Letters | Aug 19 edition

Exchange Change benefits Orcas Rec.

Thanks to the new Exchange Change program, created by the Exchange and George Post, the Orcas Island Recreation Program received $750. We are very thankful, as it is funding that is needed and necessary to help us get through this year. It is community support that keeps our doors open so we can offer interesting and fun activities for children and youth. Thanks Exchange!

Didier Gincig

Coordinator, Orcas Island Recreation Program

Tightening CAO regulations is responsible

Though long overdue we now have an opportunity to update CAO. That we need to have more stringent protections and accept the consequent sacrifices is evident. Opponents say we need to strike a balance, a welcome opening position if it is sincere, but I am skeptical because what balance has been struck in the past has been heavily weighted toward the human community. Personally I think restoration of the environment should take precedence over striking a balance.

Across our culture, the consequences of our decisions to date are well documented: the collapse of major fisheries, coral reef and forest ecologies, loss of topsoil, air and water pollution. We are facing further and mass extinctions of the world’s flora and fauna. And the population of the planet will double in our children’s lifetime. Please do the math. We are erasing our natural heritage and all its wonders.

So I am not surprised at proposals to push development back from the shoreline. The real surprise is that we are allowing any more shoreline development at all.

Our resources are finite: water, forest, soils. If we can’t understand finite living on an island perhaps all hope is lost.

Tightening CAO regulations is not governmental regulatory overreach. It is responsible attention to population growth, consequent demands on the environment, and subsequent degradation. This restoration of the natural world isn’t mere environmentalism. It is another chapter in the civil rights movement seeking to guarantee greater protections for the community of life forms with which we share this planet and with whom our lives and histories are intricately interwoven and interdependent. We are related to everything that surrounds us and share a common ancestry whether biological, chemical or molecular. We have no more rights than any other living thing on this planet. We’ve just assigned ourselves more.

Charles Carver


A letter of apology

My name is John W. Weindl, former island resident of 23 years, and high school graduate of Orcas High, class of 1986.

I am writing this letter as a means of apologizing for unknown offenses and possibly educating some.

I last resided on Orcas from 1997-1998. While there I am quite certain that I offended and hurt some who I have always held dear to my heart. And I have been living with this guilt for way too long. For anything that I did, for anything that I said, I am very sorry. Please accept my apology.

That being said, you all should know that there were internal influences that directly affected my sometimes erratic and inappropriate behavior. I am bi-polar, first diagnosed in 1990.

I am not using this as an excuse. It was I, for my own un-humble reasons, who stopped taking my medications. I was not stable because of this unfortunate decision. I hope that this better explains my behavior.

I miss you all very much, and hope and pray that when we see each other again that you may consider greeting me with a smile and not a frown.

John W. Weindl

West Seattle

Library Fair a success

The Library Fair proves that Orcas Islanders won’t let a global recession put them off.

The success of the 2009 Library Fair can be credited to a whole lot of people – thousands really. If you think that is an exaggeration, then consider the following. There were approximately 100 volunteers responsible for organizing and running the fair. Nearly 100 local businesses and nonprofit organizations promoting their product and causes who where supported by, in most cases, multiple participants. The book sale is always an impressive sight with several hundred people at any given moment during the fair crowded into the book sales area. For every book sale customer there was a book sale donor. The Art Sale had well over 100 donations and hundreds of generous bidders. I am always perplexed as to how to thank all those involved because it seems you just cannot know the full extent of the supporters for the Library Fair. Let me just say: well done to all who made this year’s fair possible.

James Lobdell

Fair Chairman

Thanks for library art auction contributions

We wish to express our thanks to everyone who contributed to the Library Art Auction. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community in their wonderful donations to this year’s fund raiser. We received 140 items.

The volunteers were fabulous. They were there to receive and catalog the work, and to display the artwork at the library and at the Library Fair. Jackie Kempfer, Sue Watkin, and Lynn Richards all took leadership jobs. At the fair, volunteers were there from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thank you, Heidi Lindberg, Susan Mustard, Robbie Gelnaw, Jan Corbett, Carol Gill, Andrea Hendrick, Georgia Barnes, and Rich LaValle for all your help at the auction. Bruce Lamb, Bill Hagen and James Lodbell helped with the set up. Thank you to Josie Barrow and Ann Jones who lent their display racks; to Sally Hodson for keeping everyone informed; to Joe Floren, proofreader; and to the library staff, who daily assisted with the intake of artwork. Thank you all for your help and friendship.

To those who purchased the beautiful artwork: thank you and enjoy. Every time you look at the art, think of the Orcas Library.

In the true spirit of Orcas Island, this event was a big success, earning more than $4,500.

Glenna Richards and Suzanne Lamb


Library Art Auction

Civil conversation

After the Library Fair I walked across the street to the “Proud to be Republicans” booth. My eye caught an anti-tax sign, and before I knew it – while my wife wisely moved on – I was explaining to the men in the booth why I, for one, disagreed with their position. The response I received from the person I spoke to was thoughtful and moderate. Our conversation was brief and civil. We both spoke, and we both listened. The result, for me, is a clearer understanding of a political idea that had been a puzzle to me for years. I continue to disagree; but now I see more clearly how, and why, others in our community believe what they do. This letter is a thank you to the fellow I spoke with – as well as a statement for civil discourse with those with whom we disagree. We actually live on a fairly small island; increasingly, the problems of our country seem to be spilling over onto all of us in ways that argue for the same thoughtful behavior that’s required on a small island.

David Kobrin


Fixing health care now

More and more often these days we see Sounder articles about our friends and neighbors who are in dire straits because they are ill and don’t have insurance or have inadequate coverage. Orcas is a generous community, but before long, health care catastrophe fund-raising for residents will be a continuous process – expensive and ultimately ineffective.

That just doesn’t make sense, and as other countries around the world have shown, it doesn’t need to be that way. Our current health care system is broken and must be changed now, while we have a president in the White House who wants to make it happen.

Groups opposed to universal health care, some protecting their profits and others just confused about where their self-interest lies are doing everything they can to defeat the current initiative in Congress. We must not stand quietly by and let them run over us, our children, and our neighbors.

Write our senators and representatives today and let them know that you believe health care should be available to all Americans and effective instead of disastrously expensive.

You may feel secure with your coverage today, but this could change for any one of us in a minute and you too could find yourself holding a bake sale to pay for medical treatment to stay alive.

Let’s fix it – now.

Contact information: White House: www.whitehouse.gov, 202-456-1414. Senator Cantwell: www.cantwell.senate.gov, 202-224-3441. Senator Murray: www.murray.senate.gov, 202-224-2621. Congressman Larsen: www.house.gov/larsen, 202-225-2605.

Yvonne and John Ashenhurst

Crane Island

Thanks for Storyfest support

Two weeks ago we thanked some residents, restaurants and business owners for their generosity and support of the 3rd Annual Orcas Storyfest, but there are more!

We held a welcome potluck and ended with a thank you/farewell potluck, and each time so many neighbors and friends brought delicious food and shared their enthusiasm for the festival.

We want to add to our thank you list of donors: the Maple Rock Farm, La Campesina Project, Orcas Farm, Morning Star Farm, Portofino Pizza, Enzo’s Crepes, The Market in Anacortes, Velma Doty, Marlea Starwater, Molly Bee, Sharon Abreu, Owl, Lennon and Oliver Aldort, The Sounder, Orcas Issues, and the Orcas Historical Museum (Jim Clark).

Thank you again Orcas Island for the warm welcome our storytellers were given. We are so happy to be part of this community. The Third Orcas Storyfest is over and the stories linger on. For those who attended any of our seven events, thank you for being a part of our celebration of stories!

Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo


Incident with police officer

Having returned home from my vacation on Orcas Island, I feel that I have to report an incident that occurred with a San Juan County Sheriff’s deputy. A similar incident was described by Mary Telford Gibson in the Aug. 5 edition of your newspaper.

On Aug. 4, I was driving from North Beach to Eastsound when I was pulled over by a Sheriff’s department unmarked patrol car. I wasn’t paying attention to how fast I was going down the steep hill by the airport. A deputy around 50 years old, about six feet tall, with a receding hairline, a mustache and glasses came to my window. He appeared to be enraged and threatened that he could have me arrested for reckless driving. I was frightened by his demeanor and apologized again and again. I was very intimidated by his aggressive manner. He claimed I had been speeding, although he did not have a radar reading to back up his assertion. He was belittling and brought me close to tears. He asked me how much longer I was going to be on the island. I told him I was leaving in a few days. In a frightening tone he told me that he didn’t want to see me around town again. I was very upset and spent my final days on Orcas worried that I would see this deputy again.

This kind of behavior is unacceptable for a person in law enforcement. In my mind, there are three possible reasons for this kind of bullying behavior. This deputy is either ill-suited for this line of work; he’s not been properly trained; or there is a dark culture at the Sheriff’s department that encourages this kind of abusive behavior. It needs to stop.

Sarma Dindzans

New Jersey