Letters to the editor – March 4 edition

Thank you, readers,

on Dr. Seuss’ birthday

Thanks to all the parents, community members, teachers, and high school students who made “Read Across America” on Monday, March 2, successful for our elementary school.

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday and he is honored annually by the National Education Associations by making it a day to read with a child!

Everyone was reading and celebrating how reading can bring so much fun to your day. Our readers modeled to children the lifelong pleasure of reading. It is so much fun to see the interest and enthusiasm displayed! If you haven’t read to a child lately pick up a book and enjoy! Let’s continue everyday to read with kids and have them you read to them. Once again, thank you!

Susan Stolmeier

Reading Specialist, Orcas Island Elementary

Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for library expansion

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. When I saw the story about a library expansion being already paid for I got a strange feeling.

Then I read it. They need to raise taxes by almost a third to pay for this free gift.

So, let me get this straight: some wealthy people donate money to the library, take a deduction and lower their taxes, while everyone else’s taxes go up. Is that how it works? Nice!

Hey, wealthy people, why not step up and really fund this thing? Donate enough to cover the maintenance and operations too. At least for the next 10 years or so that this economic trouble is probably going to last.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate you wealthy people, so don’t cheap out on us now – go all the way and make this happen without raising our taxes. I know you can do it if you really want to.

Chris Butler


Thank you for your

support of family

Thank you to the residents of Orcas Island.

Words can’t express how grateful and touched my mother and I were by the outpouring of support and concern after my dad’s passing on January 23 and my uncle’s car accident a few days later.

Many thanks go out to the emergency services personnel, members of the American Legion, staff of the Senior Center, the friends and neighbors who offered their time and assistance, and the many volunteers who helped with the community gathering following the graveside services for my dad. Everyone helped make those first few weeks a little easier in what was otherwise a very difficult and overwhelming time for us.

This proves that the spirit and generosity of a small community is alive and well, and how a community can rally around its residents – even former residents like myself – in difficult times.

Lyn Englehartson

Gig Harbor, Wash.

Memories of the best Christmas gift ever

As the eldest sibling of a rather large family, my most cherished Christmas gift is a small hand-embroidered pillow from my mother that simply says, “You’ll always be my favorite – love, Mom.” Each of her 12 children received the same gift that Christmas.

Mike Stolmeier

Orcas Island

Can we change

‘ferries built only in Washington’ law?

Was the stipulation that “Washington Ferries be built in Washington” etched on the stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai, or is it possible for our fine legislature to pass a modification or temporary suspension of that law?

I have this image of standing in some Taj Mahal of a ferry terminal built with the $60 million of federal stimulus money while watching an 80-year-old rust bucket of a ferry sinking before it can make it back to the landing.

Steve Garrison


Buy local – or say good bye to locals

This past year has seen many changes to our local economy and many of our local people have had to go elsewhere to seek employment.

The Orcas economy will not support them.

Yet I cannot help but wonder how many local people would have found jobs on Orcas if only more of the local business owners would actually do their own purchasing through local businesses?

How many choose off island contractors to build their homes? Or hire contractors who bring labor from off island?

How many see Costco or Safeway as their only grocery option? Home Depot for their home needs? What, you say?

There are business owners on Orcas who don’t shop locally? Say it isn’t so! Perhaps when they have to lay off their last employee, they will realize: they should have bought locally!

Kim McAdams

Orcas Island

Lambiel Museum fighting county over sign

In the 45 years I have lived on Orcas Island I have never written a letter to the editor. But now people have encouraged me to write this letter in order to explain the problem the County Planning Dept. is giving me. Because one person has complained about my sign by the side of the road, a person who does not even live near me, so far it has cost me over $10,000 in fines, fees, and lawyer bills. (Money I rather would have used to buy locally produced art.) The Planning Dept. has decreed that my sign is a “public safety hazard” and has had the Prosecuting Attorney threaten me with a fine of $1,000 a day and/or six months in jail. All this about a sign that is a work of art and has been in place for almost three years without incident.

The Lambiel Museum – my personal collection of the visual arts created by San Juan Islands artists – has been open to the public for guided tours every day by appointment for the past 17 years. Sometimes people don’t know what to expect when they come here, but they always like it when they see it. It has taken me 40 years to collect this art from 268 different artists, which spans the period from 1915 to the present.

If you feel that what I am doing is an asset to the community, please make your voice of support heard to county political officials so that this issue can be resolved using reason and common sense.

Leo Lambiel