Letters | Nov. 18 edition

Support all kids from all schools

I am writing in support of the letter written by Melissa Lowry in the Nov. 4 paper. I feel the words are long overdue. I, too, continue to support all programs with all schools, including our day care and preschools. This includes all the fundraising for the education foundation along with each and every table set up outside of the market. I take pride in helping the youth of this community to see and accomplish their visions as a team.

I don’t complain that my taxes are not disbursed to the education facility of my choice and continue to vote in the direction of our youth as a whole. So yes, I strongly support the public system even though we don’t have children attending.

Each year we graduate young men and women from various schools – not one school. These individuals have grown up together in this supportive community, under our watch. They have played together, prayed together, fundraised, competed in sports, and at some time or another been educated together. Yet this community targets the scholarships mostly for the public school graduates. And the senior class chooses whether to invite the other graduating members of the community in the Baccalaureate and senior party. Wow, I thought both of those events were in celebration for our community graduates. This needs to be fixed!

Vicki Sare

Orcas Island

Orcas Rec benefit dinner a big success

We had 103 people brave the blustery cold night on Thursday, Nov. 5 and come to LuLu’s to support the Orcas Rec Program. Guests enjoyed delicious food and great conversation throughout the night. There were many wonderful auction items to bid on, including massages, swimming lessons, gift baskets, pottery, and much more. We even had some amazing desserts up for auction!

Thank you to all who donated items and desserts to auction off to help raise money for this wonderful program.

Thank you to the Key Club members and other high school students that helped out as servers and dishwashers that night. And last, but not least, a huge thank you goes out to Dave Nesse for donating his location, time, and his remarkable talent to Orcas Recreation for the evening.

We raised just more than $3,500 from this event! Proceeds from the evening will go to Orcas Rec to help fund programs for kids and adults for the year of 2009. Thank you to all that came to the event, we appreciate your support and hope to see you next year.

Linda Sheridan

Orcas Rec Coordinator

Election raises questions

The election is over and we have to live with the results. However, some questions remain:

1. Why does a hamlet of 800 people need a fire station that costs one million dollars? When response time is four minutes, why would it need a summer ER?

2. Can employees of a county institution legally campaign by mail and advertisement for their supervisors?

3. Can a contract to build a million dollar building legally be awarded to a close relative of a county official commissioning the building?

Mary Gibson Hatten


Thank you from County Council

The San Juan County Council would like to express its appreciation to the voters of San Juan County for their generous support by approving the San Juan County tax levy lift in the Nov. 3 election.

Our citizens demonstrated their commitment to preserve our quality of county services in our islands’ community. Likewise, the council is renewing its commitment to fiscal restraint and budget sustainability.

Our sincere thanks to all who assured the passage of the lid lift.

County Council Members

Thanks for voting yes for rec district

We appreciate your vote of approval for the formation of a Park and Recreation District and the selection of the commissioners. We will listen to the community carefully and make a promise of a process that is thorough, thoughtful, and transparent. It is our intention to fully involve you in the creation of a plan worthy of your support.

Thank you!

Orcas Park and Rec Commissioners

Senior Center still needs your support

As Orcas Islanders are receiving the appeal letter from the Orcas Senior Advisory Committee this week, your reaction might be: We just voted affirmatively on Proposition 1, which included $211,000 for Senior Services of San Juan County and by extension, Orcas Island. Yes, you voted for the county to fund the social services on Orcas, the key word being service, and the committee is very happy and thankful for that.

However, the Orcas Senior Advisory Committee, a non-profit corporation, supports the facility in which the programs funded by the county are operated. The Senior Center is the place where seniors meet for lunch, are treated to footcare, attend classes, and receive information on medicare, medicaid, etc. The Advisory Committee is responsible to keep the lights on and the heat, and to have the place look nice. And it is for this reason that the committee has sent the letters. It is as though the Proposition 1 funds represent the bones, or the skeleton, but the Advisory Committee represents the muscles, of which the most important one is the heart. And with that thought, we hope you find is in your heart to send a donation to the Senior Center. That donation would be the skin, so necessary to cover this model.

Magdalena Verhasselt

Senior Advisory Committee

Larsen should have voted “no”

I am very angry that you voted for HR3962. I would remind you, the 10th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits Congress from passing this kind of legislation, but you did it anyway, violating your oath of office…again.

You “claim” to represent us, yet you vote yes on a bill that you couldn’t possibly have read! How can you vote yes on anything that you’re not completely aware of and claim to represent anyone other than your own self interest?

You cannot possibly know or understand what you passed, but we the people will be responsible for all 2,000 pages of it. Because of your irresponsibility, I may soon be forced to pay for and submit to a monstrous scheme I do not want.

Please be clear about this – legislation like this is based on force. Citizens can be threatened with violence by policemen, bureaucrats, and tax collectors if they refuse to pay for or comply with your grand designs for re-engineering their life.

This complex piece of legislation will entangle our health care in ever-expanding nets of government control, pave the way for a complete government take-over of health care, bankrupt businesses, foster unemployment, and increase taxes either directly or indirectly, despite promises to the contrary!

If you really worked for me, instead of for special interests and the Congressional leadership, I would fire you immediately for gross incompetence. As it is, I must wish you the worst of luck in your next election.

Redeem yourself by voting no when this Ponzi scheme comes back for a final vote.

Monte Cook

Lopez Island

Thank you for supporting food bank

We are writing to express our gratitude to the Orcas Island Community for their faithful support of our local food bank operations. All summer long, we received an abundance of fresh local produce, both from the commercial farmers who are on the green at Saturday market, as well as all the talented home gardeners who kept our shelves overflowing with healthy, organic fruits and vegetables. To you all, we say, “well done.”

To all of you who donate in food bank collection boxes, whether at the senior center, your schools, your clubs or your own pantry, to you we also extend our humble thanks for your continuing generosity, all the more poignant because we know that it has been a difficult season for everybody.

Thank you to the churches, for the warm and inviting space for distribution, and the hospitality shown to our clients by your members, and for your continued commitment to the important service provided by the local food bank. We appreciate you.

From Senior Center collections to the delicious pies recently baked by the first graders, you are an amazing community and we thank you. Your caring and commitment is helping to bridge the hunger gap on our island, and we couldn’t do it without you! Keep up the good work.

If you need information, food, or want to donate, please contact the Food Bank at 376-2671 or PO Box 424, Eastsound, WA 98245.

Volunteers and Board Members

Orcas Island Food Bank

Thanks to United Way

All of us at Orcas Family Health Center (OFHC) would like to say thank you to United Way of San Juan County for making the Free Well Child Clinic Program possible in 2009. We were again able to provide access to healthcare for children who would have otherwise gone without – this year for twice as many children! During the Well Child Clinics in 2009, we provided opportunities for parents and children to have access to routine physicals and immunizations for their children when they were needed. Sixteen children received free assessment for potential health problems before they became more serious. Height and weight calculations were made to assess nutrition. Vision screenings were done to evaluate how well the children were participating in learning to read. And vaccinations were given when needed to make sure the children were fully immunized against disease. Ten immunizations were administered to children who don’t have health insurance coverage. The sum of the normal fees that we would have charged for these services is $2,847. Without the free Well Child Clinics made available through our United Way funding this would have otherwise been a direct cost to the patients and their parents.

The mission of OFHC is to provide access to quality healthcare to all residents of and visitors to Orcas Island regardless of insurance or ability to pay. This is consistent with the funding priorities of United Way of San Juan County.

Our goals for 2010 are to increase the number of children served with this program and to provide funds for dental care that will otherwise not be provided. This program will not be possible without the valuable support from United Way of San Juan County.

Please consider donating to the United Way. Their fundraising campaign is currently underway. Every contribution, large or small, supports many programs in the county that are vital to the health and well-being of our community.

David C. Shinstrom, M.D.

Phoebe Hershenow, FNP

the staff of OFHC

A concert to remember

Jon (“Jackie”) Kimura Parker’s Leaves of Gold solo piano performance on Wednesday, Nov. 11 was a privilege to hear. Those of us who came together to support this benefit concert for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival are describing our experience as “once in a lifetime.”

Thank you, Jackie. Our wish is for you to hear our community of voices in “Bravo!” response. As Jackie and OICMF’s artistic director Aloysia Friedmann talk about the evening it is clear that they, too, felt the singular nature of the benefit concert event. Funds from the evening will contribute to the summer Festival’s artists’ fees and IM: In Music, education in our island schools. A caring and powerful volunteer work force, with the guidance of event coordinator Patty Monaco, provided an elegant and warm welcome during every moment. Leslie Ginnes and John of Patina Design created the setting for a pre-concert Champagne Tribute for Legacy Donors, Main Stage, and Fireside Supper, that glowed from within. The imagery of Wade Campbell’s publications shaped our expectations. Dan Rue donated his tuning of the Steinway for the concert. Anticipation and enjoyment of supper and hors d’oeuvres prepared by Mary Russell, Ron Rebman and crew of Orcas Village Store were key components of the evening’s success. Carpe Diem Auctioneer Tony Lee was in his element. Sam and Cynthia Coleman, Valerie and Bill Anders, String in the Mountains (Steamboat Spring), Monique Mead and Andrés Cárdenes, and the Seattle Chamber Music Society, provided the elements of the Music Adventure Trip” live auction, while jeroboams of Festival ’09 premium wines by Thurston Wolfe provided the opportunity for “Wine Adventures” bidding. Appreciation goes to Islands’ Sounder, Bullwings, Islands Weekly, and the Orcas Chamber of Commerce e-news, and all those who posted notices for advance coverage of our event. Volunteers Mary Poletti, Antoinette Botsford, Gregory Books, Linda Slone, Louise Carnachan, Cindy Andrew, Marilyn Anderson, Margie Doyle, Libby Cook, Leslie Seaman, Grant Stone, Vincent Monaco, Phil Burbo, Artha Kass, Marcy Aschoff, Penny Sharp Sky, Anita Holladay, Debora Nichols, Sarah McCulloch, Bill Patterson of Chimayo, Geddes and Maryanna Martin of Ship Bay, Duffy King, and Heidi Lindberg were absolutely essential. Thank you to all.

Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann

Board President Valerie Anders


Executive Director Victoria Parker

Office Manager Joyce Stone