Letters?to the?editor

St. Francis Catholic Parish will gratefully continue to accept donations for our recently established “Social Justice Fund.” We anticipate that such funds will be used to assist persons in our community who may be struggling with aspects of the immigration issue.

However, we would like to let potential donors know that such funds must be used only at my direction as Pastor of St. Francis Parish. Donations may be restricted in such a way as to be used on a specific island, but they cannot be restricted to a specific individual.

Donations may be made to St. Francis Parish earmarked Social Justice Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 1489, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.

Sincerely,

In the turbulent 60s, William Sloane Cofin wrote, “The world is too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but love.”

The dangerous world has reached our shores, and our means of transit to and from, with a frightening question. Is this about immigration, homeland security or intimidation? We do not know.

Is there a law that permits the target search of citizens within their own state as they pursue law-abiding livelihood and leisure activities? We do not know.

What we do know is that we are fast becoming what we most fear, a divided society susceptible to seductive and simplistic solutions. There are lots of Mr. Guilianos out there earnestly trying to give them credibility. We are aware that it takes 200 people and two times that many letters to give voice to concern and be heard, however briefly.

We do know that, and we also know that, on Orcas, we know the faces of those who might be deported, the children separated, the hopes and finances dashed. Whatever compassion, in whatever form, you can bring to this issue, do so.

Our world is both smaller and more dangerous than 30 years ago and we have to play catch-up with truth and hope that that “land that I love” still stirs us and still stretches to “the light.”

Many thanks from the Grad Night committee for the support of our fund raising dinner, prepared by the amazing Thai Sisters! Help and assistance was received from many folks including Nayeka and Nuna, the Thai Sisters, Island Market, Bruce & Christina Orchid, Larry Solly of Windfall Winery, Darvill’s, The Senior Center, and everyone who attended our lovely evening.

Grad Night is sponsored by the parents of the OHS senior class, providing a lively and safe evening of activities in a “lockdown” at The Funhouse. Community members provide an array of activities for new graduates and they “shop” in the “grad store” for items helpful for the transition into adulthood. It is a night they will always remember.

Donations may be sent to Orcas Graduating Class of 2008 c/o Bonnie Bossler, P.O. Box 1216, Eastsound, WA 98245. All donations, no matter how small, are welcome! We appreciate your support!

On behalf of the children at Orcas Montessori School, thanks to all who made our recent St. Patrick’s Dinner and Auction at the Inn at Ship Bay a fun and successful event.

First, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Geddes Martin and Maryanna Bishop, Orcas Montessori parents and proprietors of the Inn at Ship Bay, who provided such a beautiful setting and dinner for the event.

We appreciate the generous community businesses and individuals who contributed auction items, and everyone who attended the event and joined in the bidding. Donors of goods and services include: Chimo Boehm, Everett Brooks, Christa Smith, Lisl Thomsen, Marthe Boyd, Kim Secunda, Stacey Lutz, Christopher Evans, Anita Holladay, Michael Mitchell, Roxeanne Robertson, Heidi Alexander, Rick Doty, Hyacinth Laurin, Marguerite Greening, Robin Kucklick, San Juan Sanitation, Sea Island Sand and Gravel, Driftwood Nursery, Mollie Brunner, Cathy Faulkner, Morningstar Farm, Olga Café, Terra Firma, Kenmore Air, Rod Magner’s Magic Air Tours, Deer Harbor Charters, Orcas Island Country Golf Club, Shearwater Kayaking, Ryan Drum, Ben and Christine Booth of Orcas Island Sailing, Doe Bay Resort, Jennifer Fralick, Cascade Harbor Inn, Turtleback Inn, Rosario, Nature’s Art, Chez Cloe, Bev Leyman, Trudy Erwin of Right Place Pottery, Marilyn Andrews, Joe Symons, Penny Sharpe-Sky, Cindy Morgan of Cindy’s Nest, Suzanne Morissey’s Peace and Plenty Farm, Dr. Chris White, Todd Spalti, Carolyn Bledsoe, Sallie Bell, Carol Anderson, Crow Valley Pottery, Orcas Island Pottery, Bossy’s Feltworks, Bett Hall, Jane Louise Heissinger, Betsy Nelson, Angie Barrick of Buck Bay Lavender Farm, Brooke Meinhardt, Heather Klausner, West Sound Marina, Nelson Moulton, Patsy Stephens, Nancy Jones of All Season Gardening, Robert Austin and Anji Ringzin, Jean Hennigson, Joe Gaydos, Anne Ha, Ed and Amy Masters of Orcas Island Shuttle, Chimayo’s, Christina’s Roses, Orcas Village Store, West Sound Café, Maple Rock Farm, La Campesina Project, Orcas Farm, Alyson Stevens, Sam Thoron, YMCA Camp Orkila, Fred Rahn & Zackaraya Leck.

We also want to thank John Clancy for lending us his auctioneering talents and Carolyn Cruso for her wonderful music.

Finally, we thank the Orcas Montessori School parents and staff who rose to the challenge and worked so hard to put together a fabulous evening.

Thank you for the information about the cost of the fire department. The paramedics cost more than a quarter of a million per year. How many are there? How many hours hours per year does this cover? What benefits do they have? Approximately how much per hour does a paramedic receive?

Across the street from the fire department’s three million dollar complex is the nondescript domestic violence office on a second floor. They too deal with damaged people, sometimes in life-threatening situations. They are supported by grants and donations. To the east about a mile and a half down Mt. Baker Road is the food bank housed in a drafty old warehouse, open one hour a week. Some users walk or hitchhike miles to get to it. Parents with infants and toddlers are almost always there, sometimes waiting in the wind and rain for an hour or more. The food bank is supported by donations and volunteers (who work far more than the one hour a week it is open).

What are our priorities here?

The people at the bottom are prey to ideas like the young man who cut electricity to bring attention to the death of a whale and lack of mutual help. He was outside the loop of community. What he did not realize is that probably hundreds of people in San Juan County also care about his worries and we all need to work together constructively. He must have been very isolated and depressed. The old-fashioned conception of the family of man is needed more than ever as we go into a serious recession and need for change in government.

Sincerely,