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

Protect real estate

As our island population ages and circumstances change it is very important to a substantial portion of our community that we have an active real estate market.

  • Jan 24th, 2011

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- I come from a family where the “joke,” if you came home with a 97 on a math test, was to ask what happened to the other three points. The punch line, if you scored 100, was to ask whether there was any extra credit.

  • Jan 24th, 2011

Letters Give back the raise

To think that Randy Gaylord would accept,(much less be given), a $19,000/year raise is not only obscene, it is totally inappropriate, given the stark realities we are facing these days of budget cuts, lack of money, ferry woes, transfer station problems, increased fees all across the board.

  • Jan 18th, 2011

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- “High Capacity Magazines ... When ten rounds isn’t enough,” the…

  • Jan 18th, 2011


The San Juan County Solid Waste program is in trouble. For starters we suggest the following:

  • Jan 1st, 2011

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- The vice president calls, more than an hour after the appointed time but with an impeccable excuse: He was presiding over the Senate’s vote to ratify the New START treaty.

  • Jan 1st, 2011

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- I’m hoping for the moment when a federal judge picked by a Democratic president strikes down the health care law. Or when a Republican-appointed judge upholds it.

  • Dec 27th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- The speaker got weepy.

  • Dec 18th, 2010


A few of our County Council members are determined to help out the enormous US wireless industry by drafting a new ordinance that makes it easier to locate cell towers in tiny SJC. Bad idea, County Council! Improving cell phone service is essentially a form of manslaughter.

  • Dec 11th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- Maybe I’m getting carried away because it is the season to believe in miracles, but the tax-cut deal just might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

  • Dec 11th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- My family, as it happens, is taking the bus to Grandma’s this Thanksgiving. But our choice of transportation has nothing to do with anxiety about leering security screeners or fear of pat-downs.

  • Nov 27th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- It was, or so I thought, a dandy column idea: an imaginary, missing chapter of George W. Bush’s “Decision Points,” in which the former president would admit to having made the wrong call on taxes.

  • Nov 20th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- The day after his shellacking, the bruised president offered a sober, tripartite analysis of voters’ message. First, he said, voters are fed up with Washington partisanship and special-interest politics. Second, they feel insecure and uncertain, about their economic circumstances above all.

  • Nov 13th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

The President of the United States:

  • Nov 5th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- Excuse me, Mary Fallin, did I just hear you say, “Woman up”?

  • Oct 30th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- In this, the year of the Mama Grizzly, let’s stop stirring the moose chili for a moment to ponder three words -- “man up” and “whore” -- and what they have to tell us about the muddled state of gender politics.

  • Oct 22nd, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- I’m not a witch.

  • Oct 15th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- The Wal-Mart Moms were pessimistic, bordering on despondent, about the state of the country. Like, well, moms dealing with bickering children, they were exasperated by Washington lawmakers seemingly incapable of learning to get along.

  • Sep 24th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- It was a jarring moment from an ordinarily smooth pol. Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and 2012 presidential prospect -- which helped explain the big turnout at a breakfast Wednesday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor -- was asked why so many people seem to believe that President Obama is Muslim.

  • Sep 17th, 2010

So what’s my incentive?

The cast of characters here at Energy Matters suffer from a clear obsession for saving energy.

  • Sep 12th, 2010

Ruth Marcus

WASHINGTON -- I left the Glenn Beck rally worried that I didn’t have much of a story.

  • Sep 3rd, 2010