Opinion

Letter about white privilege is right on | Letter

I would like to commend Analisa Lee for her heartfelt and important article on white privilege. This is a concept that few of us white folks are very aware of.

  • Apr 20th, 2016

Thank you from the debate team | Letter

Desmund Tutu is famous for promoting the adage, "Don't raise your voice; improve your argument." And so it is with debate. I am writing on behalf of the Orcas Island Debate Team to express our enormous gratitude to all of those who helped us compete in our remarkably exciting and successful 2015-16 season, including our triumphant journey to two different state tournaments. All of our funding comes from the goodness of the hearts of our Orcas family. We are so very fortunate to live in such a charitably minded community. We wish to extend particular thanks to the Orcas Island Education Foundation for their ongoing financial support and for all the generous individual donors who contributed to our team. We could not do it without you! I also want to gratefully acknowledge the time and energy spent by the other volunteer coaching staff, including Ian Lister and Katie Blaine. Here's to next year.

  • Apr 19th, 2016

Health screening thank you | Letter

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the individuals who contributed their time and effort to make the Lions Health Screening on April 4th, 5th and 6th, 2016 possible—over 150 man-hours went into this project! Thanks to the following Lions for their help during this event: Martin Arnold, Jim Biddick, Karen Hiller, Toby Hiller, Mike Jonas, Leif, Kay Miller, Steve Schaefer and Mac Trunkey. A special thanks to Sunrise Volunteers and Non-lion volunteers helping us this year: Candace Bodenhamer, Mary Boberg, Becky Hawley, Kathy Kantrud, Coleen O'Brien and Bea vonTobel. Additionally, our gratitude to the Northwest Lions Foundation for Sight & Hearing for developing the Van and providing the accompanying screening unit crew, Lions Mike and Pat Parker. Thanks guys—we couldn't have done it without you.

  • Apr 17th, 2016

Vote yes for OPALCO bylaw change | Letter

OPALCO members have a proposed bylaw change to vote on this election. The proposed change directs the board of directors to reapportion the board districts to achieve fairness and balance on OPALCO board representation.

  • Apr 16th, 2016

Thoughts about OPALCO | Letter

There are some things worth thinking about as we cast ballots in the next few weeks for the three open positions on the OPALCO Board of Directors.

  • Apr 16th, 2016

Support for Silverstein | Letter

With the important OPALCO election coming up, much is at stake. In the face of rising costs, a changing utility landscape, expensive submarine cables and fiber optic installations, we believe Brian Silverstein is the right person to help our electric coop navigate a challenging path to keep electricity bills affordable and fair, manage coop finances transparently, and encourage conservation and renewable energy.

  • Apr 15th, 2016

Orcas Center had two amazing plays | Letter

Directors Robert Hall and Jake Perrine brought top quality theatrical productions to Orcas Center this spring.

  • Apr 15th, 2016

Response to MacLeod’s letter about OPALCO | Letter

Mr. MacLeod's guest column "The 'c' in OPALCO?" in the March 30 edition confuses the business and political ends of a cooperative.

  • Apr 14th, 2016

Scotch broom time | Letter

Scotch broom is beginning to blossom, and the ground is still too soft to let weed wrenches do a good job pulling up the smaller plants. Last Wednesday I had the help of the Noxious Weed Board's Jason Ontjes ( 376-3499 jason@sanjuanweeds.org.) doing some serious clearing in my upper field. I learned that re-growth comes only from the trunk, and latent seeds that may be lurking at the base of the plant. Roots left in the ground will not re-sprout. Jason used loppers most of the time, cutting the trunks as far below the ground as possible, then covering the stump with soil.. A few were left exposed above the ground, but he stripped the bark down all around the plant, to discourage re-growth. I used the medium Weed Wrench, gleefully toppling the smaller plants. We will burn the pile once the whole job is done.

  • Apr 13th, 2016

Kudos to the Sounder | Letter

Good editorial, "Ferries need to support local riders," in last week's Sounder.

  • Apr 13th, 2016

Disagree with Sounder editorial | Letter

It's unfortunate that the Sounder has plunged into partisan politics by publishing Cali Bagby's San Juan Journal article regarding Congressman Rick Larsen as an editorial. It should instead have appeared as a guest opinion.

  • Apr 13th, 2016

Penalize Companies That Export Jobs | Opinion

by Michael Riordan

  • Apr 11th, 2016

Support for OPALCO, Rock Island | Letter

It is very sad when a resident of the San Juans writes a mean-spirited letter to the editor which promotes boycotting a local business that provides local jobs to hard-working people and provides a high quality, much needed service for myself and fellow islanders. As a retired "techie," I find it additionally sad that the letter also attempts to denigrate these hard-working local people by using the term "techie" and saying that they really hate that "old technology."

  • Apr 11th, 2016

It is time for the wheel to squeak | Letter

Many people are surprised and upset to learn of a new ferry system policy from articles recently printed in the local press. It is disturbing that the ferry system has changed its policy regarding when a person with a reservation needs to show up. You now have get TO the ticket booth 30 minutes prior to sailing or your reservation will be cancelled, as opposed to previously needing to get in line 30 minutes early.

  • Apr 6th, 2016

Shakespeare Festival was a success | Letter

Thank you to the volunteers, businesses and participants who made this year's Shakespeare Festival a success.

  • Apr 6th, 2016

The creek, the culvert | Letter

Cascade Creek has, like most creeks, small beginnings. It's an ignominious little tumbler as it scoots over, around, under and through the rocks, logs, sticks, eddies, falls and stillwaters. Suddenly, it's a respectable creek in all her natural glory.

  • Apr 6th, 2016

The ‘c’ in OPALCO? | Opinion

It is increasingly difficult to remember that the "C" in OPALCO stands for "cooperative." No one is having a harder time doing so than its management and board. Remember when the annual meetings allowed members to stand up and ask questions of management and the board?

  • Apr 2nd, 2016

Ferries need to support local riders | Editorial

The new 30-minute rule from Washington State Ferries requires riders to be past the tollbooth in order to not lose their reservations.

Opalcolypse? | Letter

Looking at the available financial data, Rock Island is now OPALCO's "hobby business." It will always be unprofitable and will always need to be supported by ever higher electric bills.

  • Mar 30th, 2016

Thanks United Way | Letter

We would like to thank the United Way of San Juan County for generously supporting the Funhouse Commons' Healthy Teen Development Program this year. United Way's contribution is enabling us to connect Orcas Island teens and their parents with trained therapists for information, life-skill building, and tools to foster positive social, emotional, and physical growth for teens.

  • Mar 29th, 2016

Support for Bernie | Letter

In all of the hundreds of articles from the various bloggers, pundits, and news sources that I've read to date reflecting on this year's democrat candidates the following from www.Truthout.org stands out in my mind the most:

  • Mar 24th, 2016

Clinton supports ACA | Letter

My sister has Stage Four breast cancer. She was able to enroll in a health insurance program this past year even with this serious pre-existing condition. We have friends that have chronic diseases that previously made it difficult to obtain health insurance because of their pre-existing health conditions.

  • Mar 24th, 2016

Seniors receiving fraudulent mail | Letter

On March 12, my wife and I received in the mail two separate surrogate affidavit forms, along with a page-long letter from William J. Clinton, telling us why Hillary would be best for America. This came within an envelope with the return address, "From the desk of William J. Clinton," in capital letters along with a Seattle address and a footnote in bold letters saying, "Special Message from President Clinton."

  • Mar 23rd, 2016

Thanks from TEDx | Letter

When the Design Team for TEDxOrcasIsland decided on the theme for our 2016 event, we reached out to Corey Wiscomb, a design and art teacher at Orcas High School, for support in creating a logo that spoke to our theme, "Best of Both Worlds."

  • Mar 20th, 2016

Thank you from MAG | Letter

We want to thank everyone who was part of the MAG concert on Sunday, March 6, and helped us raise money to support the music program at the Orcas Public Schools. Thank you to the Orcas Choral Society, Orcas Island Community Band, Island Sinfonia, Orcas High School Band and Strings, Hilary Canty, Dick Staub, Dimitri Stankevich, Linda Slone, Susan Gudgell, Lynn White, Cindy Morgan, Jana Webb, Finn Rubottom, Alanna Lago, Steve Alboucq, Roger Sherman, Karen Key Speck, Jim Shaffer-Bauck, Ned Griffin, Victoria Parker, Chris Waage, Kahana Pietsch, Anthony Kaskurs, Pamela Wright, Darren Dix, the Orcas Island Fire Department and everyone who attended our concert or contributed to MAG. We would not be where we are without you and your support.

  • Mar 19th, 2016

Vote in the caucus | Letter

I've lived on this island now for almost 10 years. One thing I've come to value – in addition to Orcas' natural beauty – is the shared sense of community. By and large, people seem to want to get along. Differences in religion, worldview, political party, basic values, wealth or lack of adequate income don't usually result in yelling, name-calling or physical violence.

  • Mar 19th, 2016

Thanks for NatureBridge | Letter

On behalf of this year's sixth grade class at Orcas Elementary School, we would like to express our gratitude to Orcas Island Education Foundation and former Chair of NatureBridge Valerie Anders for their generous donations toward our trip. NatureBridge is rated first in the country for science field learning for children. Together with class fundraising activity this year, their donations have made the trip accessible to everyone.

  • Mar 18th, 2016

Being brave in the face of death | Editorial

A Friday Harbor woman's Facebook request went viral, reaching more than 30,000 eyes.

  • Mar 17th, 2016

Response to letter | Letters

As a supporter of Bernie Sanders for president, Morgan's comment about Hillary Clinton supporters being afraid to attend the Democratic caucuses is of great concern. I have heard some not-so-nice comments from Hillary's supporters, too, and I know it does not feel good. When passions run high, this happens from time to time.

  • Mar 7th, 2016

Culture of instant gratification| Guest Column

A guest column in the Dec. 16, 2015 Islands' Sounder, written by a high school student advocating for easy-access condoms, is still on my mind because it embodied the same message our culture taught me as a kid: instant gratification.

  • Mar 4th, 2016

Thank you, Sounder | Letters

Thank you, Colleen, for the detailed article on the new downhill bike for my grand-nephew, Jordan Griffin (who is "grand" himself in the other sense of the word).

  • Mar 4th, 2016

Thanks for approving school levy

We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to the voters of Orcas Island for your support of our school levy. The renewal of the Maintenance and Operational Levy will ensure essential funding source for another four years.

  • Mar 3rd, 2016

A letter to the council | Letters

In 2012 I was served with a Notice of Violation on my Deer Harbor Boatworks property two weeks after I appealed a building permit. I was told I must have a building permit for a storage container in storage, for a boathouse in for repairs, and for tents on wheels used to contain dust. I immediately asked for more information about the code, as I was told in 2007 by a previous Code Enforcement officer, Jeff Wasnick, that they were no violations as my property is zoned an Industrial Outdoor Storage Yard so a storage container is allowed. I am a permitted boatyard so repairs to a boathouse is allowed. My permit conditions require windbreaks to contain contaminates and dust and the tents provide such windbreaks and Jeff told me they were allowed.

  • Mar 3rd, 2016

Sheriff handled a tough situation well | Editorial

It is our belief that when a mistake is made, the best thing to do is take full responsibility, look at why it happened and implement changes to prevent it from occurring again.

  • Mar 1st, 2016

Shakespeare Fest is coming | Letter

The Fifth Annual Orcas Island Shakespeare Festival is coming up March 30-April 2 and we’re looking to put as much of our local talent on stage as possible!

  • Feb 15th, 2016

Thank you for school levy approval | Letter

I want to extend my gratitude to the Orcas Island community for their overwhelming support to renew our expiring educational levy. Orcas Island residents never cease to amaze me with their demonstrations of generosity for our schools. While the final tally is pending, the returns indicate approval by the voters of Orcas Island. The most recent results indicate a passage of 71%!

  • Feb 12th, 2016

Kaleidoscope fills a need | Letter

I wanted to take a moment to respond to the article “New study released on low-income households in San Juan County” published Jan. 27. In the childcare section, it is stated that providers offer limited hours, limited options for children with special needs, pause Preschool services in the summer, and do not offer affordable infant/child care. While it is true that these are challenges that many families in this county face, I want to point out that Kaleidoscope Preschool and Child Care on Orcas Island is doing all of these things, and more!

  • Feb 12th, 2016

Grateful for so much | Letter

I have so much to be thankful for. Nearly 68 years years married to Fred Nicol who died peacefully in his sleep at age 91.

  • Feb 12th, 2016

Thanks to the Sounder | Letter

On every occasion that I have asked you to publish something that would help the Odd Fellows or help me, I have always found that you have been very helpful, courteous and business like.

  • Feb 12th, 2016