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I have read enough letters to the editor from people who think that whale-watching boats are harassing the orcas, that we are causing them to become disoriented in their environment, that we are causing them stress and are making it impossible for them to find food.
Thirty years ago, the waters around the San Juan Islands teemed with waterfowl, salmon, rockfish, and ling cod. The fish and waterfowl fed on the locally spawned forage fish. Now, the birds and the larger fish are almost gone. There is little left for them and for the orcas to eat.
I understand that many of you don’t believe that real estate sales are being affected by the council’s decision to move forward on the 100-foot shoreline setback portion of the CAO. As a REALTOR, on the front line, I can attest that there is an impact, and it is a huge economic impact to our community.
The proposed Critical Areas Ordinance, although perhaps needing strengthening, moves us in the right direction. Property rights are relative rights and are related to the health and welfare of the broader community in all of its dimensions and with that comes responsibility.
Logically and relative to the daily deluge of toxins that are dumped into our waters, what percentage is being contributed from the newer homes built to current codes? Is a new house the problem?
As I travel around the island this summer, I have time to think of jobs to be had or maybe some work that I could get.
Imagine a pack of Harleys chasing after a pack of endangered wolves 12 or more hours a day, every day. That, in essence, is what the whale-watching boats are doing to the Southern residents. As someone who once served as a National Park Service ranger, it is deeply disturbing to see so many people who claim to want to protect the orcas do something that specifically causes them harm.
I have lived on the island for more than 20 years. I enjoy the ambiance of the island and its varied wildlife, and would like to see it continue the same way for the rest of my life. I do not believe the increased buffers outlined in the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) Guidelines are needed. In fact, they constitute an illegal taking of property.
Our property is our nest, and we care about it more than government planners or people who do not own property. I model my interest in the environment by volunteering in numerous recycling efforts. The issue facing all of us is not whether to protect the environment, but how.
I spent a career in Alaska, watching clear-cuts take place. And sitting in lectures in which “biologists” told us that clear-cuts were GOOD for deer. Yeah. With slash 8 feet deep, hillsides eroding into the streams in the rain, and drying up when it was sunny. Unhappily, similar things are happening around here. Not as bad as clear-cuts, or maybe they are as bad, everything considered.
The impact of a 100-foot setback for most properties will effectively reduce the value by 40-60 percent, or more, which will therefore shift the tax burden onto the interior properties, many of which will also suffer dramatic loss of value as result of the proposed rules.
Think about the values that brought us here. If we value salmon or orca, then perhaps we should not place a bulkhead on a forage fish spawning beach, or place a dock over eelgrass, or allow toxic chemicals or bioactive hormone mimics into our waters.
There are many ways to thank someone for their brilliance at expressing an innate passion for people and their work, and often I find that cookies and pizza work wonders.
On behalf of Island Rec and its Board of Commissioners, I want…
This is the first time in 17 years that the government has not given a cost of living increase to those on Social Security...yet our county council, while cutting their budget elsewhere, has given into the unions once again and increased their pay and the burden on the taxpayers here.
Regarding the story, “County health officer warns of contaminated street drugs,” June 4 SanJuanJournal.com: San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James’s warning about contaminated street drugs is just another counterproductive aspect of America’s long failed drug crusade.
On behalf of patients in our community’s hospitals, I wish to extend our thanks. During your blood drive on June 3, Puget Sound Blood Center registered 85 donors and collected 76 units of blood. This will benefit up to 228 patients.
Each month, volunteer pilots from Angel Flight West fly patients needing specialized medical care, including chemotherapy and dialysis, to hospitals throughout Washington. Many of these patients are from rural areas and would otherwise be hard-pressed to receive the care they need.
Thanks to everyone that had a hand in my nomination and most importantly the selection of Argyle Suites to receive Thew Village Stewardship Award. I think it is an important distinction to make that property can be developed and historic structures can be restored in good taste, all the while maintaining the historic character of our wonderful town and its historic structures. All this is possible by using sound environmental and economic principals.
I have served as one of nine appointed members of the GMA Critical Area Ordinance review committee for two years. A polarizing and contentious issue during this entire process has been whether the committee should address the shorelines.
I had the pleasure of meeting Alex and Margaret McRea three years ago when he was a patient at San Juan Physical Therapy. Two things stood out from that initial encounter: The first was that, after 60 plus years of marriage, they were as courteous and solicitous of each other as a couple on a first date. The second was the sense of purpose and determination that Alex exhibited throughout his therapy. (He was a mere pup of 91 at the time).
On behalf of the Town of Friday Harbor, I thank you for producing and participating in the Memorial Day 2009 parade and event. Without your organization and hard work, the event would not have been as successful as it was.
Are you planning a public event for the islands? San Juan County’s Solid Waste Division has portable recycling set-ups to lend to organizations who want to increase recycling at public events. Empty aluminum cans, glass and plastic beverage containers, paper and cardboard can all be collected together in the ClearStream bags. (No liquids, food or garbage, please!)
Each and everyone who attended understood the importance of making sure our athletic program stays strong for our island children — thank you!
The Solid Waste Advisory Committee should not take the County Council's transfer site decision as a vote against the SWAC site recommendation. The head of SWAC noted and directed the SWAC board many times: “The SWAC board is not to consider ... That is not the job of the SWAC board ...” For example, the SWAC board was not to consider things like: the costs of each site, the duplication of services, the environmental issues, the taking over of services that are currently being provided by private enterprises, etc.
When times are tough, it is important to count your blessings and appreciate all that you do have. San Juan Island is a community full of creative, caring hard-working people and at the center of all that is our schools and all the dedicated teachers and staff that make our schools some of the best in the state.
A big thank you to Fire Chief Marler and all those who responded to our 3 a.m. furnace fire on Saturday. We were grateful for the folks that jumped out of warm beds and came to our home so quickly, prepared to deal with anything and everything.
When I first moved to the islands, I was told there were no ferocious animals living here, like bears or wolves. My new friends told me the worst thing I'd ever encounter would be a fox or an angry raccoon. Well, they were wrong. There is a monster in our midst and it hides in the back seat of cars and runs loose in our streets and fields.
Remember folks, the farmers markets are getting going again on San Juan (courthouse parking lot), Orcas (village green) and Lopez (in the village across from Vitas). Markets open around 10 a.m. on Saturdays. The San Juan Farmers Market is also going to have a Wednesday market, so stay posted on location and times. Please eat local, support your farmer neighbor and help support our local food economy.
The elections for directors to OPALCO provide an opportunity for cooperative members to select individuals who bring diverse skills and experience to OPALCO’s Board of Directors. I am pleased to be a candidate for election to that board.
Thanks to the 15 community members who helped clean South Beach, San Juan Island on Sunday, April 19. About 340 pounds of garbage was picked up as part of the annual Earth Day Beach Cleanup event co-sponsored by the National Park and Friends of the San Juans.
The "Party of the Year" will be the Purple & Gold barbecue, dance and auction May 2, at 5 p.m., at the Beaverton Valley Business Park! The goal is to raise $45,000 to fund the high school sports program.
In light of the dog torture case now before our court, we have formed Citizens for Protection of Animals (CPA). The purpose is to be a collective voice for animals in the event one might need it. Our purpose is to make the public aware in the event a cruelty, torture or wrongful death case is brought to our attention, either through the sheriff or the Animal Protection Society. We might need your signature on a petition or ask if you have the time to be in court.
Please take a moment to consider what our island has to offer the next time you are spending money. Let's support our local economy. It helps us all.
We wish to thank everyone for all the concern during the several weeks Alex was in the Convalescent Center and Margaret was recovering from cancer surgery. Your prayers, cards, flowers and wonderful food all raised our spirits and were indeed appreciated. Thank you all so very much.
State lawmakers may be balancing the budget, but it’s on the backs of nursing home residents and the people who care for them. Proposed cuts would take $40 million away from Medicaid payments to nursing homes – that’s $93.8 million if federal matching funds are included. Currently, 62 percent of our population at Islands Convalescent Center rely on Medicaid to help pay for their care.
I had the pleasure of riding the ferry with the San Juan Dragons lacrosse team on Saturday. They were traveling to Bellingham to play Whatcom and I am not surprised to read they won that game. This team presented themselves, both in behavior and appearance, as winners.
In the 1950s and 1960s, conservatives argued that interracial union was a threat to the institution of marriage. Legalizing interracial marriage has not diminished or threatened our culture in any way. The institution improved, when it became accessible to more people. In similar fashion, we will strengthen marriage by allowing it to include same-sex unions.
Can you trust the advertising campaign (read: “propaganda”) of big energy corporations as they attack Secretary Salazar’s goal to free U.S. from their mega-mega-profiteering heartless war against the American people’s health and fair economics?!?
To any lawyers whom may be inclined to help: I am Jeffrey S. Bryant, a previous resident of Friday Harbor. Like many youths, I found my way into trouble with the law. But unlike many, I grew from the experience and have done everything I can to better myself and my community.