Letters?to the?editor

Superior Court Judicial Race

John Linde

I’m writing this to ask your support for Judge Linde’s candidacy for Superior Court Judge. I’ve known John for many years and in many capacities and consider him the outstanding candidate. While he and I might have differing political views, we align perfectly on non-partisan judicial issues. For example, we both believe that serving and supporting our youth is the key to our society’s betterment.

I outline more deltails for my support below. I ask you to visit John’s website (www.judgelinde.com/index.php) for further information and, in particular, to consider adding your name to his growing endorsement list (www.judgelinde.com/supporters.php). You can conveniently do this on his website at (www.judgelinde.com/youcanhelp.php).

I have know John as: my former wife’s divorce attorney; the judge who presided over several of my son’s legal infractions; the judge who presided over my fishing infraction (I left my fishing license at home! Honest!)

Not a very auspicious start, eh?

These were all very challenging experiences for me but, through the trauma, I saw John’s wisdom of the law and compassion for individuals.

I have since got to John in a variety of other, more pleasant, circumstances: as a fellow Board Member for Little League; as the person who gave the same son a beautiful blanket for his high school graduation; as the judge, about whom, I overheard a defendant in his courtroom say, “He’s good. He’s really fair”; as a community member who has volunteered to teach a high school law class; as a community leader who promotes and supports all youth activities, especially sports (did you know he was a prime mover behind the football field lights?); as the dedicated and proud father of two fine children.

John will serve us better than anyone else. He has the experience, wisdom, commitment, and compassion to continue to be our first local superior court judge.

Larry Wight

San Juan Island

As a legal advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, I have had the opportunity over the years to observe our Superior Court justices in action. I was dismayed when I heard that we would lose Alan Hancock and Vickie Churchill because in comparing them to the judges my counterparts across the state faced in their courtrooms, I realized how very fortunate we have been to share these judges with Island County.

My anxiety was considerably relieved when the governor appointed John Linde. I had seen his thoughtful and reasoned work on the District Court bench and as an occasional pro tem substitute judge in Superior Court. Like every judge, Linde makes some rulings that I don’t agree with but he always gives clear reasoning for each ruling and treats all in his court with care and respect.

I am pleased to join my heroes Vickie Churchill and Alan Hancock in endorsing John Linde to be the first elected San Juan Superior Court Judge.

Jan Osborn

San Juan Island

Dear Mr. Linde:

You ask that we trust you have been honest in winning the nomination from Governor Gregoireand also trust that your widely reported Republican roots will not affect your judicial temperament. But I see evidence of a Bush-style cover up and question your honesty with Governor Gregoire and your judicial agenda. And here is why.

In response to the Governor’s Uniform Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire, Question 39: “Have you ever been disciplined or cited for breach of ethics or unprofessional conduct?” You answered: “No.” Further, in response to Question 38: “Have you ever been the subject of a complaint to any bar association, disciplinary committee, court, administrative agency or other professional group?” You failed to list, in the list of SIX malpractice suits against you and FOUR Bar complaints, any mention of what is surely the most serious ethics breach of all, namely the Official Sanction meted out against you by the Commission On Judicial Conduct on June 2, 1995. There, you stipulated, while acting as a District Court Judge you violated Canon 3(A)(5) of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which states Judges must perform their duties “Impartially and Diligently.”

Why didn’t you tell Governor Gregoire you were sanctioned by this State’s highest authority on Judicial ethics for misconduct? Why haven’t you made your responses to Governor Gregoire’s questionnaire public, in the same way your opponent, Randy Gaylord, has?

What are you hiding Mr. Linde? And why?

Trust, like respect, is something to be earned. Until you have earned the right to be trusted by the citizens of San Juan County, thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take my trust from Randy Gaylord, who has earned my respect and trust, and has nothing to hide.

Tom Evans


Judge Linde’s Response to Tom Evans Open Letter to John Linde

Dear Mr. Evans:

The position of Superior Court Judge is non-partisan. Since you do not know me and have never practiced before me, you could not possibly know if I have political “roots,” let alone what they are. I can tell you that since first assuming the bench as San Juan County District Court Judge in 1977 I have had no political affiliation. Quite frankly, I prefer voting for individuals rather than ideology.

As for my “judicial temperament”: it is unfortunate that you have no personal knowledge to speak from. If you had, you would know that I am patient, courteous, and impartial. I encourage you to consult with any attorney or litigant who has appeared before me to confirm that.

And as for my “judicial agenda”: that would be to apply the law to the facts of each case and to decide impartially and without bias or prejudice. My “agenda” is driven by my love of the law and my desire to resolve issues, not exacerbate them.

As required I listed the suits and bar complaints filed against me. I also made it clear that I was not found to have committed malpractice and no bar complaint was found to have merit. There were no ethical breaches.

You are correct that I made a mistake in completing the Governor’s evaluation questionnaire. I unintentionally failed to note that in 1995 I was admonished for failure to diligently decide a small claim. I was not sanctioned. No penalty was imposed. An admonishment is a written action of an advisory nature that cautions a judge not to engage in certain proscribed behavior.

When completing the questionnaire I had been off the District Court bench for 8 years. My focus in answering the questions was my 35 years of private practice. I simply overlooked the admonition. That was the only incident in my 21 years on the bench.

While the failure to disclose the matter was unintentional and not intended to mislead the Governor or her staff, I owe them all an apology. I am sorry.

As for making my responses to the Governor’s questionnaire public, they are public.

Hon. John O. Linde

San Juan County Superior Court Judge

John Linde is one of the finest men I have ever met. And, at my age, I have met a lot of people. John is a stalwart gentleman who always seems unflappable. Just the characteristics of an effective judge.

My first introduction to John was through our homeowners association. The Board, of which I was a member, had a sticky situation that could have led to difficulties. We consulted with John and he was able to work with the parties involved to resolve all problems quickly and with no bitter aftereffects. My impressions were that John listened carefully and provided sound and unbiased advice based on the documentation of our neighborhood CC&Rs. I was also impressed with his judgment and his maturity.

As I grew to know John, I found that he was a person to look up to and to admire. If you asked his opinion, that is what you got. What you hear from John are the facts and not a bunch of fluff intended to make people feel good.

Last winter, Governor Gregoire conducted an extensive evaluation of the possible candidates for the appointment of the first Superior Court Judge for San Juan County. After this extensive evaluation and personal interviews, she selected John Linde for this position. His appointment started in January of this year. She still feels that John is the best man for the job and that he should be retained. She is currently the Honorary Chair of the Committee to Retain Judge Linde.

John is a very open person. If you have any questions about him or his background, I would imagine that he would like you to contact him directly.

We are fortunate to have a man of John’s character in this election. Please join me in voting to retain John Linde as our Superior Court Judge.

Dave Vandaveer

Friday Harbor

I urge you to vote for Judge Linde in the primary. As one of two former judges in San Juan County Superior Court, both Judge Hancock and I have been in a unique position to watch and to evaluate Judge John Linde, both as an attorney and as our judge pro tem. There is no doubt in my mind that Judge Linde is the best person for this job. You have the chance to make history with your vote. After 100 years of being in a judicial district with another county, you now have your own court. The person you elect as San Juan County Superior Court Judge must be a person of character, one with a comprehensive knowledge of the law, one who is honest, fair and impartial – and above all, one who has a heart for justice. That person is John Linde. Politics has no place in the courtroom. That is why judicial races are non-partisan. Governor Gregoire picked the best person for judge when she appointed Judge Linde in 2007. To her credit, she put aside politics and chose the best person for judge, John Linde.

The vast majority of cases in superior court are family law and civil cases. While criminal cases are important to all of us, they represent only a small percentage of the filings in superior court. You need a Judge who has experience in both criminal and civil matters. Judge Linde is that person. As an attorney, he specialized in general practice with an emphasis in civil matters. As a district court judge for 21 years, he proved his ability to handle criminal cases.

It was a privilege for me to serve San Juan County as your judge for many years. I still want only the best for a place that I love. That’s why I ask for your vote for Judge Linde.


Vickie I. Churchill

Island County Superior Court Judge

Randy Gaylord

I encourage you to favorably consider and vote for Mr. Randy Gaylord to be the first elected Superior Court judge in San Juan County. Having been a resident of San Juan County for over eleven years I have been able to follow Mr. Gaylord’s performance as the San Juan County’s Prosecuting Attorney. He has gained a county-wide reputation for fairness, professionalism, and commitment to the citizens of the county.

His dedication to “…doing what is right…” is a hallmark of his reputation. Yet, he has displayed an admirable capacity to be innovative, compassionate, and responsive to community needs.

Mr. Gaylord, having been the San Juan County Prosecutor for over 13 years is intimately familiar with San Juan County’s expectations for elected officials — primarily that they be open and ethical. Mr. Gaylord epitomizes those expectations

His management experience in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office is an essential base of experience to carry with him to the office of Superior Court Judge.

I consider us lucky to have a man of his experience, knowledge, and commitment to public service wiling to assume this critical position.

We have wisely elected him to public office four times before. We should once again recognize the creditability, values, and skills that led us to do that and elect him as the Count’s first elected Superior Court Judge.

Chase Riveland

Deer Harbor

I am writing to urge all San Juan County residents to vote in the August 19 primary. In such a small community as ours, every vote is especially important.

Further, I urge everyone to vote for Randy Gaylord as our first elected superior court judge. If you like living in a peaceful, sane, compassionate island county, you can thank Randy for at least some of that – his leadership on banning jet skis keeps our islands’ waters quiet and safer; his prosecution of cases has always been fair and prudent; and his compassion and empathy with families in his dual role as county coroner are well known throughout the county.

All these qualities will make Gaylord a judge who truly represents the best in all of us.

Nanette Pyne


I support Randy Gaylord for Judge. Randy is smart, fair minded, and patient. He is always respectful, even toward his adversaries in litigation, which is where a lawyer’s true colors come through. As counsel for virtually all of County government, Randy has dealt with difficult issues and difficult situations calling for clear thinking and the ability to discern what is really at stake. It is this experience that makes him an excellent choice for Judge. Please join me in voting for Randy.

Denice Kulseth

Friday Harbor

I would like to formally convey my support for Randall K. Gaylord for Superior Court Judge. When we, in the State Legislature, created the new Superior Court position for San Juan County it was my hope a person with the experience and even hand of Randy Gaylord would step forward for the position. He is a good friend who I have always found to be trustworthy, intelligent and fair minded. The breadth of legal and civic experience he would bring to the position is truly impressive. Beyond that, I know that his dedication to the community and profession would greatly serve the residents of the San Juan Islands.

Jeff Morris

Speaker Pro Tem House of Representatives

Dear Editor:

In this non-partisan race for Superior Court Judge, the politics appear to be very apparent and traditional. Take a look! Before our county’s new Superior Court will come land use issues, property rights, child custody and a host of decisions impacting our islands way of life – our way of living.

Think about who you want on that bench to weigh the law and the information and then to make these impactful decisions.

Randy Gaylord has an undergraduate degree in environmental studies. Over the years working as our prosecutor as well as being an island citizen, Randy has displayed islands stewardship as well as an awareness of the needs of the less powerful among us.

Many folks are grateful to Randy for such actions as banning jet skis from our waters. Others are less so for his actions, made according to the law, that have thwarted personal objectives. It’s called ethics and integrity.

Randy is a student of the laws of our land. He is also fair, compassionate and the clear choice for Superior Court Judge.

Coleen O’Brien


Randy Gaylord is my choice for the position of Superior Court Judge. I have known Randy and his family since they came to Orcas Island. When I needed legal help several years ago I turned to Randy and grew to know him as a highly competent attorney with a comprehensive knowledge and keen understanding of the law and its application. I also grew to appreciate the personal qualities which imbue his professional life and make him uniquely well suited for the position of Superior Court Judge.

Randy is a man of profound integrity. He looks at issues fairly. He has the ability to quietly diffuse difficult situations and treats all comers with compassion and respect. These are qualities to be sought and valued in a person who fills a judicial position and makes decisions that affect and change lives.

Randy has been an important contributor to the quality of life on Orcas Island and in the County. An example: During the extensive Eastsound Village improvement and beautification project of 15 years ago, Randy, acting in the capacity of Prosecuting Attorney for San Juan County, was instrumental in assuring ongoing public access and view corridors to the Eastsound waterfront which, until that time, had been inaccessible to the public.

Randy is exceptionally well qualified, both personally and professionally, to serve with distinction in the position of Superior Court Judge of San Juan County.

I will cast my vote for Randy Gaylord and urge you to do so also.

Catherine Pederson


Orcas West County Council Race

Alan Lichter

To the Editor,

I am glad Alan Lichter is seeking re-election. I like Alan, I trust him, and I appreciate his accessibility. Alan has honored his campaign promises. The previous boards of commissioners were contentious and polarizing. Alan said he would change that. We now have a more civil and conscientious governing body. Alan said we had to settle the guest house issue. It is settled. Alan has supported sustainable agriculture, the Farmers’ Market and a sustainable economy. He has a strong conservationist ethic, understands that “the environment is the economy” and that to protect our economy we have to preserve the environment. He is not one of those voices calling for more growth as the answer to the problems that growth has caused.

Alan has also thought about bigger issues: he took a position against the war in Iraq, and attempted to address climate change on the local level which is where true change must begin. This is grass roots government reclaiming its power. If we want government from the bottom up we have to begin governing that way here and now.

Alan thinks independently. He took the unpopular position of questioning the new charter government proposals. His suggestion that charter government was not going to be revenue neutral has proven true. Whether it will be more efficient, representative and transparent remains to be seen. Alan will continue to raise those questions.

I trust to Alan’s experience in addressing long term planning for the islands. We need more environmentally sensitive members like Alan on the County Council. Business has not suffered. Please vote for Alan Lichter, to retain his preservationist voice, to retain his experience, his vision forward, his capacity for inquiry, his commitment to local agriculture and small businesses, housing, ferry issues, and a sustainable economy.

Charles Carver


Hearing all of the candidates speak on July 30 resoundingly confirmed our support for Alan Lichter for county council. We have appreciated Alan’s open-mindedness, judgment, priorities and accessibility. He brings valuable life experience (a very high level of educational and negotiation experience) energy and resolve to benefit our community.

We believe Alan is significantly better informed and prepared for the job than any other candidate. He has four years of experience and working relationships here and in Olympia, and is knowledgeable on the numerous issues significant to the county. Any new councilor will take several years to reach this level of effectiveness; tossing out this resource simply for the sake of change would be exceedingly wasteful.

Alan has promoted balanced solutions, affordable housing, smart growth that protects the local economy, agricultural development for food sufficiency and economic diversification, environmental protection and youth programs. We appreciate that he has chosen not to clutter the landscape with election signs.

A letter published here July 30 criticized the ballot initiative to end the Iraq war and the Council’s Climate Change resolution. The Iraq war has drained millions of dollars from the county in taxes which cannot return to aid our schools, ferries, health, justice or environmental programs. Climate change calls for local changes in public transportation and long term planning. We appreciate and desire leadership that speaks clearly on our community’s interests and sustainability.

Maile Johnson

and Ed Suij


We are writing to express our support of Alan Lichter for County Council, District 4 (Orcas West). We are faced with very competent and good candidates for this position but we have decided to stick with what we know. We know that Alan is in simpatico with our vision for the islands and with the Vision Statement for this county. He has demonstrated clear, even handed and thoughtful decisions concerning development issues and the very important growth issues facing this county. He is very environmentally concerned (thus no signs yet to clutter up our roads until after the primary). Alan worked with fellow Councilman Kevin Ranker to develop the proposal which listed 26 ways to reduce the County’s energy use and “carbon footprint” in response to global warming last year. Alan has also been very active in working with the past Ferry Advisory Board and with the state and has been an advocate for islanders with the WSF. He’s always accessible and reasonable and always listens graciously when I have called him at home with concerns. We have known Alan for many years and feel like we have someone on the Council that represents our concerns. We sincerely hope that he will be able to continue to be that “watch dog” we have come to rely upon to speak our voice on the county level. We feel represented by a committed, qualified, accessible, dedicated, good and ethical person and urge you to vote for Alan Lichter.


Patty Pirnack-Hamilton

Jim Hamilton


Richard Fralick

The purpose of this letter is to urge you to vote for Richard Fralick in this upcoming primary. Although not a resident of Orcas-West, I have a passionate interest in seeing that our County is run in an efficient and effective way

Richard and I worked very closely in the creation of the original charter and I feel comfortable in saying that he was the single most productive and effective member of the charter writing process. He actively sought out and understood the basis for the diverse points of view held by our Board of 21 Freeholders. He genuinely listened to us all and took decisive action when the time was right.

When the citizens of San Juan County overwhelmingly passed that charter in 2005, we had the chance to make major improvements in the running of our County government. Progress was limited, however, since the incumbent commissioners lacked enthusiasm for the charter’s implementation. A year later when we elected three new council members, things improved. However, this did not create the majority necessary for stronger action.

We now have the chance to achieve progress, and for the County to reap the significant efficiencies that the charter offers. Richard Fralick personifies the type of Council member who would work towards that objective.

We need someone who has supported the charter from its inception. We need someone who is not steeped in the past and the old BOCC mentality. We need to break from those previous concepts of county government and move ahead into an environment of efficiency and effectiveness that the charter will allow if wisely implemented.

I urge you to vote for Richard Fralick for County Council – Orcas West.

Charlie Bodenstab

Friday Harbor

Dear Editor,

Richard Fralick has my support for County Councilman representing Orcas West. Through years I have come to admire and respect his qualities. I’ve known him in social gatherings, discussion groups, and more recently as a fellow member of the OIMCA board. Richard is a man of extraordinary intelligence, highly advanced education, and skills encompassing many area. He has worked in space research, detailed electronics, and bio medical engineering. He has led teams of scientists and engineers. He is an untiring worker. These attributes add up to a person of profound depth and breadth, an independent thinker, not a follower; a doer, not a taler.

He has repeatedly demonstrated his dedication to this community which he loves. He will follow through with his decisions because he is thoroughly professional. Richard is caring, sensitive, and passionate. It is a rare privilege to have such a man willing to stand for public office.

John Mazzarella, M.D.


Dear Sir,

Richard Fralick is exceptionally well qualified to be the member of the County Council representing Orcas West. I had the opportunity to work closely with Richard as he took the lead in the campaign that brought Home Rule to San Juan County. He knows the problems facing county government and is prepared to work vigorously to solve them. He has a fine record of public service on Orcas Island.

From working with him in volunteer organizations here, I know he does his homework, listens carefully to others, and focuses on getting action on an issue. He should represent Orcas West in the County Council.

Bob Lundeen

Deer Harbor

To the Editor,

We have known Richard Fralick for six ears and have great respect for his intelligence, commitment, integrity and energy in everything he does. In previous published letters of support you have read about his years of service to our community. From Chairing the School Board some years back to stepping in, when a high school teacher was injured in a skiing accident, to teach physics to an advance placement class. More recently he has served on the fire Department Strategic Planning Committee. Also he was one of our elected representatives that drafted the Home Rule charter and tirelessly worked for its adoption. He is always prepared, he listens, and he knows how to build a consensus when there are equally good but divergent opinions on an issue. The Orcas West community has an opportunity to elect someone who has shown through his actions that he could make a positive contribution from day one if elected to the Council. If you don’t know him I urge you to seek him out at his booth at the library fair or call him if you have questions about how he would address issues that concern you that are facing our county. Please vote for Richard Fralick for County Council.


and Louis Wallenberg

Former Orcas residents

Mindy Kayl

If you would like to have fresh ideas, and lots of energy to get the job done, vote for Mindy Kayl in the county primary. She can bring creditability and accomplishment to the job as your county commissioner. Mindy has been very interested in politics for a long time. She served on the board of free holders, helping to redefine the San Juan County government. She is the current chair of the Eastsound Planning and Review Committee. There is still work to do, and she has the talent and drive to get the job done.

In 2000, Mindy went back to school to get a degree, worked part-time, and finished with a bachelors in Journalism. While away at the university, she kept her property on Orcas, which leads up to her running for the County Council position for Orcas West.

The “Orcas West” position has some real opportunities. The area of Orcas, west of Eastsound, plus some of the “outer islands” that are the most populated of the non-ferry islands in the county. The outer islands have been ignored by the county, and have special, unique needs that require addressing. Current and past county council members have ignored the plight of the small islands. Examples are mostly related to access to ferry islands for the ease of moving materials back and forth, parking, and other infrastructures. For instance, there is only one county owned ramp (that has unrestricted access) on Orcas Island, and is in Leberhaven, too far to be of use to the folks in the Orcas West area. Mindy is the type of candidate that will take the time to provide access for the outer islands and work to maintain the lifestyle that has made the San Juan Islands our home.

Tom Temple

Crane Island


Every Voter has a duty to read the State Supreme Court decision in SAN JUAN COUNTY ET AL., Respondents, v. NO NEW GAS TAX, a Washington Political Action Committee, ET AL., Appellants. [No. 77966-0. En Banc.] June 8, 2006. Decided April 26, 2007.

In its April ruling, the state’s high court reinstated the Appellants civil rights complaint against the municipalities. This case has been reassigned to Judge Gary Tabor and trial has been scheduled for April 20, 2009 and the Appellants will be seeking triple damages against San Juan County.

The Voters should note this unanimous decision and particularly a concurring opinion written by the Honorable Justice Johnson that I quote in part:

“J.M. JOHNSON, J. (concurring) — Today we are confronted with an example of abusive prosecution by several local governments. San Juan County and the cities of Seattle, Auburn, and Kent (hereinafter Municipalities) determined to file a legal action ostensibly for disclosure of radio time spent discussing a proposed initiative. This litigation was actually for the purpose of restricting or silencing political opponents and was quickly dismissed after the filing deadline for the initiative. The disregard for core freedoms of speech and association in this case, and resulting interference with these constitutional rights, is described in the majority …. Granting NNGT complete reasonable attorney fees and trial costs is appropriate and required here. This may serve to deter future state actors from using their authority to act similarly to deprive individuals of constitutional rights of speech (or initiative)…”

Three individuals that brought this disgrace to San Juan County and its citizens are on your primary ballet, they are Kevin Ranker, Alan Lichter, and Randall Gaylord. Whether you agree or disagree with Initiative 912 (NO NEW GAS TAX) you have a moral duty to vote against these three individuals so they can not use their authority to act similarly again.

Bill Wright

Friday Harbor

I have wrestled with whether to originate this letter or not, finally deciding that I would and let others judge its importance or lack thereof. About nine years ago I coached Little League on Lopez. In the past, I had been a coach of the 1981 Virginia State Chanpionship team, which lost 4-3 in nine innings, two games away from Williamsport. Little League in the Orcas-Lopez league was significantly different. What was most troubling to me was not the relative lack of talent, but rather the lack of committment. During a game, I made a non-profane, critical comment to the kids in the dugout. The following week I was removed as a coach by the combined board (Lopez had one member). No one ever asked for my side of the story.

As I recall, I wasn’t aware that this subject was on the agenda. The team, however, went on to win five straight perhaps motivated by my comment. It is my understanding that Randy Gaylord was a member of that board. Even though this was a non-legal, minor incident, it is bothersome that no one ever asked me about it before a decision was made. That wasn’t fair and to me fairness is a prerequisite for justice.

James Brady


To the Editor:

I wish I could agree with Tom Cowan’s view, expressed in his letter last week, that electing a fellow islander to the State Senate would be a good thing. Unfortunately, the candidate in question, County Councilman Kevin Ranker, has shown himself to be someone who can’t be trusted to represent our most important interests in Olympia.

More than 2,000 islanders might recall signing petitions about two years ago demanding that the state hold fare increases to no more than 2.5 percent, the amount recommended by the governor and the legislature. Despite that, Ranker convinced the Council to support increases of up to 4%, the amount proposed by the state Transportation Commission. Fortunately, the voices of islanders and other ferry users prevailed, giving us our first slight relief in years.

About the same time, the legislature quietly took between $1 million and $2 million in gas taxes paid in the county – money that by law otherwise was earmarked to support roads in the county and the Town of Friday Harbor – and instead gave it to the ferry system. The Ferry Advisory Committee protested that decision to the governor, asking her to undo it, and recommended to the then-commissioners, Ranker included, to do likewise. They didn’t.

More recently, the FAC recommended WSF at least consider temporarily eliminating the international run, which during that time would typically carry about 30 cars each way, until it could find a solution to a significant cut in domestic capacity. Ranker’s response was to look out first for his own political interests in Anacortes, not those of fellow islanders, and he led the effort to have the council publicly oppose the FAC’s request.

As chair of the county’s FAC for nearly four years (until Ranker led the move to have me kicked off the committee), I was in an unusual position to measure our local elected officials words against their deeds, especially as they related to ferry issues. None was nearly as slippery or untrustworthy as Ranker. As much as I’d like a State Senator from the islands, I won’t vote for someone I can’t trust.

Alex MacLeod

Shaw Island

Fire Department

An Open Letter to the Commissioners of the Orcas Island Fire Department:

As a former Fire Commissioner, current (unpaid) volunteer EMT, taxpayer and Long Range Planning Commission member I have a unique perspective in regards to the paramedic’s proposal to expand their administrative duties.

I am encouraged by the public concern for our department. Although I may not agree with some of their opinions at recent meetings or in their latest letters to the editor, I believe their involvement is a healthy step in your decision-making process. However, the devil is in the details and you all have a greater understanding than the general public when it comes to such complex issues.

As you know, in 1999 the voters approved a request to upgrade the fire department by passing a levy lid lift. You have been elected to move forward with reasonable, economically sound concepts. You have followed the public mandate in 1999 by building and improving fire stations, upgrading equipment and providing support for the volunteers. The organizational model suggested by our paramedics is the logical next step in our growth. The volunteers need it, the community needs it, the system will work more efficiently and it is in line with the findings of the Long Range Planning Committee!

This is the right direction for our department and you have the right people in place to do the job.

Thank you for your service to the community.

Bob Phalan



of Commerce

I was delighted to learn from Lance Evans that the Chamber of Commerce is considering relocation to the former Coldwell Banker building. The visibility that location provides the Chamber/Vistors’ Bureau is such an advantage to the current location and benefits every retail enterprise on the island. I sincerely hope that the board of the Chamber jumps at this chance and knows that as a Chamber member they have my full support, even if a modest increase in dues is required to support this move.


Louise Carnachan


Damien Stark

“The sea, no matter how calm, will allow you to do, or go, only as far as it wants you to at any particular time. It gives with joy, allowing us to be part of it, along with those who call it home. I was just a visitor. And when the sea decides it’s time for you to get leave, it let’s you know with no uncertainty, it’s time. For it knows, there is always tomorrow.”

That was the first and only thing I have written since being pulled out of the water on Saturday July 26, after 10 hours. This letter is the second. It has been an extraordinary experience. One which is by no means over. We not only succeeded, we opened doors to new people who are as important, if not more than the actual swim.

Jen Vollmer, who kept me and all my hand scribbled notes in order, her press releases, always upbeat spirit and who sat on the bow of the “High Seas” watching me, and every breath I took. Kerry Quirk, who became my MUSE and helped me with believing beyond words what I was possible of and what is still possible. She too stood watch over me in the water along with her husband Steve.

When a project, which started from a simple idea, turns into on much larger than you imagine, the list grows long. So I will shorten this list with a huge thanks to all involved, from donors to supporters to well wishers. You have my deepest thanks.

Here are people I wish however to mention by name. Jack Titus, Mark VanMaren, Dennis Reigel, Gary Ivans, Josh Brown, Commodore Jeanie Browne and all members of the Flounder Bay Yacht Club in Anacortes, Gail Johannes, Valerie Moriarty, Mairi Rose Stagg, Ruthie Johns, Pam Evans, Orcas Boat Rentals, Kathy Hagn, Lisa Mollica, Darren O’Brien, The Washington State Ferries, The Orcas Island Fire/EMS Department, Ensign Heidi Bevis USCG, and lastly, the beautiful Orcas who came to visit us along the way.

Damien Stark


Orcas Island Blood Drive

Thanks to all who donated at the Orcas Island Blood Drive

At your blood drive on July 31, we registered 99 donors and collected 83 badly needed units of blood. This will help up to 249 patients.

Your donations are critical to maintain a stable blood supply for medical emergencies and to support patients battling life-threatening illnesses like cancer. Your blood drive provided over 10 percent of the blood needed the following day in regional hospitals.

Special thanks to Paul Losleben organizing the blood drive, the Orcas Island Lions Club for their support and blood drive sponsorship, and the Orcas Island Fire Department for providing the blood drive location.

The next drive is Thursday, September 25.

Carol Rondello

Puget Sound Blood Center

Mobile Representative Whatcom, San Juan and Northern Skagit Counties

Noxious Weed Control

Dear Editor,

Thanks to all of you who have been cutting ivy from around trees on Haven Road, Orcas Road, in Eastsound and elsewhere. It takes ivy about 10 years for it to climb, mature, flower and produce seeds, which are then spread throughout the islands by starlings and other seed eaters. Owing to this seed dispersal, ivy can now be found growing in the woodlands of Moran Park, Westsound, West Beach, Deer Harbor and other locations where it is stressing supporting trees and choking out surrounding vegetation. Cutting through the vines at both shoulder and ankle height, and then stripping the cut vines away will save the trees and help keep the ivy from spreading into other forested areas.

Judy Jackson

San Juan County Noxious Weed Control Program

Orcas Montessori Pre-School

On behalf of Orcas Montessori Pre-School, I wanted to extend our gratitude to the owners, staff, friends and guests of the Doe Bay Resort and Retreat. Their first annual Doe Bay Music Festival on July 19th was a delight. In addition to an incredible day, Montessori Pre-school was chosen to receive proceeds from the Beverage Tent. Thanks also go to the Orcas Montessori parents and staff who donated their time for the event. Additional words of praise go to owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton for their additional support. The funds are invaluable to our annual budget and Orcas Montessori’s classroom program. We think it’s yet another wonderful example of our island’s commitment to supporting and investing in our children. Hope we can do it again next year! With Sincere thanks,

Cathy Faulkner


Orcas Montessori Pre-school Board

Library Fair protest

From the viewpoint of a humble vendor at the Orcas Farmers Market, I want to register a strong protest against the Library Fair’s expansion. Friends of the Library, in recent years, have squeezed the market so that many vendors who have paid the full summer fees cannot exhibit on Library Fair Day. This happened to me and to several others this year. My alternative was to pay an additional $50 to the Library Fair for a booth, on top of $350 for the summer Farmers’ Market fees. I chose not to do that, and contributed my time and work elsewhere this year.

Like most evils, this has been a gradually expanding process. The original Library Fair was a deserved success. When it moved to the village green, the success was also well-deserved. In the last decade, there has been an influx of one-time off-islanders and few people have made money.

Friends of the Library support an institution that already is tax-supported. Their well-intended strivings are not misplaced until the extent of those efforts is harmful to other parts of our Orcas community. That, I believe, has occurred steadily during the past ten years and became intolerable this year, not only to myself but also to other vendors.

Remember: bulls make money; bears make money; but pigs never make money.


Jan Koltun-Titus