San Juan Journal Letters to the Editor | July 23

Supports Linde for Superior Court
The contested Aug. 19 primary election for Superior Court judge is an issue of vital public importance. I fully support Judge John Linde and urge everyone to vote for him.

I had the privilege of serving as a Superior Court judge for San Juan County for 19 years. It was a great honor and one of the best experiences of my life. I care deeply about San Juan County, its people and its environment. Though my wife Elizabeth and I live on Whidbey Island, we recently built a small home on San Juan Island and love spending time there.

Naturally, I have a strong interest in who my successor will be. I was delighted when Gov. Gregoire appointed Judge Linde as the new Superior Court judge for San Juan County. Judge Linde appeared before me many times as an attorney and tried numerous cases. He was an excellent attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of the rules of evidence and the law generally. He practiced effectively in all areas of the law, representing people from all walks of life and many different points of view. Win, lose, or draw, Judge Linde always acted professionally and courteously. He maintains the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

In his 21 years as San Juan County District Court judge, and in his service as Superior Court judge since Jan. 1, Judge Linde has proven his ability to fairly and impartially consider all sides of an issue. He will maintain the independence of the judiciary, a principle essential to our system of government. He has a wealth of legal knowledge and experience, a steady judicial temperament, high intelligence, and all of the intangible qualities necessary to be an excellent judge. He has already gained a reputation in the legal community for his thoughtful and impartial decision-making as a Superior Court judge.

Judge Linde is a man of integrity and an outstanding judge and public servant. I urge you to vote for him in the primary election, which will decide this race.

Alan R. Hancock, judge
Island County Superior Court

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I am writing to encourage you to vote to retain Judge John O. Linde as Superior Court judge.

Gov. Gregoire made a thorough examination of the candidates and obviously chose the most qualified for the position. I hope you will do the same.

Prior to working for the county, I worked at the Linde Law Firm. It was a pleasure to work for Mr. Linde then and I am proud to be working with him today. I respect and trust his abilities. Judge Linde has the knowledge, the patience to listen well and make a decision based on the laws that govern our court.

I hope you will follow the governor’s choice and mine and vote for Judge John Linde on Aug. 19.

Joan P. White
San Juan County Clerk

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Many letters to the editor have listed the qualities and experience that make John Linde the best choice for Superior Court judge. There is no need to repeat them here.

We simply want to say “thank you” to John for being willing to give up a successful law practice to serve us as judge. We should all be grateful to have him. Let’s be sure to return him to that office.

Dee and Ted Haner
Friday Harbor

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The election of Superior Court judge is coming up and I would first like to remind everyone that this is a NON-partisan election, not a Democratic or Republican matter. What matters is who the most qualified candidate would be.

We are endorsing Judge John Linde. 

John Linde has been a resident of the San Juans for 35 years and served as District Court judge for 21 years. John is familiar and has a long history with the issues facing this county and is also a child advocate.  He has actively been involved in land use issues and seems to be on the side of preserving the San Juan Islands in a fair and reasonable manner. 

John was on the winning side of a very controversial land use issue involving a small parcel on Fisherman’s Bay on Lopez Island. In this case, there were listed restrictions involving this parcel which allowed a RV for six months out of the year but not a residence.  The owners sought a variance to build on an uninterrupted piece of shoreline, disregarding the restrictions. It was denied and they appealed the decision. Luckily, their final appeal was denied. This would have set a very grave precedent for the county if this development had been allowed. 

His contender has tied the hands of the residents of this county, wasting thousands in taxpayer monies, and dragged the ADU process out seven years. He does not seem at times to respect or follow laws mandated by the county or state. 

Judge Linde was appointed by Gov. Gregoire on Jan. 1 for Superior Court judge and she serves as honorary chairwoman of the Committee to Retain Judge Linde. He also has endorsements from Judges Hancock and Churchill as well.   

We urge you to vote for the expertise and ethics John Linde will bring to this office. 

Patty Pirnack-Hamilton
Jim Hamilton

Supports Gaylord for Superior Court
Gov. Gregoire has made many good appointments. Unfortunately, John Linde is not one of them.

Linde has a long history in the San Juans as the “go to” guy for big city, mainland developers. When thwarted in his attempts to obtain permits for them, he has become so enraged with county staff that his tirades brought some to tears.

Linde’s agendas have always mirrored those of the Republican Party. I have no more faith in his impartiality than I did with George Bush’s Supreme Court appointees. And I fear he could do as much damage to this county as they have done to our country.

Linde is, in reality, a closet Republican hiding under the coattails of a Democratic governor who made a mistake. Let’s not perpetuate that mistake by being tricked into giving him our vote.

Julia Evans

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I would like to invite you to join me in voting for Randy Gaylord for Superior Court judge.

On the Fourth of July, I had the opportunity to walk in our parade in support of Randy. Since then, I have had various people ask me why I am supporting Randy. For me, the bottom line is that Randy is both a great listener and caring person.

I have personally known Randy for the past few years. I have found him to be a very compassionate man and leader, thoughtful, intelligent and highly qualified to be a Superior Court judge.

Often times, when I have met Randy walking down the streets, he has always taken the time to talk to me, asking about work and family — really listening to what I have to say.

From observing his successes in his role as county prosecuting attorney, I would say that his understanding and comprehension of the law is very impressive and very well-rounded. His dedication to public service is just another example of his caring for others attitude and I believe that being a Superior Court judge is about caring — caring for the law and caring for the people.

Randy’s legal experience is not to be taken lightly. Being our county prosecuting attorney has widened and expanded his qualifications to be Superior Court judge. I would encourage you to visit and learn more about Randy’s experience and about who he is as a person.

I urge you to vote for Randy for Superior Court Judge.

Clark Gilbert
San Juan Island

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I am voting for Randy Gaylord for three simple reasons: He makes decisions based on justice and equality. He approaches any endeavor with excellence. And he treats people fairly with compassion. I have seen these characteristics in Randy for the last 30 years since I have known him.

Randy doesn’t sacrifice justice for his personal agenda. He does what is right. During his tenure as prosecutor, I have observed how he has made decisions based on the law and not what may be popular to a certain group of people. This is a trait that I especially want in a judge.

Attention to detail and a zeal for approaching his profession with a perfectionist’s energy is how Randy works. He spends countless personal hours working on his cases. Each case is approached with the same vigor and care as the next. No stone is left unturned. You can see this in the time and commitment he has demonstrated for the citizens of San Juan County as our prosecutor.

Randy’s greatest strength is his care and compassion for people; he genuinely cares about the wellbeing of others. I was once on a ski trip with Randy. He was in a car about xfive minutes ahead of ours. He encountered a serious car accident and immediately stopped, rolled up his sleeves and began administering first aid. Another time, two winters ago, after a heavy snowfall that fell many trees, Randy was out with his chainsaw clearing the driveways of his neighbors. These events did not occur during election years; they were times when people needed help.

I want a Superior Court judge that makes decisions based on the law, excellence, and compassion. That is why I am voting for Randy Gaylord.

Kevin O’Brien

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I am writing in support of Randy Gaylord for Superior Court judge.

My experience with Randy is that he is easily approachable and willing to talk about issues that concern our county. He is very fair and thoughtful in his decisions. I, for one, like knowing that it is possible to have that kind of relationship with our Superior Court judge.

He has also proven that his biggest concerns are the environment of San Juan County and the people and families of San Juan County. That is an excellent package.

Ruth Fleming
Friday Harbor

Supports Ranker for state Senate
Kevin Ranker is a leading candidate for the seat of retiring state Sen. Harriet Spanel. This offers the residents of San Juan County an opportunity to have an advocate in Olympia who is intimately acquainted with our needs. Such an opportunity may not return for decades.

Protecting the environment, strengthening the local economy, acquiring more funding for education, and finding permanent solutions for the problems with the ferry system are all high-priority items for Kevin.

As a County Council member, he has already spent considerable time in our state’s capital working in our behalf. The contacts and experience he has gained will prove invaluable when he serves as senator.

A large primary turnout in our county is crucial to Kevin’s campaign. Therefore, when you receive your ballot in the near future, be sure to vote and mail it in. We need him representing our interests in Olympia. (To learn more about Kevin’s campaign, go to

Mac Langford
Lopez Island

Supports Guard for San Juan South
When your charter was passed a few years ago, we had chance to make major improvements in the running of our county government. Progress was limited, however, since the incumbent commissioners lacked enthusiasm for the charters implementation.  

A year later, you elected three new council members which improved matters, but it still did not give the “reformers” the majority they needed for strong action. 

We now have the chance to achieve that progress, and for the county to reap significant efficiencies that the charter offers. Lisa Guard personifies the type of council member that would work toward that objective. Lisa, in our opinion, would bring objectivity and balance to the position and not be motivated by any prior agenda.  

What you do not need is anyone who has not supported the charter from its inception.

Incidentally, John Evans is quoted in his support letter for Gordy Petersen that “Gordy voted for the charter.” That statement is not true. Gordy was one of three freeholders, out of 21, who voted against the charter from even being submitted to you, the voters. As Gordy himself said in a letter to the Guardian in 2005, “As a Freeholder I voted ‘NO’ on the Charter proposal because I do not think it is in the best interest of the people of San Juan County.”

We urge you to vote for Lisa Guard, County Council District 1 (San Juan South).

Charlie Bodenstab
Stephanie O’Day
Former freeholders
San Juan Island

Supports Petersen for San Juan South
We are 40-year property owners on San Juan Island and full-time residents since 1993. During these years, we have observed Gordy Petersen and appreciated all that he has contributed to San Juan County.

We are disturbed by the number of flashy activists who arrive on our islands, push their personal agendas and then simply move on, leaving behind unsolved problems and wasted taxpayer dollars.

This is certainly not the case with Gordy Petersen. Gordy has dedicated his skills and energy to San Juan County for more than 25 years, leaving a long trail of visible, successful and enduring accomplishments. He is known and respected on San Juan Island and Orcas Island as a community leader and honest businessman.

Simply walk up Spring Street to admire the beautiful half-block of stores and offices he rebuilt after the devastating fire of 2002.

Just three months ago, when the state Department of Natural Resources pushed to establish a 90-Year Aquatic Reserve throughout San Juan County, Gordy Petersen stepped forward to organize county citizens against this unnecessary restriction to our island waters.

San Juan County needs the qualities of vision and proven leadership demonstrated by Gordy Petersen.

Kare and Ross Brown
San Juan Island

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I have known Gordy for 15 years and, until my store Friday Harbor Grocery, burned to the ground, he was my landlord.

During the years that I have known and done business with Gordy, I have never met a more sincere and honest person and it has been a privilege knowing and working with him.

Gordy’s experience working on many different local committees and boards and his dedication to our community is unsurpassed. Unlike his competitors in this race, Gordy brings a vast amount of knowledge, experience and a sense of humor that our County Council has been lacking.

While our current council continues to spend much of their time on national issues that are not relevant to our local problems and spending our tax dollars like drunken sailors, I am convinced that Gordy’s ability to reach consensus with others will steer this group back to the problems that we all face locally.

There are many issues that need to be addressed and resolved. Reliable and affordable ferry service, affordable housing, sustainable farming, ever-increasing taxes, secret meetings, just to name a few. Gordy’s experience and vision will be invaluable to the future of our community and the future of our children.

I strongly urge you to vote for Gordy, County Council Position No. 1 (San Juan South).

Ray Bigler
San Juan Island

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I am writing in support of Gordy Petersen for County Council.

Gordy has been an avid student of the affairs of San Juan County — from the transfer station issue to budgets to the pollution of our waters from the Victoria sewage outfall. Our council needs another voice for monetary restraint in taxes and spending — and Gordy will provide that voice.

Gordy has the experience for the job, having been a local business man/grocer, a county planning commissioner, and a freeholder on the charter commission. He has been a continual observer and meaningful commentator on planning issues such as the Critical Areas Ordinance and the stormwater fee fiasco.

We need Gordy working for us. Elect him as our District 1 council representative.

Tom Starr
San Juan Island

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Gordy Petersen was interviewed recently on Victoria’s leading news radio show. The subject was B.C.’s raw sewage, and for those of you who didn’t hear the interview, Gordy was — as usual — terrific.

In the nicest possible way, Gordy made it clear to our Canadian neighbors that pumping their raw sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca just isn’t something they ought to be doing. And he warned Victoria’s tourist industry that unless this problem gets resolved, it’s likely that fewer Americans will want to visit their lovely city and spend their money there in hotels, restaurants and shops. (Would that our own State Department could speak to our allies as clearly and concisely as Gordy.)

Isn’t it obvious that Gordy Petersen ought to be on our County Council? He’s already accomplished more as a candidate that most of our council members have accomplished in office.

Herb Meyer
Cape San Juan

Supports Pratt for San Juan South
We are very excited that Lovel Pratt is running for County Council member. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership in many ways in our community. Some of her accomplishments are:

— County planning commissioner, two years as chairwoman.

— Executive director of the San Juan Community Home Trust, named by The Journal as 2003’s Citizen of the Year.

— Leader in the agricultural community through her work at WSU and the San Juan Island Agricultural Guild.

— Strategist for the San Juan Public Schools Foundation, including the very successful Save Our Schools Campaign that restored much-needed school programs and services.

In each of these successes, Lovel has exhibited the highest ethical standards and values respected in our county. For example, we are very impressed that she is choosing to handpaint just a few campaign signs using recycled materials (

Lovel’s talents and expertise will be an important contribution to the County Council.

Vote smart, vote Lovel.

Ann Harris
Luanne Hoeller
Mary Kingland
Paul Le Baron
Pamela Williams

* * *

I would like to share the reasons I feel Lovel Pratt would be the best County Council representative for District 1.

I have known Lovel since her son started school with my son 12 years ago. The joint projects and committees we have both been involved in within the county, the schools and the non-profit area are too numerous to mention.

I have, however, gained a very good sense of how Lovel thinks things through. She makes a thorough effort to do the research, consider both sides and come up with the best solution.

Lovel will also listen to new views and new information. She has experience at the county level serving on the Planning Commission, at the all of the schools on San Juan Island, in a small business (which is extremely important) and something near and dear to my heart — our local agriculture.

We do not always agree. However, I know Lovel will listen to me and even if we do not agree, she always bends a little more my way and attempts to find an answer that will consider all the important factors in each situation.

Please support Lovel Pratt as our District 1 representative in the upcoming election.

Cathaleen Cavanagh
San Juan Island

Supports Fralick for Orcas West
During the process by which we arrived at our current form of county government, a County Council, I was most impressed by the knowledge and organizational ability of Richard Fralick, who served as chairman of the Freeholders group that hammered out the proposal, which the citizens of San Juan County approved.

Richard was a calm but firm and very knowledgeable chair. I am convinced he will also make a fine member of the County Council and I urge you to vote for him if you reside in Orcas West.

Jan Zehner

Victorian is sorry about the sewage
I just wanted to let the people and the council of the San Juans know that I, as well as many other residents of Victoria, B.C., are in complete agreement with your view on Victoria sewage washing up on your shores.

Victoria CRD needs to get some plan in order, sooner rather than later. They have been making promises for years and doing nothing. I feel it is disrespectful to our neighbours in the beautiful San Juans and I want it to be known that you have the support of many Victorians.

I think San Juan residents should write letters to our newspaper in Victoria, the Times-Colonist, and put some pressure on our elected officials.

A concerned neighbour.

Mary McArthur
Victoria, B.C.

Thank you for the caring and love
On behalf of our mother, B.J. Miner, we would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to San Juan Island EMS, Inter Island Medical Center, Islands Convalescent Center, San Juan Lions Club, American Legion Post 163, Rainshadow Quilting Arts Guild and Wild Rose Quilters, Skagit Hospice, Friday Harbor Drug, Island Towing, and to her many other friends who gave from their hearts to support her final weeks of life.

How grateful we are that Mom was able to live, grow and share in a community she truly loved, the community she would not leave until her death.

How grateful she was to have so much.

Eric and Donna Miner, Sequim, Wash.
Broge and Nancy Miner, Kansas City, Mo.
Ron and Trish Lehman, Friday Harbor

Good coverage of tourism realities
The Journal this week is a pretty exciting issue for us (July 16). Thanks for two well-written front page articles with photos!

It was so wonderful to see the color photo of Rosie Cayou James and Michelle Johnson of the Samish Nation at the marine educators conference. I bought extra copies of the paper so I can mail them their own.

I thought the article Scott Rasmussen wrote on tourism stats was clearly written. It helps explain the current “lay of the land” regarding the economy and how the industry tracks tourism spending locally.

In a challenging economy, the businesses that do provide those “value” experiences are the ones that hold their own and thus succeed. This article will help encourage that, which is a good thing for raising overall standards of the travel experience to the islands.

Robin Jacobson
Public Relations manager
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau