By now I trust all Orcas residents have had a chance to pick up one of the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce’s 2008 Visitor’s Guides. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to do so. The content may surprise you.
Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day has its origins in May of 1866 in Waterloo, New York, where its citizens honored the Union war dead with flowers and flags placed at gravesites. First resisted by the South, the holiday gradually became a national “Decoration Day,” and, finally, our national official “Memorial Day” in 1967, with its traditional date of May 30 changed, in 1971, to the last Monday in May.
While the federal and state governments fund Basic Education and “Title I” elements of public school programs, Orcas Island School District (OISD) has known for about a month now that their budget faces a projected $667,000 shortfall for the 2008-2009 school year.
Democrats in seven more states and two territories will vote or caucus in primaries by June 3. On Aug. 19, San Juan County residents will vote for candidates for three County Council positions, for Superior Court judge and for state legislature. On Nov. 4, we’ll make our final choice for those positions and for president.
We were recently subjected to a pleasant and gratifying experience at the hands of a United States government agency, specifically, the Border Patrol in Anacortes, as we disembarked from a domestic sailing of the WSF arriving from my home island, Shaw Island.
The Executive Board of the Orcas Education Association, on behalf of our membership, would like to express our concern about the Reduced Education Program Resolution passed by the school board on Wednesday, April 30. Our position is that budget cuts need to be kept as far away from the classroom as possible. The proposed drastic reduction of 21.6 percent of the certified teaching staff , as well as the cut of one principal are untenable.
The Economic Stimulus checks will start flowing to Orcas residents sometime in the next few weeks. Individuals earning up to $75,000 will receive $600 and couples earning up to $150,000 per year will receive $1200. The theory is that these checks will have a trickle charge effect on the economy. The hope is that you will spend your check when it hits your account. Multiply this spending by millions and this increase spending should jump start the lagging economy.
As the coverage in the Sounder stated, and the editorial reiterated, “with a $667,000 deficit, everyone is going to be hurt.”
A public petition and much outrage was expressed following the Fire Comissioners’ decision in January to formalize the salary of a Battalion Chief/Assistant Chief at $90,000 a year.
Hardy souls clean up park
Now that I am back from my travels of the past two months, many of my Pittsburgh friends are asking about the places I’ve been and the experiences I have had. Berlin, Munich, San Diego all get their fair share of comment, but then when it comes to Orcas Island, the storytelling begins. New stories, new experiences, and above all: transforming ones. Ironically, it’s always the “others” who hear the stories, but I thought maybe you also might be interested to know how very much the week spent on Orcas meant to me.
Why is the Orcas Island School district facing a $667,000 projected deficit for the coming school year?