Letters?to the?editor

Assistance appreciated

Many, many thanks for all who helped me when I had that awful accident at Island Market on April 7 at 12:30 p.m. Sorry for the inconvenience to everyone and I really appreciate all of the assistance.


The following letter was sent to San Juan County Council Members.

I was very sorry to see that you voted against further investigating whether the Aquatic Reserve designation would be of benefit to San Juan County. I thought the MRC’s decision to slow down but not totally abandon the process and proceed with gaining the trust and cooperation of the those whose living and quality of life depend on our marine environment was a positive one with little risk to the County and its citizenry.

It seems to me that a largely uninformed, angry, outspoken minority got their way.

Bob, I applaud your courage to be willing to go forward and wish that courage was shared by your fellow Council Members.


Though we do not yet have a home on our property, we eagerly look forward to receiving our Sounder each week in Maryland and read it online. Kudos to everyone who did such a great job with the April Fool’s issue. It was brilliant and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We were in Eastsound the weekend of the 3rd and wanted to stop by and thank everyone in person but simply ran out of time. This will have to do.

I would like to publicly commend Washington Water Service, the new water purveyor in Rosario for its customer service. After eight years of broken promises from Rosario Utilities, I was at the absolute end of my patience. In October 2007, I paid for a water connection and meter. And after paying $21 a month for five months and still no water, I decided to seek legal redress.

I phoned Washington Water Service to get the address for service of my civil complaint, when I was calmed by a person in the service department as well as others. I recited the facts and explained about the unreasonable obstruction preventing my connection. The upshot of all of this was that within three working days of my inquiry, the obstacle was removed and my meter was installed cheerfully.

Unfortunately, a great deal of suspicion and animosity has been created in the area by the former owners and the operator of Rosario Utilities. If my experience with the new owners is an example, I think that Rosario folks may be finally relieved of that unnecessary unpleasantness.

The following letter was sent to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and to Representative Rick Larsen.

It is obvious that Homeland Security’s recent aggressive pursuit of undocumented workers is creating havoc in our community. It is destroying businesses and creating an atmosphere of fear and anguish. Immigration laws applied under the guise of Homeland Security are a fear-driven distortion of our basic ethic of fairness, justice and humanity. These undocumented workers pose no threat to our security whatsoever. They came to the U.S.A. to get jobs to improve their lives. There is and was a great need for them to fill jobs too menial or arduous for existing citizens. In so doing they have become a vital part of our community and economy. They deserve to be treated with respect, and indeed with gratitude rather than as criminals whose only sin is to cross the border to work without papers in an election year. In essence they are the latest victims of the 9/11 scare.

The large population of undocumented immigrants now in the U.S. reflects the labor needs of an expanding economy. For many years the requirements for citizenship were impractically difficult and border enforcement correspondingly lax. The natural result has been a large population of undocumented workers filling our labor requirements. The majority are hard working, honest and responsible yet forced underground by their inability to gain citizenship. To classify these workers as a security risk and to seize and deport them is a foolish miscarriage of justice and detrimental to our own welfare. Even worse is the inequitable application of these laws. Washington State has a fraction of the undocumented workers California has. To deport them all is not only unwise and inhuman but impossible. It reminds one of the mind set that produced the misguided internment of Japanese at the beginning of World War II. The Homeland Security Agency should confine its activities to protecting our borders and not trying to solve the undocumented worker problem which has been growing for years.

The purpose of this letter is to request that you introduce a bill in Congress to modify immigration laws to create a path by which undocumented aliens who have been working in the United States may earn U.S. citizenship. I suggest a program of temporary selective amnesty, the requirements of which could be:

1. They must register for this program with U.S. Immigration.

2. They must have been working in the U.S. for at least 5 years.

3. They must be sponsored by their employer who has the greatest stake in his employee’s success and who will act as a guarantor for a test period of 10 years and may be required to post a “good behavior” bond for this period in case the worker engages in any illegal activities and must be deported. At the end of the period the employee could apply for full citizenship. Details should be worked out by the immigration department, the enforcing agency.

These suggestions assume that the employer, who has the most to gain and is in the best position to judge his employee’s integrity and value, would be willing to take on the added responsibility of acting as his guarantor. In turn it assumes that the employee will take advantage of the opportunity by becoming an exemplary citizen and employee during his 10-year test period.

I realize that this is a complex issue. Our state as well as the entire country is suffering from losing valuable employees and, in many cases, critical employees. While this proposal is a temporary measure aimed at saving businesses, it may lead to a more permanent solution. It seems that the only legal and compassionate solution lies in Congress taking immediate action. There are thousands of souls in limbo. Please reply, any comments would be welcomed.


To the Fire Department:

Regarding your purchase of Station 22:

I got your offer. Here is my offer. Let’s go to the Bank and I will get you $100,000 for your lease agreement. You pick up your toys and purchase land at a place where you’re welcome. Don’t be surprised if I use that land as a tax donation just to get the 10-year option possible out of the way.

That is what you should talk about April 29th and May 13th

Buddhist teachers of materialistic desires – gifts of the Universe, treasures unanticipated – waste not want not retrieved from the debris of a society rich in too much of a good thing.

Person gift in this moment of balance, repayment, redistribution of wealth, non-demanding, non-judgemental, these Buddha Being offerings, giving new life to old stuff, flow returns to community, children, care centers.

Much gratitude for this Exchange!

The Exchange not only reduces our island waste stream, returning usable items to the community, but also donates money to community groups. A role model of an alternative approach to consumerism with a conscience.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Islands Sounder readers that the Orcas Island Historical Society and Museum at all times operates in accordance to the most current national guidelines and professional standards for museums. We are grateful to our donors and proud of their participation in constructing a state of the art collections storage and research facility. We are proud as well of their generosity toward preparations for restoring the six historic log cabins that make up our community history exhibit galleries. We are proud of those who stepped forward with donations to increase scientific knowledge about the Bison antiquus finds on Orcas Island, and grateful to those who with their renewing memberships support the mission of the Historical Society: to “educate, inspire and connect our community in joint stewardship of our unique island history” – work we have been doing since 1951.

Madrona Murphy’s letter to the Sounder clearly states her passion and zeal for the protection of the island’s peat bogs, but her false accusations against one of Orcas Island’s oldest non-profit institutions – and the people who support it – are inappropriate. The Bison antiquus skull was donated by the owner under a legal Deed of Gift, with documentation of proper County-issued permits and environmental reports. The Bison has since captured the attention and imagination of scientists fascinated with the idea of an early human presence on Orcas Island, far earlier than anyone had previously imagined.