Letters To The Editor

Pit bulls have been poorly bred for a long time

Last year, I heard strange dog sounds coming from the woods near my house for a couple of weeks and my cats acted nervous. Then, one afternoon, my cat narrowly missed being caught by a pit bull. The dog was completely unresponsive to me telling it to “go home”; its master was equally verbally unresponsive to my phone call.

  • Mar 17th, 2009

It is inexcusable for your animal to be loose or off-leash

In response to the story about poor Dini, I am incensed ("Dini's dilemma," page 1A, March 11 Journal. This is now the second time that I am writing a letter reminding people to properly secure their animals, whether it be in your vehicle, at your home/neighborhood, or on a walk. It is inexcusable for your animal to be loose or off-leash.

  • Mar 17th, 2009

Allow the public to vote on proposed hospital

Bernie Madoff guaranteed us 12 percent earnings for life and we know where that got us. We never get anything for nothing and a PeaceHealth monopoly of island health care is too important an issue to leave to the hospital commissioners to vote on without a direct input from the citizens of San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1.

  • Mar 17th, 2009

Dispose of toxic liquids in a safe and environmentally sensitive way

A recent article in The Journal regarding slug-bait poisoning of pets, and the sighting of a tell-tale green puddle in the Post Office parking lot, combined to remind me that I have long intended to write a warning of the dangers of improperly disposed of anti-freeze fluid.

  • Mar 17th, 2009

Put hospital proposal on the ballot

Do we want to be the smallest cog in a large organization and tie our future to its management for the next 50 years? Personally, this terrifies me. The building of a hospital should go to a vote. I call on the Hospital District board to stop the back-room politics and do the right thing. Put this on a ballot.

  • Mar 17th, 2009

Move the transfer station to a larger site

We have just returned from our more-or-less monthly trip to the San Juan Island recycle and waste transfer station. We have to report that this was yet again not a pleasant experience.

  • Mar 17th, 2009

Forever in EMTs and paramedics’ debt for their skill, talent and dedication

My life was saved by the paramedics and EMTs here on San Juan Island this past February. While I have already thanked them in private, I would like to thank them publicly now.

  • Mar 17th, 2009

County should sell property for Beaverton Valley Hospital

I think the county should sell the Beaverton Valley property to PeaceHealth for the new integrated medical center — Beaverton Valley Hospital. The name even sounds fitting, like it came right out of a television show!

  • Mar 17th, 2009

She’s free from liberal thinking

I am a former liberal. I know, I know, what was I thinking? Well, that's just it — I wasn't. I was "feeeeling." Since my release, my freedom has been so sweet. I am no longer angry at the world. I no longer ask, "What is the government going to do for me?" I refuse handouts and work an honest day for an honest wage.

  • Mar 16th, 2009

Meet the ACLU’s Washington state field director

I write to you on behalf of the Steering Committee of the San Juan Island chapter of the American Civil liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington. We are delighted to extend a special invitation to you and your guests to a potluck dinner and social gathering in the charming Grange Hall in Friday Harbor on March 31, 6-8:30 p.m. The purposes of this free community gathering are to meet each other, to visit, to share thoughts, to enjoy the dinner, and to have fun.

  • Mar 16th, 2009

She’s free from liberal thinking

I am a former liberal. I know, I know, what was I thinking? Well, that’s just it — I wasn’t. I was “feeeeling.” Since my release, my freedom has been so sweet. I am no longer angry at the world. I no longer ask, “What is the government going to do for me?” I refuse handouts and work an honest day for an honest wage.

  • Mar 16th, 2009

Change law regarding where ferries can be built

An open letter to state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Island: It is way past time to repeal the law that requires Washington ferries to be built in Washington. This is an outdated and restrictive rule which leads to building inefficiency and higher costs because of lack of competition.

  • Mar 11th, 2009

Boat noise is contributing to the starvation of our orcas

Experts agree our local orca population is starving. I support Mark Anderson’s recent guest column (Feb. 11) where he writes that the proximal cause of death last year of seven local orcas was starvation, and whale watching is accelerating their starvation.

  • Mar 10th, 2009

Opposed to PeaceHealth/San Juan Community Hospital Committee proposal

PeaceHealth has now sweetened the $30 million Integrated Medical Facility kitty. Seventy grand worth of hype heretofore had not sugar-coated this pill enough to persuade the community to swallow. With its new $20 million pledge, PeaceHealth is plainly in a lather to get its foot in our door. The proposition is now almost irresistible, and if our enthralled Hospital District Board of Commissioners bites, part of the price will be the forfeiture of independent local control of our present and future healthcare universe to the agenda of a corporation.

  • Mar 9th, 2009

Thanks for your participation in the Centennial Celebration

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all the citizens and visitors who attended and participated in celebrating Friday Harbor’s 100th birthday party and for making the celebration a once-in-our-lifetime affair! We truly enjoyed having you come and hope that you enjoyed the events we had planned.

  • Mar 5th, 2009

Live clean and smart in 2009

Kudos to Jan Sears and Milene Henley, county treasurer and auditor respectively. Instead of presenting a 2008 dream budget, according to published information they estimated realistic budget revenue within acceptable percentage of overall projection. Not intending to discredit others who contributed to the process, these department heads brought to the table revenue compilations backed by prior year histories and realistic economic trends, not lucky estimates.

  • Mar 4th, 2009

Maybe The Journal should be renamed ‘The Obama Weekly’

The article of letters to President Obama from the children of Stillpoint School was very sweet (“Dear Mr. President ...”, page B1, Feb. 25 Journal). However, in the eight years President Bush was in office, I don’t believe you ever printed “Dear President Bush.”

  • Feb 28th, 2009

Playwrights Festival sparked social comment and discussion

As one of the actors in the Playwrights Festival that was guilty of "gratuitous amounts" of "blue" language in our production, I feel that a few comments on Howard Schonberger's column are in order. First and foremost, one of the roles of good community theater should be to spark social comment and discussion. For this reason, the Playwrights Festival was extremely successful. It got the audience out of their comfort zones and made them think and question.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

Knowledge Bowl was successful and a sell-out

The 2009 sell-out Knowledge Bowl was proof once more that this community is enthusiastic and involved around supporting students and education on San Juan Island! There are a number of people to acknowledge and thank for the success of this evening.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

‘Blue’ words are worth talking about

This is in response to Mr. Schonberger’s article, “Blue words: Frankly, my dear, I do give a damn,” page 7A, Feb. 18 Journal.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

Reject SWAC proposal on San Juan Island solid waste site

In response to Jeff Webster’s guest column in The Journal on Feb. 11 where he advocates moving the solid waste transfer station from Sutton Road to the Beaverton Valley Road site: He also points out that every time a move is proposed, “NIMBY” groups vociferously oppose.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

Race relations are still an issue

Many people have begun thinking, and having discussions with more optimism about race relations than they have in a long time. I must assume that some of these same people have never discussed race relations. I don’t share their optimism.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

Start at the top with budget cuts

It is interesting to observe different philosophies used by a couple of our public entities during these times of economic challenges. During the past few weeks, we’ve seen the San Juan Island School Board struggle to make cuts to their budget while trying to preserve services to their students and families. The School Board has proposed making cuts involving ALL levels of their organization, from principals down to regular employees. Contrast this approach to the one taken by the County Council.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

That was some tasty ‘spay’ghetti

The Friday Harbor Animal Shelter would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who attended our first annual “Spay”Ghetti Dinner, held in celebration of “Spay Day USA,” at Mullis Center on Feb 24.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

Response to ‘Don’t give up your voice on health care’

At first, I was really upset with your editorial in regards to the new Integrated Medical Center and contract with PeaceHealth. I do thank you for stating that you realize how great a need there is for a new facility. The upsetting part of the editorial is about being rushed into this. You also set the tone with encouraging the public to vote out the current commissioners if they don’t listen to the public.

  • Feb 26th, 2009

Don’t let snail bait meal be your pet’s last meal

Last week, I came perilously close to losing my beautiful Golden Retriever, Henry, after he ingested Metaldehyde, an extremely deadly poison commonly found in slug/snail bait. Slug bait usually contains strong attractants such as molasses, apple, or other sweeteners to attract slugs. Unfortunately, these products are also attractive to curious pets, especially dogs like Henry who will eat most anything!

  • Feb 17th, 2009

It’s not just the ‘Sidney’ ferry

Many of us believe that Gov. Gregoire and Plan B in the draft Long Range Plan of Washington State Ferries propose to eliminate the Sidney ferry. This is an incorrect characterization of the proposal, and one that does much damage to our community’s interests.

  • Jan 28th, 2009

Remembering Jim Fred Lehde

My sisters and I awaited Orion's appearance in the autumn sky. We each note it as our dad's "sign" and remember him. I look for the warrior, Orion, and speak to Dad.

  • Jan 21st, 2009

A song for peace, on Barack Obama’s inauguration

As Barack Obama takes office, many thoughts and prayers turn to hope and possibility. And always lingering somewhere on the horizon is the ongoing hope and desire for peace. So here are some reflections on peace — peace in the world, peace in our community, our homes and peace in our hearts.

  • Jan 21st, 2009

Festive and unforgettable holiday at Islands Convalescent Center

Residents at Islands Convalescent Center could not have enjoyed their holiday season more. People of the San Juan Island community helped make it festive and unforgettable. Many children walked our hallways, caroling and bringing gifts, stockings, smiles and love. Singing groups lined our building in the living room, dining rooms and residents' rooms. And Santa Claus came a few times, bringing his bags of goodies and hugs!

  • Jan 21st, 2009

How much you are missed, Molly Ivins

Syndicated columnist Ms. Molly Ivins died two years ago on Jan. 31, 2007 at age 62. The loss of Molly Ivins -- patriot liberal, progressive and humorist -- was the passing of a unique voice of outrage against the abuses of position and power.

  • Jan 21st, 2009

Soroptimist Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner and Auction March 14

Recent new members of Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor are Carol Christensen, Bonnie Hendrickson and Deanna Rogers. They will join more than 80 other members of this local business women’s service club that has been helping our community for 12 years.

  • Jan 15th, 2009

Obama’s ethnicity is not worth mentioning

President-elect Obama is NOT African-American. He is bi-racial. This error is made consistently in the press. Hopefully somebody will start describing his ethnicity correctly (or better yet, not at all).

  • Jan 15th, 2009

Critical areas are the foundation of visions

I attended the Critical Area Committee work session on Lopez Island last Tuesday and was impressed with the efforts being extended to turn boiler-plate, cover-all-bases language into something manageable for island circumstances. I was less impressed that the county had assigned the talent assembled to work backward through pages upon pages of jargon to create something understandable and useful.

  • Jan 8th, 2009

S.P.O.T. finds homes for 700-1,000 cats and dogs per year on average

A rescue group based in Skagit County called S.P.O.T. (Saving Pets One At A Time) was there for these wonderful little dogs right from the start! S.P.O.T. dogs are placed in foster homes for a minimum of two weeks, giving the foster family time to evaluate both the personality and health of the dog. They are then available for placement in a new home.

  • Jan 8th, 2009

Long-forgotten creek still flows under our streets

We should appreciate that we have a hidden gem in the form of the Beaverton Valley watershed. In a process known as "daylighting," several communities in our region have successfully restored their local streams. Salmon Creek (aka Beaverton Creek) is a critical island resource. Though long since covered and forgotten, it still flows under our streets.

  • Jan 8th, 2009

‘Grease’: A great teacher and a great cast

Friday Harbor is a community that has always been supportive of its youth, and Fred Yockers has been a great role model as well as a fantastic teacher. Thanks to Fred and to all the volunteers. We know what an effort it takes to put on a production like this in a small community.

  • Jan 8th, 2009

An appeal for a young family

I am trying to imagine how it would feel to be told, in your early 30s, that “you might end up in a wheelchair by your 50s.”

  • Jan 6th, 2009

You helped make the holidays brighter for lot of people

The holidays are over and I would like to thank the generous people who turned in “Turkey Cards” to King's Market for the Friday Harbor Food Bank. We were given 125 turkeys to give out to our customers and the balance from the cards toward hams we gave out for Christmas.

  • Jan 5th, 2009

Toss a few million bucks at the school district and keep the dump where it is

If you can remain calm while all around you there is public outrage, then perhaps you don’t fully understand the situation. I don’t know what happens to people when they go to work for the government but it seems that they must be de-programmed and re-booted with fuzzy logic. It seems to me that since our newfangled form of leadership, “Home Rule,” we have created even more layers of government nitwitians.

  • Jan 5th, 2009