Letters?to the?editor

Vitriolic statements demean process

There were two letters concerning the upcoming election for our Superior Court Judge in the July 9th issue of the Sounder. One which commented favorably about our Prosecutor Randy Gaylord, the other was a mean-spirited attack on our Superior Court Judge John Linde. The former is the appropriate way citizens should express their opinion and support for any candidate running for elected office. The latter was nothing but character assassination and an attempt to interject partisanship in a non-partisan election.

Vitriolic political statements are disheartening. Such accusations and comments are why voters become disillusioned about politics and citizen candidates ponder the personal price of running for office. I expected better from the voters of San Juan County. The mudslinging typical of state and national politics not only fails to inform, it demeans our democratic process and, in my opinion, has no place in our local contests.

As to the “mistake” made by our governor, she interviewed both candidates, sought advice from members of the judiciary, legal profession, and local citizens. She looked into the qualifications of both men, and chose John Linde to be our first Superior Court Judge. By choosing the most qualified person Governor Gregoire exercised leadership and judgment, certainly not the usual party politics. How refreshing.

San Olson

Lopez Island

Watch Linde

in action

I reviewed the letter by Bern Shanks with surprise. He is attacking the very process Randy Gaylord was strongly and publicly advocating for last year, while at the same time saying he supports Randy Gaylord in the election for Superior Court Judge. Mr. Gaylord and I both pushed hard and long to support process of the Governor in exercising her constitutional duty to appoint someone to serve as the San Juan Superior Court Judge in 2008, with a follow-up election to occur in the 2008 election cycle (while others lobbied the County Council to ask the Governor to waive her duty to make the appointment). If Mr. Shanks believes in Mr. Gaylord’s judgment as a Judge, why not support his judgment about the judicial selection process?

Voters are now in a good position to ratify or reject Governor Gregoire’s appointment made in a careful selection process in which she determined that John Linde was the superior candidate available in the appointment process. He served as the regular pro-tem Superior Court Judge for San Juan County in 2007, allowing the public, the attorneys, and the Governor the opportunity to evaluate his impartiality, fairness, judicial temperament and technical judicial skills. He had served as the District Court Judge here for over 20 years, leaving a record open to review as well. Now he has been our Superior Court Judge since Jan. 1, 2008.

There is no “hidden agenda” or “dynasty” at play. John Linde’s service as our pro-tem Judge last year was by the appointment of our then Judges, Vickie Churchill and Alan Hancock. If they believe they made the right choice for the pro-tem appointment, they should publicly endorse Judge Linde for this election, in the County they served with distinction for so many years.

If any voter has any questions about whether Judge Linde should continue to serve the people of San Juan County, come to Superior Court on a Friday morning, the most complicated calendar of the week, watch the action, and make an informed decision.

John Wickham

Friday Harbor

Fralick brings energy and


Richard Fralick is the right choice for County Council, District 4, Orcas West. We have known Richard for 27 years and know him to be a man of intelligence and integrity. We have admired his commitment to our community through the years.

His outstanding educational and business background served him well while serving on the School Board, Orcas Medical Center as well as numerous other boards through the years. He brings energy and unflagging dedication along with fairness and common sense which eminently qualifies him for County Council.

We are fortunate to have a man of his caliber representing us and we wholeheartedly endorse Richard Fralick and hope you will too.

Liz and Frank Bret

West Sound

After 54 years, he’s for Gaylord

This letter is in support of Randy Gaylord for San Juan County Superior Court Judge. My recommendation is based on the following:

I spent over 54 years as a practicing lawyer in Washington. This experience includes extensive civil and criminal trial and appellate practice in state and federal court, almost all counties in Washington, as well as Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. I also had much pro tem judicial practice, and served four years as U.S. Magistrate in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle. I have litigated with both Superior Court candidates.

I have been before judges of all kind, size, type, and ability. I believe I know the qualities that a good judge must have. Based on the foregoing, I support and recommend Mr. Gaylord.


Alan L. Froelich

Friday Harbor

Vote for Ranker in primary

Kevin Ranker is a leading candidate for the seat of retiring State Senator Harriet Spanel. This offers the residents of San Juan County an opportunity to have an advocate in Olympia who is intimately acquainted with our needs. Such an opportunity may not return for decades.

Protecting the environment, strengthening the local economy, acquiring more funding for education, and finding permanent solutions for the problems with the ferry system are all high priority items for Kevin.

As councilperson he has already spent considerable time in our state’s capital working in our behalf. The contacts and experience he has gained will prove invaluable when he serves as Senator.

A large primary turnout in our county is crucial to Kevin’s campaign. Therefore, when you receive your ballot in the near future, be sure to vote and mail it in. We need him representing our interests in Olympia. (To learn more about Kevin’s campaign, go to www.kevinranker.com.)

Mac Langford

Lopez Island

Linde maintains highest standards

The contested August 19 primary election for superior court judge is an issue of vital public importance. I fully support Judge John Linde and urge everyone to vote for him.

I had the privilege of serving as a superior court judge for San Juan County for 19 years. It was a great honor and one of the best experiences of my life. I care deeply about San Juan County, its people, and its environment. Though my wife Elizabeth and I live on Whidbey Island, we recently built a small home on San Juan Island and love spending time there.

Naturally, I have a strong interest in who my successor will be. I was delighted when Governor Gregoire appointed Judge Linde as the new superior court judge for San Juan County. Judge Linde appeared before me many times as an attorney and tried numerous cases. He was an excellent attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of the rules of evidence and the law generally. He practiced effectively in all areas of the law, representing people from all walks of life and many different points of view. Win, lose, or draw, Judge Linde always acted professionally and courteously. He maintains the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

In his 21 years as San Juan County District Court Judge, and in his service as Superior Court Judge since January 1, Judge Linde has proven his ability to fairly and impartially consider all sides of an issue. He will maintain the independence of the judiciary, a principle essential to our system of government. He has a wealth of legal knowledge and experience, a steady judicial temperament, high intelligence, and all of the intangible qualities necessary to be an excellent judge. He has already gained a reputation in the legal community for his thoughtful and impartial decision-making as a superior court judge.

Judge Linde is a man of integrity and an outstanding judge and public servant. I urge you to vote for him in the primary election, which will decide this race.

Alan R. Hancock

Island County Superior Court Judge


Gaylord’s judgment excellent

I am voting for Randy Gaylord for three simple reasons. He makes decisions based on justice and equality. He approaches any endeavor with excellence. And he treats people fairly with compassion. I have seen these characteristics in Randy for the last 30 years since I have known him.

Randy doesn’t sacrifice justice for his personal agenda. He does what is right. During his tenure as prosecutor, I have observed how he has made decisions based on the law and not what may be popular to a certain group of people. This is a trait that I especially want in a judge.

Attention to detail and a zeal for approaching his profession with a perfectionist’s energy is how Randy works. He spends countless personal hours working on his cases. Each case is approached with the same vigor and care as the next. No stone is left unturned. You can see this in the time and commitment he has demonstrated for the citizens of San Juan County as our Prosecutor.

Randy’s greatest strength is his care and compassion for people; he genuinely cares about the wellbeing of others. I was once on a ski trip with Randy. He was in a car about five minutes ahead of ours. He encountered a serious car accident and immediately stopped, rolled up his sleeves and began administering first aid. Another time, two winters ago, after a heavy snowfall that fell many trees, Randy was out with his chainsaw clearing the driveways of his neighbors. These events did not occur during election years; they were times when people needed help.

I want a superior court judge that makes decisions based on the law, excellence, and compassion. That is why I am voting for Randy Gaylord.

Kevin and Nancy O’Brien


Richard Fralick for Council

It is important for us to be represented on the County Council by individuals who are flexible, able to learn and adapt to new opportunities and situations as they move along, and able to find ways to get things accomplished as situations change and progress. Richard Fralick is such an individual.

When Richard completed Graduate School with a Ph.D. in Physics, he turned to the commercial sector for employment. On day one of the new job, Richard’s boss noted his use of computer resources in his research work and suggested that Richard could be the corporate computer guru. While his computer usage was a very small piece of managing corporate computer resources, Richard accepted the role, which included understanding a host of challenging needs, new knowledge, and additional skills. He assessed the scope of the assignment, and proceeded to research and learn the technologies and new skills required to succeed.

Going forward he was able to lead the way into new fields of expertise, to work successfully with a range of people to support the organization, provide the technological support and expertise required, and get the job done successfully. We need this same learn and grow as you go ability and performance on the County Council.

Please join me in voting for Richard Fralick for County Council.

Spencer Clark


Toastmasters offers public speaking help

I would like to invite anyone who will be speaking publicly to practice in front of Toastmasters Club, Orcas Speaks. It will give you a chance to become a better public speaker and you may use us as guinea pigs to improve your speech; we welcome it! I remember when I was a 99-pound weakling, unable to dangle any participle with any kind of conviction in front of an audience. You can be that speaker that you always thought was inside of you. Please contact Kyle Hall at kylehall@att.net.

Martin Lund

Orcas Island

Lichter a Friend to the Library

For the past four years as a Trustee of the Orcas Island Public Library I’ve been impressed with County Councilman Alan Lichter’s commitment to the Orcas Library and to the concept of publicly supported, professionally staffed public libraries.

Though busy with a myriad of County responsibilities, Alan has consistently acted to be informed of and understand Orcas Library/community goals – among them transparency in the selection of new trustees and Board decision making, responsible and effective use of tax receipts, and the emerging need for more Library space – and has consistently supported the Search Committee, the Board, and the Director and staff in their community-centered approach to these and other goals.

Speaking for myself as a private citizen (rather than as a Library Board member), I encourage Orcas Islanders who love the Library as I do to support Alan Lichter, a true friend of the Library, in the imminent primary election as well as the general election in November.

John Ashenhurst

Deer Harbor

Kayl an envigorating leader

I am writing to support Mindy Kayl’s candidacy for the San Juan County Council. I have gotten to know Mindy this year as we mounted a mutual effort to resist the exploitation of wetlands in Crow Valley, where we both own farmland.

As we collaborated on that research, she impressed me as a leader with her feet on the ground — well informed about island issues, and also well informed about water resources and land use decision-making. She proved able to make contact with a variety of people in and out of government as we researched our situation, and I found her to be a pragmatic problem-solver.

She strikes me as an excellent communicator, receptive to others’ ideas, but she also knows who she is and will resist efforts to misuse the limited resources of the islands. She has a number of years of experience in civic work and leadership, and a flexible mind that searches for new ways to approach time-worn problems. I think her leadership would be invigorating and very useful on the Council, and I encourage other islanders who may not yet know Mindy to get to know her, and her strong capabilities, as they make their choice!

Kat Taylor

Deer Harbor

Fralick focused and tactful

Richard Fralick is a man who listens attentively, thinks intelligently and acts decisively. I support him happily.

I worked with Richard when he chaired the successful Vote Yes for Home Rule Committee. His focus on the issues and tactful leadership brought a diverse group of volunteers together and produced a successful campaign. During stressful times he remained cool and productive, defusing the problems with sensible responses and unfailing good humor.

Orcas Island is fortunate to have such a capable person offering time and talent for public service. I believe the people of Orcas West should seriously consider Richard Fralick to represent them on the County Council.

Richard S. Gould, M.D.


Potholes at senior center

I am an 85 year old woman. I have dodged the stones and potholes in the parking lot of the Orcas Senior Center for four years.

I walk up and down Madrona St. for exercise frequently because it is paved. I note that it has been resurfaced.

The Senior Center offers so much to the aging population of Orcas. The county has offices in the building. Let the newly elected officials consider this problem. Am I whining?

Rosemary Kimball


Family supports Linde for judge

Over the course of many years, John Linde served as our family attorney. We could not have been more pleased with the quality of service that he provided. Over all those years, John Linde always demonstrated a thorough and studied knowledge of the law We always felt confident in his legal judgment.

Now Governor Gregoire has appointed John Linde to the position of Superior Court Judge and we are faced with finding a new attorney. I am sure that John Linde’s many clients feel as we do, that an attorney of his excellence is going to be hard to replace. I also expect that his clients recognize, as we do, that there is no better candidate to fill this important legal position of Superior court Judge than John Linde.

While we regret the loss of his excellent legal services to our family, please join us in voting for John Linde for San Juan County Superior Court Judge.

Edward and Phyllis Stone


Lichter votes his values

I support Alan Lichter in the election of an Orcas representative to the County Council. The reasons are simple and straightforward!

Alan is an independent voice, not beholden to any vested interest or special interest group.

He is willing to stand up and be “counted” when it comes to important issues that face our county. He puts his vote where his values are!

He is an enviromentalist. As such, he views the preservation of our beautiful islands’ environment as a top priority. But his vision is not just limited to a narrow local focus. So, it was Alan, who last year introduced a “manifesto” for the county to help us do our part in the global effort to deal with global warming. He, alone of all our current councilors, realizes the importance and relevance of “thinking globally, and acting locally.”

Alan has brought a rational perspective and approach to the county’s problems in complying with the Growth Management Act.

After years and years of expensive law suits and negative posturing, under Alan’s leadership, we are finally able to see resolution ahead!

He is a stalwart advocate in Olympia for those issues that concern our county, especially when it comes to the ferries!

Alan has been a leader on the council, and, at the same time, always welcomes a conversation with any community member.

In short, we can be sure of what Alan stands for – his past four years are proof of that!

Ian Van Gelder