on the mobile phone. Bill Hume was on duty and advised that a Washington State ferry can wait only in a medical emergency. We hurried as much as road conditions allowed.

When we arrived at the Orcas dock, the ferry had just arrived. While Bill loaded other vehicles, he motioned for us to go into his office, where we needed to sign a piece of paper and pay a small fee, then hurry back to our car and drive on board. By that time, it was five minutes past the scheduled sailing time. As soon as we were on board, the ferry undocked and was on her way west. It was really nip and tuck!

We don’t know what magic words Bill Hume spoke to get the captain to wait for us, and we don’t know the captain’s name so we could thank him personally for his magnificent act of compassion, allowing us to be late and still load.

Thank you captain! Thank you Bill Hume! We do so appreciate your assistance on the snowy day. Thank you Gary for the tow and Marcus for the moral support and encouragement. Thanks to all of you, we made it to our flight in Sydney on time, and the family in Calgary joins us in our expression of appreciation for Washington State Ferries.

A happy New Year to you all!

Rolf and Ruth Nedelmann


Thanks for making wreath sale a success

All of us at Orcas Montessori Pre-School would like to start 2009 by giving thanks. Thanks to everyone for their support in making our 14th Annual Holiday Wreath Sale a huge success. We greatly enjoy the opportunity to help provide your holiday decoration and gift needs. The island looked beautifully festive!

Special thanks to Island Hardware for their help in getting the wreaths on island, to Orcas Village Store and Deer Harbor Marina for serving as our retail locations, and to Aeronautical Services for their help in providing smooth and efficient wreath shipments. Many thanks also go to our many parents who donated their valuable time and resources to make the wreath sale possible. The funds raised are vital to our annual school program.

Thanks again – we couldn’t do it without you and look forward to doing it again next year. In the meantime, save the date for Saturday, March 14, 2009. Orcas Montessori will be asking you to “go green” at our St Patrick’s Auction. More details to come.

Cathy Faulkner

OMS Board Member

Wreath Lady

DVSAS story was misleading

How disappointing to see our local paper sensationalize a tragedy like domestic violence (Dec. 31, pg. A3).

To headline a national statistic (rather than local), to focus on the negativity of victimization (rather than the healthy behaviors, circumstances and mindsets that can prevent it), and to intimate that violence is only “perpetrated” by men is misleading and/or inaccurate journalism, regrettably beneath our standards. As the article says, “Verbal abuse can often lead to physical abuse.”

We all need to take responsibility — the abusers, the abused, and those who do nothing. Until we cease our victim mentality, we maintain the phenomenon of victimhood.

Don’t get me wrong — I recognize the need for people in crisis situations to receive intervention and support. When someone does not know where else to turn, having a hotline, emergency assistance, and advocacy group can be invaluable, sometimes even life-saving. But I caution against absolutist thinking.

If a person feels the need to exert “power and control” over another (what the executive director of DVSAS identifies as “the main cause of domestic violence”), that person’s need is likely the tragic result of their feeling powerless and out of control. Instead of shunning and branding them with labels like “terrorist,” let’s find ways to help them not feel so desperate. The DVSAS might make a bigger “difference in the lives of victims and potential victims” by finding ways to give hope, by offering understanding, support and compassion to those they have labeled “the perpetrators.”

Years ago, my friend Gail Brooks (who lived and died a supporter of the DVSAS) and I considered the question, “Might there possibly be a subliminal message in the title Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Services that unfortunately intimates the exact opposite from its intention?“

Let’s consider what “services” we wish to provide and be sure that is the true focus. Rather than fighting violence with a Coalition Against Sexual Assault, let’s declare what we are for and support a Coalition for Peace, Respect, and Compassion.

Suzan Chamberlayne