Opinion

Lessons learned in Sandy Hook tragedy | Guest column

My heart is broken as I reflect upon the tragic events of Dec. 14, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. That such innocent lives could so quickly and brutally be ripped from the tight fabric of that community and that school, is unimaginable to me.

  • Jan 7th, 2013

Lessons from the battered East Coast

What can the San Juan Islands learn from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy?

  • Nov 12th, 2012

Islanders say no to coal | Energy Matters

On Saturday Nov. 3, over 450 residents of San Juan County packed the gymnasium at Friday Harbor High school during a three hour meeting to provide scoping comments to the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point in Bellingham.

  • Nov 12th, 2012

Domestic violence from the criminal justice perspective | Guest column

The dispatcher recognizes the victim’s voice. The deputies know the address. The prosecutor remembers the prior incidents. The advocate knows the victim. The defense attorney, judge, probation officer, counselors, domestic violence perpetrator treatment provider know the abuser.

  • Oct 28th, 2012

GMO-Free creates economic opportunity | guest column

Salmon, transportation, recreation, tourism, commerce … Puget Sound waters have provided food in the belly and cash in the pockets of islanders for generations.

  • Oct 24th, 2012

Legacies left behind and the importance of Initiative 2012-4 | Guest column

Our generation inherited a world contaminated with PCBs. They were considered as safe as mineral oil and table salt. PCBs were used in hundreds of applications from insulating fluids, plasticizers in paints, pesticide extenders, caulking, adhesives, to carbonless copy paper.

  • Oct 11th, 2012

A fear and love of birds | Editor’s notebook

I have a fear of birds, which I suspect originated on a beach trip with my father when I was eight. He thought it was hilarious to put bits of bread on my head to feed the seagulls.

Can islanders influence coal transport? | Guest column

Many wonder if we citizens can influence coal transport around the San Juan Islands. We can, but first, we need to get informed and involved.

  • Sep 4th, 2012

No on charter amendments | Guest column

I, too, am a member of the Charter Review Commission, one of three No votes on the amendments. I would like to respond to some of Gordy Petersen’s statements. Mr. Petersen decries the “costly” decisions from the current six-member council. He does not, in this case, and almost every other, explain or support his opinion. He just believes it.

  • Aug 20th, 2012

Gear up, get your voice heard – say no to coal | Guest column

This article is the last of the three-part series on the planned exports of coal and tar sands oil exports through the waters surrounding our islands.

  • Aug 7th, 2012

A quarterly review of county finances | Guest column

In my first year as auditor, the first time I went out on a limb to project revenue, it was to say that sales tax revenue that year would not meet budget. Having no experience in forecasting, I was way out of my comfort zone in saying that. I was relieved the next week to see the local paper reporting the same thing: that sales tax revenue would fall short that year. When I read the article, however, I was chagrined to see that the paper’s source for that projection was me. I’ve come a ways since then. I’ve developed tools for reviewing revenue, and I have a few years of good historical data to build on.

  • Jul 30th, 2012

Initiative 2012-4: A few steps closer to being GMO-free | Guest column

On June 6, 2,261 signatures collected in support of Initiative 2012-4 to ban the propagation of genetically modified organisms in San Juan County where handed in to the county auditor.

  • Jun 12th, 2012

What do you know about the proposed vehicle reservation system? | Guest column

Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division Assistant Secretary David Moseley and members of his staff will be holding two public meetings on Thursday, June 7. One will be held on the inter-island ferry from 11:35 a.m. until 2 p.m. The second meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the San Juan County Council Chambers in Friday Harbor.

  • Jun 1st, 2012

Community immunity: taking care of each other | Guest column

e Here’s what we islanders do for each other. We make meals when a new baby arrives or when someone goes through chemotherapy. When a family’s house burns down, we give shelter and help build a new one. Some of us mentor school kids, others drive shuttle buses for seniors, and many serve on the boards of nonprofits.

  • May 29th, 2012

Birthday Club: Celebrating 90 years of service and fun

Possibly the oldest club on Lopez Island, The Birthday Club, will be celebrating its 90th anniversary May 17, 2 p.m. at Woodmen Hall, (previously scheduled for May 18 - note the change) with hostesses dressed in skirts or dresses with old-fashioned hats apropos of the attire worn by members of past generations. Edna Leidig, who plays the piano will be playing some rollicking old tunes and members who are so inclined can sing or hum along.

  • May 6th, 2012

‘Koch Brothers Exposed’ screening at Lopez Library

The movie will be shown on Lopez, Tuesday, May 1, 7 p.m. at the Lopez Library Conference Room. Sponsored by San Juan County Money Out of Politics Committee, affiliate of Move to Amend.org.

  • Apr 27th, 2012

Why grow your own? | Locavores’ column

As we barrel head-long into spring, out come the pickaxes, hoes, and shovels. Seed packets are inventoried and orders placed. Garden plans are adjusted. Perennials are already rearing their tender heads.

  • Apr 12th, 2012

A false sense of security on the islands? | Guest column

April is sexual assualt awareness month. Look for an article from Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of San Juan County each week this month with valuable educational thoughts.

  • Apr 9th, 2012

Art: a therapeutic touch | Guest Column

The arts offer community participation, but they also give our lives meaning, provide opportunities for self expression and offer a way of viewing the world from a different perspective—enriching both individuals and society and reaching people who may be stressed and/or often not otherwise easily engaged with their community.

  • Mar 6th, 2012

Charter Review Commission continues to examine county goverment | Guest column

The next meeting of the San Juan County Charter Review Commission is on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the San Juan Grange from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Feb 27th, 2012

How are we doing? Reserve fund keeps county on track | Guest Column

County hits 2011 budget marks at 4th quarter end — challenges remain

  • Feb 27th, 2012

Lopez Port has broad powers | Guest column

As a resident of Lopez and as an attorney, I was asked by County Council member Jamie Stephens to analyze whether our Lopez Port District is authorized to operate our Transfer Station. Specifically, I was asked to comment (i) on the opinion of the Port District attorneys (who are located in Bellingham) and (ii) on the opinion of our County Attorney, Randy Gaylord.

  • Feb 27th, 2012

Stop in the Name of Love | Guest column

Because we are in the “Month of Love” we here at Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services think that now is a great time to Stop the painful cycle of abuse and start truly loving each other. We have shared a story to show how one brave young woman took the tough steps to break the cycle in her family. You can too.

  • Feb 22nd, 2012

Attorneys agree port lacks authority to operate transfer station

At a recent public meeting of the Port of Lopez, I answered many questions about the limits on the powers of a port district to operate a solid waste handling facility. Last fall I asked the County Administrator Pete Rose that same question. On Nov. 1, I said it would be good to ask the port’s attorneys to provide an answer.

  • Feb 22nd, 2012

State raises bar on chronic pain | Guest Column

Washington State has issued a new set of guidelines for prescribing opioid (narcotic) drugs for non-cancerous chronic pain. These guidelines went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, and they change many aspects of medical practice around chronic pain management.

  • Jan 31st, 2012

Silence? Never golden in helping to prevent abuse | Guest column

Let’s make 2012 the year we join together and shatter the silence

  • Jan 19th, 2012

Oystercatchers — more than just a catchy name | Guest column

They don’t catch oysters or even prefer them for dinner. And whoever named anything oystercatcher has never caught oysters, because you don’t. You put on big rubber boots, wade into thick mud at the water’s edge and step between slick rocks, risk broken ankles or cracked knees to pick them. Or you tong them with long ‘rakish’ like tongs -- from a boat -- or dredge them with a weighted net if you are a very serious oystermonger. There is no chasing or lying in wait to get your oyster.

  • Jan 3rd, 2012

Prosecutor says pending budget cut will ‘disrupt justice’ | Opinion

San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney Randall K. Gaylord announced that budget cuts in in March 2012 will force him to lay offthe one deputy prosecutor handling misdemeanors from full-time to about half-time.

  • Dec 27th, 2011

Holding conservation hostage? Poor public policy | Guest column

We would like to thank County Council members Fralick, Miller, Pratt, Rosenfeld, and Stephens for their decision on Dec. 5 not to support an effort by Councilman Peterson to weaken the proposed update to our county's existing critical areas ordinance.

  • Dec 25th, 2011

Another year, another ‘shop local’ call to action | Guest column

Our islands are each like a big terrarium. If you take out all the resources (in this case, cash), the terrarium denizens (in this case, our businesses and the jobs they create) won’t survive. Even the seasonal inflow of tourist dollars can’t offset the negative impacts of our own off-island shopping

  • Dec 17th, 2011

Sandusky, Penn State Case Illuminates a Culture of Silence and Apathy

You can’t turn on the TV, computer or radio or open a newspaper or magazine without the sickening details of this “respected” adult and the accusations of the crimes committed against vulnerable children.

  • Dec 14th, 2011

Basic Health on the chopping block

Basic Health is going on the chopping block in a special session of the state legislature convening Nov. 28. Yes, Basic Health has been threatened the last two years, yet this year the situation has become dire. The governor has ordered that there be $2 billion in budget cuts statewide — and that they need to be drastic, like cutting out entire programs (not just nibbling around the edges as in recent years) in order to take care of the growing financial crisis.

  • Nov 15th, 2011

Our shorelines need you

Kyle Loring says the Shoreline Master Program update is our opportunity to preserve vital shoreline resources for fish, wildlife, and people

  • Oct 6th, 2011

Lopez School Superheroes | Letter to the Editor

Bill Evans, superintendent of Lopez Island School District, looks at the state of the school

  • Oct 6th, 2011

Where is the Democracy? | Letters

John and Patsy Sangster ask where is the democracy in paving Watmough Road

  • Aug 24th, 2011

Guest Column | The Cost of Freedom

Safety issues for dogs riding in the back of pick-ups

  • Aug 4th, 2011

Perspective: Watmough Head Road | Letters

The letter discusses the controversy of chip-sealing Watmough Head Road

  • Jul 19th, 2011

Port of Lopez wants to help reform the county solid waste system

The Port of Lopez and their plan to reform the county solid waste system.

  • Jul 13th, 2011

In favor of coating Watmough Head Road

Lopezians discuss why the road on Lopez should be paved

  • Jun 15th, 2011

Paving the Watmough head Road alters an important feature of this natural area

Lopezians discuss why they are opposed to paving a road on the island

  • Jun 15th, 2011