paw I was convinced he did not intend that state of affairs to continue.

  • Sep 2nd, 2009

Endorsement for Monika Wieland’s blog

I am aware of the ongoing debates about the orcas and the boat traffic. It sounds like the whole thing is escalating rapidly. For a very thoughtful approach to the issue, you should check out Monika Wieland's blog at www.orcawatcher.blogspot.com dated Aug. 26. Perhaps it is something that should be shared with your readers.

  • Aug 27th, 2009

Pollution, lack of salmon are greatest threats to local orcas

If we really want to save the whales, we should be focusing our efforts on these issues rather than perceived notions and unproven claims based on an organization's agenda that will have little or no impact.

  • Aug 26th, 2009

Paul Jaholkowski’s family thanks community for expressions of sympathy

On Sunday, July 26, our beloved son, Paul Jaholkowski, was tragically killed after being hit by a car on Lopez Island. We would like to thank all the thoughtful people of your community for all the kind cards, e-mails and phone calls we received.

  • Aug 7th, 2009

Another inconvenient truth regarding fireworks

It has been a month now and I have searched each issue of The Journal for the expected reports of fireworks-caused forest fires, homes and barns burned down, human deaths or injuries from fireworks, even reports of animal injury. And what horror stories have I found? None! Nothing, nada, zero. Another safe and sane Fourth of July!

  • Aug 7th, 2009

Disagrees with claim that private boaters cause most of the problems

In his Aug. 5 letter, John Boyd suggested that I "turn myself in" and that I apologize to Kari Koski (and everyone who volunteers for Soundwatch) for making the point that Koski, in her role as Soundwatch spokesperson, serves as an echo chamber for the whale-watch industry. To Koski, I would say, if you’re going to act as a spokesperson and be quoted in the newspaper on public policy issues, you have to be ready for people to disagree with you.

  • Aug 7th, 2009

This is the last year to do all the things I wanted to accomplish in my 50s, so look out world

Friends, here I am at a serious crossroad! Today is one year since my life was change (not stopped), thank God. Today is also officially my retirement from VanderYacht Propane. I have never been without a job since 1962, so it does hit me as an adjustment. They gave me a wonderful opportunity to challenge my abilities and convictions, but I must finally admit that they deserve a full-bodied person and I will focus on self-advancement of getting back to normal. I'm not giving up, just shifting gears.

  • Aug 5th, 2009

‘Atlas Shrugged’ seems eerily prophetic

I re-read "Atlas Shrugged" recently and was dumbfounded that a book written in the '50s was so eerily current; almost a prophesy of where our nation is headed if we stand by and continue to be star struck with this amazingly charismatic politician.

  • Aug 4th, 2009