San Juan Journal Letters to the Editor | July 2

Supports Gaylord for Superior Court
I’ve had the honor and pleasure of knowing Randy Gaylord, and observing his performance for most of the seven years I’ve been a resident of Orcas Island. I can think of no one better qualified to assume the duties and responsibilities of San Juan County Superior Court judge.

As a board member of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services program here in the San Juans, I’ve been especially appreciative of Randy’s extraordinary dedication to serving and protecting all crime victims.

Randy has been an exemplary prosecutor, principled and analytical in his approach to the law, passionate in his pursuit of justice. As our prosecutor, he’s exhibited precisely the kind of judicial temperament and critical independence we need from our judges.

I hope you will join me this August in voting for Randy Gaylord.

Norm Stamper
Seattle chief of police (Ret.)
Orcas Island

* * *

Failure of democratic voting almost eight years ago was a painful lesson when the president was selected by judges rather than elected by the public.

Recently, during the primary season, “leaders” in Washington and Olympia tried to replace the ballot box with their all knowing judgment on entitlement. But the voters had other ideas.

It seems the same process is unfolding here in the San Juan Islands. Isolated politicians and judges are telling us they know best.

We have a choice on the historic first election for a San Juan County judge. This position should not be a dynasty or part of a hidden agenda in Olympia.

I have known Randy Gaylord, a candidate for this historic judicial election, longer than most island residents. He was an environmental science student when I taught at Utah State University 30 years ago. He impressed me as an outstanding student and someone with an exceptional sense of ethics and judgment.

After he was first elected in San Juan County, Gaylord researched, wrote and successful defended our landmark Jet Ski ordinance. His ordinance was adopted in several national parks and other areas with special environments. His establishment of a crime victims program was progressive and critical for people damaged by crime.

He has always been open, compassionate and fair. He shares our democratic values during this critical election for change.

Bern Shanks
Deer Harbor

* * *

As a retired First Amendment appellate lawyer living near Port Stanley, Lopez Island, I stay involved in county civic and legal issues.

For our very first Superior Court judgeship, I enthusiastically support Randy Gaylord. He has been a highly effective prosecutor, wisely choosing which cases to take to court and which not. I believe this is a prosecutor’s most important decision. Randy handles this calmly and wisely.

Randy has the intellectual capacity, patience and temperament to be, right off the blocks, a great Superior Court judge. I respectfully urge The Journal to endorse Randy so that he can continue to be a great public servant.

Cameron DeVore
Lopez Island

Supports Linde for Superior Court
I’m writing this to ask your support for Judge Linde’s candidacy for Superior Court judge.

I’ve known John for many years and in many capacities and consider him the outstanding candidate. While he and I might have differing political views, we align perfectly on non-partisan judicial issues. For example, we both believe that serving and supporting our youth is the key to our society’s betterment.

I outline more details for my support below. I ask you to visit John’s Web site ( for further information and, in particular, to consider adding your name to his growing endorsement list ( You can conveniently do this at

I have known John as:

— My former wife’s divorce attorney.

— The judge who presided over several of my son’s legal infractions.

— The judge who presided over my fishing infraction (I left my fishing license at home! Honest!)

Not a very auspicious start, eh?

These were all very challenging experiences for me but, through the trauma, I saw John’s wisdom of the law and compassion for individuals.

I have since gotten to know John in a variety of other, more pleasant, circumstances:

— As a fellow board member for Little League.

— As the person who gave the same son a beautiful blanket for his high school graduation,

— As the judge about whom I overheard a defendant in his courtroom say, “He’s good. He’s really fair.”

— As the community member who has volunteered to teach a high school law class.

— As a community leader who promotes and supports all youth activities, especially sports (did you know he was a prime mover behind the football field lights?)

— As the dedicated and proud father of two fine children.

John will serve us better than anyone else. He has the experience, wisdom, commitment, and compassion to continue to be our first local Superior Court judge.

Larry Wight
San Juan Island

* * *

One thing I find glaringly obvious in the early stages of the contest for Superior Court judge is the overwhelming support Judge John Linde is receiving from the judicial community.

Judges ranging from the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington to more than 30 Superior Court judges from throughout Western Washington are encouraging the voters of San Juan County to retain our quality incumbent. These endorsements are not given lightly and speak volumes of the respect and reputation Judge Linde has among his peers in the judicial system.

In addition, the two clerks of our courts have endorsed Judge Linde’s election. These two women are on the front lines of the judicial system on a daily basis and are extraordinarily well-qualified to pass judgment on who should sit on our Superior Court bench. That person is Judge John Linde.

Judge Linde sold his 35-year private practice in January to dedicate his time to our Superior Court. I urge all of you to vote to retain the one individual who has the respect of those who are truly in a position to know who is the qualified candidate for Superior Court judge.

Dave Moorhouse
Friday Harbor

* * *

It is important to note that the primary election on Aug. 19, not the general election in November, will determine who will be our Superior Court judge for the next four years.

`One year ago, both candidates for our county’s Superior Court judgeship competed in an extensive interview and vetting process conducted by Gov. Gregoire and her staff. It was after this process that the governor chose to appoint John Linde over his competitor.

Not only has John the respect of the governor, he is endorsed by former San Juan County judges Hancock and Churchill, San Juan County District Court Judge Stewart Andrew, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander, and numerous judges from across the state.

Just as the governor decided, Judge Linde’s experience qualifies him hands-down for this position. Judge Linde was elected five times, served 21 years as the county’s District Court judge, conducted approximately 100 jury trials, and has practiced law in the county for 35 years. John’s impeccable integrity, standards of ethics and fair-mindedness have earned him the trust and respect of the citizens of San Juan County.

It is for these reasons that we are confirming the governor’s decision by voting to retain Judge John Linde on Aug. 19.

Jane and Dave Cable
San Juan Island

EMTs are armed and ready to help
In case you’re interested … I’m the “woman in pink” and it was a San Juan Island EMS-issued AED that I brought to the scene (“Bystanders, EMTs on San Juan try to revive apparent heart attack victim,” June 26

All San Juan Island EMTs now carry a full airway kit and AED in their personal vehicles, and that’s the equipment that was first on the scene. Thanks to Jim Cole for helping us all have the lifesaving equipment we need.

I just happened to be driving on Nichols Street when the page went out so I was only a minute away. Kudos go to the bystanders who were giving great CPR to the patient when I arrived.

Please don’t publish my name. I prefer the EMS crew get their thanks as a whole and never individually. I just thought it might be a good reflection on the agency as a whole if people know that we’re all out there every day with this great equipment ready for any emergency.


Name withheld by request
San Juan Island

Great organization with great values
The June 12-15 issue of USA Today had a front-page article with the headline “Scouts Are Hailed as Heroes after Tornado,” with a picture of Iowa Gov. Chet Culver talking to Zach Emos, 14, from Omaha.

“(Zach) used his Boy Scout training to find others to help rescue some of those who had been buried by bricks and debris. ‘I didn’t panic … to help other people is part of the Boy Scout Oath.’ ”

I remember my Boy Scout years and some of the training. I remember Walt Sutherland, a very senior Scout, who later died during the landing on Tarawa in World War II. Wally Mullis of the Mullis Center family was my patrol leader.

Alan Carter, Bud Geneste, Lloyd Martin, Jack Paxon, Bob Sutherland and my brother, Charlie, were all Scouts and were all senior to me at that time. Our Scout Hall was in the old abandoned upper building of the “Bug Station” (the old U.W. Friday Harbor Labs).

I remember when the Sea Scouts obtained an old surplus WWI motor launch that we ran throughout the islands. Because the rest of the Scouts were senior to me, I had the worst job on the boat (keeping an engine room watch when everybody else was up on deck). Many years later, Carl Stoddard took his son and my son to the National Jamboree that year in Idaho.

The Boy Scouts of America is a great organization with great values. Some of our past presidents were Eagle Scouts. Why then does the National ACLU continue to harass and attempt to intimidate the Boy Scouts with lawsuit after lawsuit?

Albert M. Nash
Friday Harbor

‘Thank you’ to our town street crew
Sometimes saying “thank you” once just isn’t enough.

We have a great town street crew under the leadership of Dave Smith who, week after week, year after year, work with dedication to keep our town clean. 

 Did you know … Dave Smith, Mike Goff, Kasey Anderson and Jeff Peacock work together to wash our sidewalks in town every week, up one side of the street one day and down the other side the next?

Did you know … that three times a week, they also sweep along the curbs, sweep the sidewalks and even sweep in the doorway wells?

They do all of this knowing that right behind them is someone who is going to carelessly toss a cigarette butt or drop a candy wrapper on the ground. 

So, please extend a “thank you” when you see them. We all know how powerful those two words can be!

Debbie Pigman
Executive director
San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce

Garden Tour was inspirational
We had the most wonderful response to the 2008 Garden Tour and I would like to thank the owners of the four gardens on show for their invaluable contribution to the day.

Lauren and Bob Levinson showed their beautiful waterfront garden and wowed visitors with a spectacular display of Iris, among other beautiful plants. They demonstrated that a shrubbery can survive without excessive watering and look beautiful too!

Dona Reed has discovered just what deer do not like and her colorful bank was an inspiration to new gardeners. Her wild hedge was echoed at Dick and Joanne Lally’s garden, where bird calls punctuated the conversation all day. We hope we stimulated an interest in gardening for the birds with these two gardens.

We know we stimulated an interest in the use of ground covers at Jack and Carole Woolsey’s garden where the tapestry of species used was a delight. The rock wall showed just how successful one can be planting pocket of soil between rocks. It was a day for new ideas about containers, about mixing vegetables and flowers, about using found objects to make statements in a garden bed, about love of gardening expressed in many ways.

All in all, we had a grand day. The weather was kind, the public responded and I hope took home lots of ideas for their own projects. Thank you all for your support.

The San Juan Horticultural Society and WSU Master Gardeners greatly appreciate the cooperation of Browne’s Garden Center and Robin’s Nest in once more selling our tickets. and Harbor Rental and Saw Shop who donated the traffic cones that enabled our visitors to see the Woolsey wall without impediment.

It will be many years before we achieve our dream of landscaping the former gravel pit, but we have made a start and will be working, together with other interested groups, with Island Rec to turn that dream into a reality.

The other projects are ongoing and we hope to see many of our visitors at the county fair and at the WSU Demonstration Garden at Mullis Center, which provides gardening tips year-round and produce for the Food Bank at harvest time.

Fiona Norris
San Juan Horticultural Society

Helping children get an early start
Re: “New group working to increase access to early education,” page 1A, June 25 Journal.

Excellent article! Our program’s mission is to have children prepared for kindergarten. You have provided additional fuel for our fire.

Thank you.

Karma Austin
Resource and communications manager
Achieving Better Communities
Angola, Ind.

A fan of Urbach, Krall, Crossword
I really enjoy Jill Urbach’s column in The Journal. She’s the best addition to The Journal since James Krall.

They’re second only to the Crossword puzzle.

Mary Frances McElfresh
Friday Harbor