Letters | April 21 Edition

Thank you, Colton, for changing Orcas

Hey, Colton, if you read the Sounder, I just want to take a moment to thank you for all you have done for the Orcas Island community. Thanks to you, we are united with one common goal: that you spend the rest of your life in prison. Our desire to see you captured transcends political parties, religious denominations, and petty arguments.

Because you have touched our island in such a personal way, we are a little more careful to make sure our homes are secure when we leave. We pay more attention to our neighbors’ comings and goings, and look for signs that you may be staying in a home nearby that has been vacant all winter.

Our understanding of different communities was less broad until you came our way. Most of us have never had the opportunity to live in South Central L.A.; that is, until we had black helicopters flying overhead and SWAT teams swarming all over Eastsound. Who knew how intimidating that could be?

How stupid were we to leave keys in the ignition of our airplanes, boats, and have no security systems in our stores? Hopefully, we are wiser now. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn lessons about life that we hadn’t experienced until you dropped into our world (literally)!

Most of all, thank you for reminding us that we can learn anything we want on the Internet, including flying a plane. I know I sometimes forget how much information is out there at my fingertips!

I have a new appreciation for our judicial system, thanks to you. I am particularly grateful for Washington’s “three strikes” law, because when you are tried for only three of your felonies and convicted, you will never, ever see the light of day as a free man. It serves as a reminder that everyone’s luck runs out sooner or later, and Colton, your luck will run out.

We are not weakened because of you. We are stronger, smarter, and united in our desire to see you captured, tried, convicted, and sentenced to a life you can’t possibly imagine, because you have never been in prison. Run, Colton, run – until you can run no longer. We’ll all be waiting for that day so we can watch your ego deflate and your arrogance disappear.

Kathleen Schinkel


Less helicopters, more ground work

I know that the Colton Harris-Moore search continues, and I support that effort, but I never expected that a low-flying helicopter with a high power searchlight would turn night into day for over an hour last week after midnight in the Deer Harbor estuary! It was a real show. Very dramatic!

I am a Vietnam veteran and watching that low-flying machine hovering over my neighborhood brought back lots of memories.

If I were Colton Harris-Moore I would be asleep in someone’s vacation home. I wouldn’t be running around in the wee hours of the morning and I certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near such an obvious racket.

Stealth it was not! Expensive it was. I would hate to see the fuel bill for that chopper! I don’t think we need the military to go after an 18-year old-thief, just thorough, dogged police work.

Clay Parsons

Deer Harbor

John Bogert for OPALCO Board of Directors

I’d like to take a moment to express my utmost confidence in John Bogert’s ability to continue to serve as a viable advocate for our fellow members of OPALCO. John has managed and consulted for a variety of Hydro Electric projects in the eastern U.S., was the President of Phoenix Control Systems (hydro electric) of Seattle, and is now a full time semi-retired resident of Shaw Island. John was recently appointed to the OPALCO board as an interim Director, due to the passing of Leon Fonnesbeck. I have personally worked with John on a variety of projects and find he is very thorough, conscientious, fair, intuitive, honest, and hard working.

John’s valuable and extensive management and consulting background in the electrical power industry makes him the ideal choice for this OPALCO position. His educational background supports his leadership talents: BS Electrical Engineering, Princeton and Master’s of Electrical Power Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

I can say with confidence: John has the modesty of the competent.

Please join me and cast your OPALCO Directorship ballot by April 30 for John Bogert.

Jon E. Troxel

Shaw Island

Support for Bogert

I am pleased to support John Bogert’s candidacy to retain his position on the Board of Directors of OPALCO. The directors make the policy decisions for the co-op and, quoting OPALCO, “in essence they steer the ship.” It is hard to imagine anyone more qualified for that role than John. He has degrees from Princeton and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in electrical engineering and electric power engineering and long experience in the electric industry. John is a committed and hands on Board member. I have known him for more than twenty years and am confident he will continue to be a very valuable resource at OPALCO.

Keith Gerrard

Shaw Island

Join in the Earth day parade

People who love our planet, appreciate clean air and water, value renewable resources, delight in the sounds of birds, are awestruck by a flower’s beauty and anyone else who wishes to celebrate how wonderful nature is, please join other folks who share these values in the Ninth Annual Earth Day Parade on Thursday, April 22! As before, the event will form at the school around 12:30, start at 1 p.m. and parade through the streets of Eastsound.Costumes, signs, dancing and music are all welcome. We hope to see everyone there!

Iris Parker Pavitt,


Orcas Island Environmental Club

Thank you to EMTs

How does one say an adequate “thank you” to each and every one of our outstandingly wonderful E.M.T.s who responded when I needed help last Friday?

To Hilary, who jumped off her riding mower to be the first one to arrive – within three minutes of the 911 call – to do battle with whatever she found.

To the whole troop, nine in all, who came in force led by Dr. Sullivan, from St. Joseph’s Hospital, a truly kind and caring cardiologist. E.M.T.s, paramedics, even trainees – fantastic folks who dropped whatever they were doing to come to my aid. Thank you all!

Pat Jeffrey


Former county commissioner weighs in on solid waste

Headlines in the local news section of the Seattle Times: “Recycling’s a civic event on Lopez – Don’t trash our dump, islanders say,” was published on Monday, April 22, 2002, not 2010!

It has taken eight years for public works to finish what they have been trying to do since 2002: shut down the best example of how to care for trash and recycling in the state. In fact, under Lopez leadership, the county received just such an award twice: Best Small Government Award for Recycling. What we have noticed on Lopez, and now the Town of Friday Harbor is acting upon, is that mismanagement at the top of public works has brought on a death spiral for the entire solid waste system. Instead of recognizing initial mistakes, the county continues to cover up mistakes with more and more of them, leading us into spiraling costs and inappropriate responses to our trash/recycling problems.

There are no more places to put garbage, as the 90 feet deep pile of plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, covering 10 million square miles, shows us. Existing dump sites are filling fast. The system that public works has set up depends on the following assumptions: In order to make a profit on garbage, you need to keep making garbage. In order to break even on garbage, you need to keep making garbage. Public works needs to shift its thinking for the future of all of us. The solution? Base our solid waste system on supporting biodegradable and reusable packaging, composting, and serious recycling, minimizing trash until we hit zero.

Back in 1995 and 1996 we proposed on Lopez that San Juan County lease its transfer station to a non-profit community entity for $1/year. The project name: Community Non-Profit Recycling. This very concept is now being done in Twisp, Wash. Chelan’s citizens undertook a similar initiative nearly a decade after SJC officials turned us down. We offer to take recycling back from its present trashed condition to its former inspired and pristine condition. We’ll actively seek expanded composting situations, research how to return or leave packaging at its source, create secure local jobs, and most importantly, build the system’s success on reducing trash, not making more.

Rhea Miller

Lopez Island

Our community counts

It may be tempting to recycle your 2010 Census Form rather than take a few minutes to complete it. You may feel that your household information does not count in the big national picture. Actually, during these economic times, you count more than ever. Why is your input so important? Our local census results will help determine the next ten years of essential federal fund allocations to our community. These dollars help support medical assistance, unemployment insurance, special education, local education grants, and early childhood centers. Under-counted communities will not receive their share of these funds to help support their schools, medical care, and early childhood learning centers.

Your census form will be hand delivered to your residence or you may pick one up at the public library. Please be counted. Our families, our kids and our community are counting on you.

Tamara Joyner

Orcas Island