Opinion

Nonprofits: apply for UW grants | Letter

United Way of San Juan County is inviting 501(c)(3) nonprofits working in Health, Education, and Income Stability to apply for a 2017 grant to make a difference in our island communities. Please go to our website for more information, or email us at unitedwaysjc@rockisland.com for more information. Together we can make a difference!

  • Oct 14th, 2016

Thank you to EMTs | Letter

Often I have seen letters in the Islands' Sounder that praise the efforts of our EMTs.

  • Oct 14th, 2016

Response to ‘A Bernie Supporter’ | Letter

In regards to the lengthy article written by David Turnoy, and his reasons voting for Hillary, I wish to add mine for doing the opposite.

  • Oct 13th, 2016

Elections Review Committee will help OPALCO | Letter

Though a co-chair of the committee, I feel the necessity to respond as a individual OPALCO member to opposing commentary which is full of twisted logic and false assumptions.

  • Oct 13th, 2016

Getting help in troubled times | Guest Column

by Hugh M. Grant, LICSW

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Durland for council | Letter

Michael Durland would be an excellent addition to the San Juan County Council. The council needs the energy and honesty of citizens like Durland, to solve the numerous issues before them. His public service and ability to think through difficult problems, places Michael in a group that has the future of San Juan County close to their heart.

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Hughes for council | Letter

We would like to urge our fellow San Juan Islanders to support Rick Hughes for the County Council position from Orcas Island. Rick consistently sees the big picture and seeks what is best for our county as a whole.

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Jarman for council | Letter

Many of you know that I am passionate about recycling and the need for siting of Essential Public Facilities. I can attest to the fact that over the last 4 years, Bob Jarman has been the only Council member to agree to meet with me on these two issues, and to publicly support Community Treasures' activities. Last month I organized a public meeting to discuss the future of Community Treasures and its being at a crossroad. Watch here. The questions and answers are posted on youtube as well. I invited Bob Jarman and Bill Watson to that public meeting via email. Bob Jarman was the only Council member to show up and speak in support of CT. I hope Bill Watson will, at some point, see the value of CT, and speak out in favor of CT. Months earlier when I asked Rick Hughes to meet with me on the topic, he wrote back, "I don't think it is a good idea to meet." When I wrote back listing the Essential Public Facility issues and reasons to meet, he refused to reply. When I challenged Hughes about not meeting with me on a ferry ride to Lopez, his reply was that he was not going to support me.

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Durland responds to county lawsuit | Guest column

by Michael Durland

  • Oct 12th, 2016

Why women in business matter | Editorial

Their footsteps echo in the corridors of history, but we rarely hear them.

Thank you for Trashion Fashion | Letter

Thank you to the Trashion Fashionista participants: Jean H., Kay M., Linda P., Marlia D., Nancy M., Paula C. and Rosie for their creative Fashions! Regina Z and daughter Grace age 4, modeled designer Fashions by Alicia M. Carl B. and Dave R. provided music, Melinda M. fun commentary describing the Fashions, Don and Leslie Seaman provided the Sound and Carolyn O'D box office. Patty Monaco posters and tickets, Darvill's and Kay's for selling tickets, Island Market gift certificates for the raffle and Cindy at the Nest for the beautiful Dahlias! Dave R. for the original trophies. And a special thanks to the appreciative audience who support the Grange and members who provided the tasty desserts!

  • Oct 11th, 2016

Hughes, Watson endorsed by union

On the morning of June 18, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, Local 1849 (San Juan County employee's union) gathered to meet the San Juan County Council candidates for District 1 and 2. The candidates addressed the local and responded directly to questions from the members.

  • Oct 8th, 2016

Thank you for crime coverage | Letter

I have read several letters, pro and con, regarding The Sounder's reporting of criminal activities including the distribution and use of illegal drugs in San Juan County. Isn't that the primary function of any newspaper? To inform community members of controversial issues that ultimately affect all of us in one form or another, so that we might work together to resolve them, rather than candy coating them or sweeping them under the carpet all together, kind of like our politicians and government officials do. This era of political correctness has run its course, and has caused a lot of mistrust not only between people, but also between nations. Unfortunately, we live in an very dangerous and unpredictable world. So, if it's fairy tales you want, go to the children's section of the library, and maybe we can all live happily ever after.

  • Oct 8th, 2016

Sheriff Krebs is handling adversity well | Editorial

When Ron Krebs was elected San Juan County Sheriff in 2014, the department had been experiencing a relatively quiet period.

Fern Street ideas | Letter

Last week I weighed in with input on the dismantling of the community garden on Fern Street. It has come to my attention that some of the content of that letter was not entirely factual. This was not my intention, as information was gathered hastily and the letter put together even more so because of the machine work that was continuing at a rapid pace that had once been the garden space.

  • Oct 5th, 2016

A solution for the Orcas Medical Foundation | Letter

Last week it was announced that Island Hospital would no longer be providing management services for the Orcas Medical Center practice and Orcas Medical Foundation. It was also reported that OMF is having discussions with the UW Neighborhood Clinics to take over management of the Orcas practice. I propose an easy and local alternative for OMF. Orcas Family Health Center is a fully operational family medicine practice with providers, an excellent staff, scheduling and billing services. I have spoken with Dr. David Shinstrom, medical director of OFHC, who is very willing to move the practice to the medical center building. I urge you to contact the OMF Board who are listed at http://www.orcasmedicalcenter.com/omf-board and encourage them to pursue this extremely easy local solution.

  • Oct 4th, 2016

School music matters: please finish the music building

by the Music Advocacy Group

  • Sep 30th, 2016

To Bernie supporters, from a Bernie supporter

by David Turnoy

  • Sep 30th, 2016

Satisfaction and admiration | Letter

I want to express my satisfaction and admiration at your courageous decision to provide complete and factual coverage on the recent murder-suicide incident here on my home island of Lopez.

  • Sep 30th, 2016

Vacation rental impact | Letter

Now that the County Council has completed the Shoreline Plan, they are turning to other pressing issues, including how to regulate short-term rentals (STR), which are marketed online through companies like AirBnB and VRBO.

  • Sep 29th, 2016

In support of the library levy | Letter

The current Orcas Island Public Library was built 25 years ago, at a time when computers were still a novelty, smart phones were science fiction, and no one had ever read an e-book. Today, these new technologies are ubiquitous, and they are not going away.

  • Sep 29th, 2016

Orcas is struggling to sustain its nonprofits

Whenever I ask someone about joining one of the nonprofit boards I serve on, this is the reaction I receive: a panicked look, a quick shake of the head and "No, I am already on a board and I volunteer a lot. There is no way I can possibly take anything else on."

What are OPALCO’s motives? | Guest Column

by Alex MacLeod

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Whale of a Show a success | Letter

I enjoyed so much how the children poured their hearts and souls into their artistic expressions on stage. It was fun! The audience seemed to enjoy the confidence and courage of the children ranging from preschool through high school, including family acts, whether it be a four year old doing spontaneous moves above the stage with silks, dancing with grace and creativity, playing their musical instrument with earnestness and joy, singing with voices that express the poignancy of the songs they chose to sing. I am so thankful that Orcas Center produces Whale of a Show to give so many children the opportunity to either cope with fear and strong feelings or learn to skip the fear and express themselves with sincerity. I love everything about working/playing with children and adults involved in creating a Whale of a Show. Thanks again to each and every person who performed or helped with the show. I have so much appreciation and happiness.

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Thanks for important news coverage | Letter

Thank you for being a "news"paper. Serious news should be printed in the proper place, including the front page. The paper should be primarily for adults, not children. There is a real problem in this country over "trigger" words being used in our schools. We seem to forget the purpose of schools is to prepare people for the realities of life not coddle them. This applies to our media as well.

  • Sep 28th, 2016

Have we been led down the garden path? | Letter

Editor's note: According to County Council Member Rick Hughes, the community garden was inactive for a period of time and grass had overgrown the space. Public works cut the grass down, planted new seed, took the deer fence down and reverted the area back to public access. Hughes said the area cannot be a parking lot, but he hopes a decision on the property's future will be decided in the next six months. The area can be a bypass, a walking pass, a road or a park and ride because the land was purchased by the public works department with road funding.

  • Sep 27th, 2016

Appreciate these stories | Letter

I wanted you to know that I appreciate these stories about what's going on in our community and I think it's important for people to know that just like anywhere else, we have crime here. Our islands are not the idyllic utopia that new people often believe it is.

  • Sep 27th, 2016

United Way supports early education | Letter

I want to let our community know how thankful we are to the United Way of San Juan County, which helps Children's House keep tuition costs affordable and early education accessible for families that might not otherwise be able to afford it.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016

Please stop running crime news | Letter

I wanted to tell you all how upset our family was at finding such disturbing news on the front cover of our paper.

  • Sep 22nd, 2016

Thank you for Park and Rec art camp help | Editorial

We would like to thank Ezra Richardson of Orcas Workshop and his crew Vincent Amann, Jacob Heinen and Colin Blevins for their contribution of time and materials for our Art Camp this summer.

  • Sep 21st, 2016

Please return items taken from post office box | Letter

A small package directed to Shinola jewelry has been lost when the key to the locker where it was placed was put in someone else's box. Whoever picked up the mail apparently did not notice that the package was not addressed to them. Please check. If you have it, bring it back to the post office. No questions asked. These are repairs for pieces of sentimental significance to our customers, and in that sense these items are irreplaceable.

  • Sep 20th, 2016

Senior resource guide is coming soon | Editorial

Winter is fast approaching. It's a time when the pace slows down, the rain falls and we start making holiday plans.

Returning mobility equipment | Letter

If you have borrowed a wheelchair or other mobility equipment from the Lions Club program at the Senior Center, please take the time to return items that are no longer needed in a timely fashion. We have noticed that some equipment has not been returned. Thank you.

  • Sep 7th, 2016

Don’t suppress the media | Letter

I, too, was shocked to see the headline "Reality of Heroin Addiction – Is heroin becoming more common in the San Juan Islands?" on the covers of our local papers on Aug. 17. I applaud the writers of this well-written article as well as the editors for printing it as it behooves us all to be well-informed in matters that significantly affect our communities.

  • Sep 6th, 2016

Durland announces candidacy | Letter

My campaign began at the San Juan County Fair. I visited with attendees, exhibitors, and vendors. My campaign website is Durland4Council.com, email Michael@Durland4Council.com, phone is 971-307-3377. I invite your comments on issues facing all of us in this county.

  • Sep 6th, 2016

County fair is a time for islanders to shine | Editorial

I've been attending the San Juan County Fair since I was a kid, and every year I am as enthralled as ever.

Another response to letter about birds | Letters

I was struck by Chelsea Irene Harrington's letter "Where have the birds gone"? Two years ago I posted on Facebook a similar question: "What has happened to all the song birds?" I found myself waking up at dawn, not to the beautiful symphony of bird calls heralding the new day, but to silence – or the occasional cawing of a few crows. The truth is the planet is warming at a dangerously rapid pace, and the decrease in bird life is just one sad result. It's admirable that groups are working to save wildlife and habitat, but if we don't reduce the amount of carbon in the air and the oceans, none of that is going to matter. As Chelsea says, we need to have honest discussions with each other, that in turn will motivate us to act. I have chosen to volunteer for I-732, a revenue neutral carbon tax (which the Audubon Society endorses) that will be on the ballot in November, but there are other things people can do. The first step is take our heads out of the sand and acknowledge what is happening. It may sound like science fiction, but believe me it's not.

  • Aug 24th, 2016

Response to letter about birds | Letters

"Where have all the birds gone?" asked Chelsea Irene Harrington in the Aug. 17 edition of the Islands' Sounder. I have been missing the bird visitors at my home as well.

  • Aug 24th, 2016

Disappointed with the Islands’ Sounder | Letters

I am disappointed with the recent series of articles featuring drugs, sexual abuse and other criminal activities on the front page of the Sounder. I could not help feeling embarrassed when I saw last week's headline about heroin abuse as I rode the inter-island ferry full of tourists and families traveling to the San Juan County Fair. Is this really necessary during the height of the vacation season?

  • Aug 24th, 2016

Kudos to the Islands’ Sounder | Letters

Heroin, and drug use in general, is right up there with domestic violence, as issues we all know exists on our islands, but prefer not to talk about.

  • Aug 24th, 2016