Letters to the Editor

Stolen Olga flamingos were on display for breast cancer — Islands Letters to the Editor

Did You (unknowingly) flock yourself?

If you are the individual who kidnapped the small flock of pink flamingos from my property on Olga Road, just past the south park entrance, you may not have realized that you flocked yourself.

The birds were there to support a very important cause, Breast Cancer. They were part of a larger flock around the island owned by the Island Girls. The Island Girls are a group of ten women who are participating in the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-day Walk. The way the program works is if you are flocked (wake up and find pink flamingos in your front yard) you can have them picked up by their owners by paying a small collection charge (aka donation) to the Breast Cancer 3 – day walk.

On Monday May 19, my mother Velma Doty, flocked me. She did so after I teased her about displaying bright pink, overly accessorized, plastic birds outside her house. She of course explained that she had been flocked and the birds were there for a very good cause. In less than 24 hours someone decided to release this flock (aka steal). What that person did not realize is the responsibility that comes with these birds. So if you are the person who flocked yourself, and you would like to do the right thing, you can return the birds to my property and a) I will make your donation for you or b) you can send in a donation yourself by going to http://08.the3day.org/goto/Cele.Westlake. Either way, please keep the flock moving around the island so that they get to see our entire beautiful island and help these ladies raise lots of money for a very good cause. For all others, you too can donate via this website and possibly avoid being flocked yourselves.

Patty Miller


Terminal checks appreciated

Tourists will not be discouraged from visiting by the Border Patrols efforts. The inspections are mostly conducted as we wait in line. Delays are mostly caused by bad weather and excessive traffic resulting in “overloads” which are common during the summer. This has not affected tourism in the past.

Should there be a decline in tourism, it will be because of increase cost of gas, ferry fees and accommodations. Since 9/11 we have had no terrorist attacks on the U.S.A. mainland, though some have been attempted. Remember at Port Angeles a few years ago? When I hear politicians say.

“Are you safer now since 9/11?,” I answer, “YES!”

I take comfort in viewing the Patrol with their dogs, walking the lanes at the terminal. I do not like to swim in cold water!

There is far more inconvenience at airports than at ferry terminals, yet people still fly!

One would think the councils could use its time more productively than to hold meetings and writing letters that belong in the recycle bin.

Erl Julnes


White Cane Days

It’s a win-win situation. The “Orcas Lions White Cane Days” is going strong this week.

We’re working on two grants, one for hearing aids and one for cataract surgery.

Ninety-six cents of every dollar donated to White Cane is used at the largest eye bank in the world, located in Seattle. The processing of corneas is done here, for the Northwestern states, first, then other parts of the United States.

The funds collected in this campaign will also go for grants for people who need assistance in receiving a cornea transplant or hearing aid. It is important to us all that we maintain this valuable system.

Thank you very much for your help.

Orcas Island Lions

Turtleback plan open to revision

Dictionaries define draft many ways, such as a current of air, a compulsory conscription, the act of pulling loads, but for the Land Bank’s purposes, the meaning of draft is consistent with this definition: “a preliminary version, any of various stages in the development of a plan or document”, meaning not final; and not a done deal. When the Land Bank issues a draft management plan, such as the recent plan for Turtleback, it means the plan is draft, subject to revision based on public comment.

Consider the public meeting on a proposed plan for Fowler’s Pond Preserve held on Orcas in August 2000. The Land Bank had proposed a trail and options for parking with room for a school bus to allow students to observe and research the wetland’s rich flora and fauna. The public meeting was packed and impassioned adults and students pleaded for no public access to the Fowler’s Pond Preserve, no trail, and absolutely no parking!

Based on the public objections and consistency with our mission statement and policies, the plan was revised to only allow public access to Fowler’s Pond Preserve with written permission, and only for scientific and educational purposes. This is just one example of many situations where the Land Bank has revised property management based on public comments.

Although recently some people have painted the Land Bank as insincere in its commitment to the definition of draft, I emphasize that the commissioners and staff take public comments very seriously, are highly responsible to the Land Bank’s mission in their considerations, and have historically revised both draft and final management plans when circumstances or information supported the change.

The Land Bank Commission began discussions on the comments received on the Draft Turtleback Management Plan when the public comment period closed. There are many issues identified by interested citizens that require consideration but the Commissioners are dedicated to revising the draft plan in a timely manner. The meetings are held monthly, advertised in the papers and the Land Bank’s website. Anyone is welcome to attend. There is always time set aside for public comment.

Amanda Azous

San Juan County Land Bank Commissioner, at large

Olga and Friday Harbor

Fire Dept.

training praised

I want to thank the Fire Commissioners, the Fire Department membership and the Orcas Island Community for giving me the opportunity to attend an accelerated program to gain my EMT certification. I was very fortunate to get the second chance at becoming an EMT after I was unable to attend the course offered earlier this year with our own department.

I also want to commend our training department and our Medical Director, Dr. Sullivan for the high quality of care we are required to provide. As part of my certification, I was required to ride along on a Basic Life Support Medical Unit for a 12-hour shift near Oakland California. I was surprised to find they do not carry AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) nor use monitoring tools like a glucose meter to check blood sugars or a pulse oxygen meter which is clipped gently to a finger and reads the amount of oxygen in the patient’s blood stream. No patient was given oxygen and I was allowed to put a blanket on one patient. The three standard questions were “what is your name, where are you going and can I see your insurance card?”

I feel truly grateful to be in a medical system that consistently provides the “above the standard” care. We each carry an AED as part of our standard personal gear. We are expected to use every tool provided such as checking blood sugar levels, blood oxygen saturation and even basic heart rhythms when ever possible. And we have the luxury of going above and beyond as part of our standard operating procedures. When we respond to someone’s “worst day ever”, it is a great feeling to show we care.

Captain Maxx Jones

Orcas Island Fire Dept

Orcas Youth report back from UN conference

As members of the Orcas Island Youth Delegation (OIYD), we would like to thank everyone in the community whose generosity and support helped us attend the United Nations annual Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) negotiation meetings. We would never have been able to make it there with out you! We felt proud of our accomplishments and appreciated where we came from.

While in New York City we attended the CSD negotiations between government representatives and non-government representatives working together to create and enforce the policies set by Agenda 21 to ensure a sustainable environment for future generations. This year’s issues were agriculture, land, drought and desertification, rural development, and Africa. Accompanying these topics were water and sanitation. We joined the Youth Caucus, with whom we worked with, sharing concerns and topics on the environment. The Orcas Island Youth Delegation members were the youngest delegates present at CSD. It was a very successful trip and benefited us by developing leadership and coordination skills. We learned how the United Nations works, how countries listen and negotiate with each other and we learned about the vast complexity of environmental issues. We are grateful that we can bring back the information and ideas we gained while at the United Nations to our community. With the knowledge we acquired, the Orcas Island Youth Delegation would like to assist in developing the sustainability for the island.

If you would like to hear more about our trip, see pictures, and watch our documentary, please come to our community presentation, which will be at the Senior Center, June 6, from 6-8 p.m. As the pre-trip fundraisers did not raise the full amounts, we need to continue raising money to cover the costs of the trip. The community presentation admission is Adults $12, children $10, and under six are free, which includes a spaghetti dinner with salad and garlic bread.

We especially want to thank you once again for your gracious giving; every little contribution helped.

Makala Forster

for The Orcas Island Youth Delegation

Farmers Market plans Gathering

The simple yet refined beauty of our island attracts diverse groups of people from around the world. We offer a stunning escape from the Wal-Marts and concrete skyline of mainstream society. From the tower atop Mt. Constitution, the forests with a few of the dwindling old growth trees, to countless inlets and lakes. Our island provides some of the best of the Pacific Northwest. An eclectic group of some of the region’s top artisans, proudly call Orcas Island their home. We are a place that cultivates fresh and healthy foods direct from local farmers.

The Orcas Islands Farmers Market is the largest single outlet for these passions and creativity. As the beauty of our island has the ability to enrich and nourish the soul. We provide the fruition of our labors to nourish the body and mind. The Farmers Market provides the members of our agricultural community and our talented and sometimes eccentric artisans, the ability to offer their products to an appreciative clientele at a good price. We, as a community, need to support the market as it supports its vendors. I n doing so, we keep the heart of the community beating strong. The Orcas Islands farmers Market is a collaboration of local Islanders dedicated to offering quality products to the community directly. The Farmers Market is more than just a place to buy greens or handmade soaps. It is a colorful and festive for family to enjoy the cultural heart of Orcas. The Farmers Market creates, expands and enhances the economic strength and viability of the farmers and artisans. While visiting us at the market, you may purchase quality products and stimulate the local economy in an atmosphere of joy, culture and community. By doing this we help support the artistic community that’s makes Our Island so unique.

In celebration of our common blessings, The Farmers Market presents an early summer Gathering consisting of a fabulous farm fresh dinner and silent auction where participants may bid on local goods and services. The Gathering will be at the Oddfellows Hall on June 15 starting at 5pm with music from a local band. Tickets are on sale at the Farmer’s Market and Ray’s pharmacy. It will be an entertaining night of great food and the chance to help support the cultural heart of our community. More details at the Farmers Market web site, “OrcasIslandFarmersMarket.org”

I hope to see you there!


Acting Farmers Market Manager

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