Letters | Mar. 10 edition

Response to “The sign ordinance is not working”

I would like to express my whole hearted agreement with the letter from Sadie Bailey. I, too, have had the same experience as a regular customer of Mai-lan’s Restaurant at the Odd Fellows. I have passed by thinking about lunch, but without the sign, I find myself way past the turn off and tend to skip the stop rather than turn around. I also know, that, without the sign, her business is significantly hurt.

As a full-time Orcas resident for more than 30 years and part-time for more than 60, I find the ordinance somewhat oppressive. As it has been stated before, signboards were the way we found out about all kinds of community activities and happenings. I never found them offensive. It would seem that the ordinance is made to serve those who do not depend on the local economy to survive.

It does seem ironic that we pay someone to monitor these signs who is paid in part by the very taxes that businesses such as Mai-lan’s generate. Again, I feel the ordinance may be inappropriate and should be reviewed.

Rolf Eriksen


Thank you to the police

I would like to offer our support and thank the San Juan County Sheriff Deputies for their continued commitment to our community’s safety and security.

We all have been affected negatively by the recent burglaries in our small community. As a lifetime island resident, business owner, and father of three, it worries me that as these incidents keep happening, our “defense mode” will rise to a level where we may wake up, shoot, and ask questions later.

It used to be that if you heard a bump in the night you brushed it off as a raccoon or one of the kids going for a drink of water. Now things have changed.

Our police officers have been working hard to catch this thief in our community and bring our island back to a peaceful place to live where we can raise our family safely without worry of someone stealing what we have worked so hard for.

I can only imagine the frustration of all the departments and agencies in the Northwest amd Canada who have put in many long hours and late nights trying to catch this criminal. We need to let our guys know we appreciate their hard work and efforts to bring our security back. Thank you!

Uzek and Stefanie Susol

Orcas Island

We want our safe island back

This morning I walked down my driveway of seven years on Orcas Island, to pick up my “Sounder” newspaper, which I always look forward to each week. I removed the plastic wrapper from the newspaper, opened it up, and my heart took a nose-dive. After looking at the photograph of the “soldiers” walking down our lovely Main Street, it took me back instantly to my visit to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a third world country which I visited a few years ago. The soldiers, or the police, all wore the guns and war-like suits of armor, as did our Whatcom County police in your photo. Walking down the streets of Tijuana, Mexico I saw this same frightening image. I am another California transplant, and I moved up here because I love this place, the natural beauty, the peacefulness, the sense of safety, the rain, and most of all, the friendliness of everyone towards me, and to each other. Colton Harris-Moore, our illustrious serial burglar, has certainly put the fear into our shopowners, and to the rest of us. I can only hope that Mr. Cumming will put his workforce into high gear and catch this young man who is running amuck on our island. Scott Lancaster, owner of Orcas Island Hardware, has been a family friend for many years. My heart goes out to him and his family with the continuous attack on his store by young Colton. And Orcas Home Grown has been hit most of all! Mr. Cumming, please step up your search for this potentially dangerous young man. I cannot help but be a little miffed when I see one of your sheriffs sitting behind a bush waiting for someone’s grandmother to drive by maybe speeding 5 or 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, to give her a ticket, when they could be searching for Colton Harris-Moore. I voted for you last time, so please give us back our safe and beautiful little island. This is not what I “signed up for” when I moved up here from California.”

Caroline Yarnall


Thank you, Exchange

The Orcas Senior Center would like to thank our friends at The Exchange for their wonderful gift of coins. It shows the spirit of our island when one group is willing and able to help another. We are so very fortunate to have The Exchange on Orcas for many reasons, and this is but one. Thank you again for your generosity.

Jane Heisinger

Senior Center Advisory Committee Assistant

Stand up and be counted

The 2010 Census is underway. I urge you to participate as a complete count will benefit our community greatly. Census data is used to allocate state and federal funds. It is estimated that each individual counted may qualify our community for an additional $3,900 in annual support. In 2000, San Juan County was estimated to have one of the lowest compliance rates in the state with 38 percent. Our community cannot afford such a low count this time around.

Additionally, Washington state is slated to gain a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives based on this year’s census data. The census count will determine which district gains that seat. Your participation in the count will have a direct impact on that decision.

Forms are being hand delivered by census enumerators beginning March 2. If you are not home, the forms will be left on your door. If for some reason you do not receive a form, copies will be available at the public library. Please make the effort to complete the census. You count!

Hilary Canty


Kiwanis paper airplane contest is this weekend

I just wanted everyone to be aware that Saturday, March 13, will be the 15th year that Kiwanis is putting on the paper airplane contest. It is for all ages, young and old. It will be held in the high school gym, starting at 1 p.m.

One category you can do at home is the “Most Beautiful Airplane.” Make an airplane at home of any size and shape and using any material you wish. Let your creativity go wild, and bring it to the contest on Saturday. At the contest there will be lots of help to fold as many airplanes as you want.

Please come and join us. Tell your friends. It’s a great afternoon of fun. For more information, call Lynn Richards at 376-4925.

George Garrels

Retired Paper Airplane Chairman

Cell towers may be obsolete in 10 years

There has been much debate over county action regarding cell towers on the island. One part of the discussion I have not heard is in regards to rapidly changing technology. Many of you reading this letter now were just hearing about the emerging technology of cell phones 10 years ago. What will 10 years from now look like?

Just as analog television signals have been replaced with digital. Our love affair with the cell phone will end, being replaced with the latest, hopefully less damaging technology. This is likely to occur in 10 years or less. The county needs to stop thinking with such a reactive, must-grow mentality. If not, we the people will be stuck with the bill, and all those towers!

Christopher Evans