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Don’t leave seniors standing at the curbside
The county approved the Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Ordinance on Nov. 18, a Critical Area Ordinance that is as difficult to understand as it is to pronounce.
Letters to the?editor Youth services Thanks to the United Way Seniors count on services Margie Doyle will be missed
At this time of year when thinking about all we have to be thankful for, I would like to recognize the United Way of San Juan County for its continuing support of The Funhouse and our Mentoring Programs.
During the Great Depression, a number of agencies created by the New Deal assisted in the eventual return of normalcy.
Margie Doyle, who served as editor of the Islands’ Sounder for more than two years, is no longer with the newspaper. Ms. Doyle started with the Sounder in October of 2006, succeeding Finn John, who was editor for a brief period following the retirement of Ted Grossman, former owner of the newspaper and its long-time editor.
In a victory for thoughtful planning, the County Council on Oct. 20 unanimously denied an application for a franchise to construct a private waterline to move water from Crow Valley agricultural lands to a proposed subdivision in the separate Eastsound watershed.
Anticipate revenue to come in lower than expected and budget accordingly. If revenue comes in higher and you have money left over at the end of the year, put that in reserve for future major expenses.
Are you aware that United Way supports the fine work of many local organizations? The dollars that you give to San Juan County United Way stay right here and go to work for County children and families. Orcas Family Connections, formally Orcas Early Childhood Consortium, provides resource and referral services, crisis intervention, and parenting education to Orcas families with children age 0 to 5. Our organization could not do the work we are doing without the support we received from United Way. With the financial storm that is brewing around us, the families of Orcas need us more than ever and we need the help from United Way more than ever. Please consider giving to United Way. And we send a huge “Thank you” to United Way for giving back to us. To make a donation go to www.unitedway-sanjuancounty.org or by mail to United Way PO Box 3181, Friday Harbor, WA 98250-3181. Our island kids will thank you.
What are some of the options for addressing the proposed elimination from the county’s 2009 budget of Orcas Island Recreation program funding (amounting to about $12,500) and a juvenile probation officer with the county Sheriff department (costing about $56,000)?
The winner of the wood raffle held on Oct. 31 was Jill Galeotti of Seattle, who generously donated the wood to a needy family on Orcas. We thank Jill for her donation and will locate those families in need of wood for this winter.
Now that the elections are over, I’d like to thank all the members of the Orcas and San Juan County community for their support and partnership during my four year term. I’ve always felt that it was a privilege to serve both as a Commissioner and Councilmember, and I urge everyone to support and assist the new members of our county government.
We take the Islands’ Sounder a lot for granted, expecting to see it each week in our Sounder tubes and in the news stands; knowing we can rely on its articles and “What’s Happening” to keep us up to date with the plethora of activities that abound on Orcas; trusting in the accuracy of the reporting, knowing corrections will be printed when necessary; learning about the richness and diversity that surrounds us through in-depth interviews of Island people and their work.
Thank you for the tremendous support you have shown these past months.
I was concerned about my vote being counted in the Nov. 4 election, so I called the San Juan County Voter Registration Office, 378-3357 and asked three questions:
Prevention can mean vitamins, seat belts or exercise. It can also mean helping kids to achieve goals, feel successful and grow into resilient healthy adults. We can prevent self destructive behaviors by helping kids develop strong and appropriate problem solving skills. We can prevent social and academic failures by helping kids discover their individual strengths and self-discipline. We can help prevent violence by assisting children in understanding appropriate emotional outlets and encouraging goal setting with self-esteem. Prevention helps form a healthy community, which is good for everyone.
Never have I experienced goose bumps for such an extended period of time as when I heard the election night’s acceptance speech by president-elect Barrack Obama. That “anything is possible” in America was proven to such an historical degree Tuesday night that it reminded me of the lunar landing, knowing exactly where I was and at what time it happened nearly forty years ago, simply said, mind numbing!
We here on Orcas have yet another example of how fortunate we are to live in such a caring community. On November 2nd, on short notice and in response to a keen sense of loss and concern for a number of families at the school, the PTSA sponsored its first Harvest Fair. Families came together to enjoy harvest-themed baked goods, soup and chili, to press cider, take hayrides, make candles and other crafts, play bingo, twister and rollerskate and, especially, to enjoy each others’ company. The event was a wonderful success!
I wish to express the Mowrey family’s appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the members of the Orcas Fire Department for the wonderful and extravagant manner in which they prepared and handled David and Bing’s wedding, and they know what I mean by that. Not only was the room beautiful, but the arrangements for the food, the register, the ceremony and the toasts after, were all wonderful. Pat yourselves on your backs, people. You did good!!!!!
Once upon a time a Country Girl met a City Boy. Let’s see what they had in common and find out if opposites really do attract.
Awhile back I took a friend to the food bank and got to snooping into the windows of the large green OPALCO generator buildings, my god, what a great untapped piece of island history.
I note that the new county budget proposes to:
Affording preschool for their children is becoming increasingly more difficult for families on Orcas Island. Preschool provides an environment where children have many opportunities to be part of a community of peers, learn social skills, and experience many enriching learning opportunities. Research continues to show that children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school, stay out of jail and off drugs. Here at Orcas Montessori, with the help of a grant from United Way, we were able to help a family this past year make tuition affordable. The benefits to our children and families are far reaching. The growth and development made by the children within our community of peers and dedicated teachers over the course of a year is rewarding to observe.
On behalf of the Library Board of Trustees, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2008 Library survey. We received 228 responses, including 202 full time residents. For the Board members, who collected 72 of the responses between raindrops at the Library Fair, it was a valuable opportunity to talk directly to community members about how they feel about Library services and the possibility of expanding the facility.
As a community member and small business owner, I would like to present both my own views and those of my peers regarding the proposed moratorium on street vending in Eastsound, and offer what we feel is a more copacetic solution.
There is no doubt that San Juan County’s $1.8 million shortfall will impact the quality of life that we all enjoy. Some people will lose jobs, others will have their work hours reduced and even more will lose services to which they have become accustomed. The big question facing our community now is what goes and what stays.
While most of us are experiencing some sort of budget shortfall, the good news is there is no budget problem at the Orcas Fire Department.
In these tough times giving is even more important. United Way of San Juan County funds over 30 organizations. This year as our country experiences major financial collapse local communities are seeing the effects. As families struggle trying to figure out how to make ends meet the agencies that serve these families are being stretched. As energy, food and gas prices are increasing so are the needs of families and community members.
I recently read in the Sounder that the Orcas Island skate park could possibly be closed and was very upset to learn of this. If some foolish individuals have been making inappropriate choices at the park, and it has reached the level of public concern, there must be some other solution than closing the park. This seems to be a drastic response. Was the skate park not initially conceived as a place for the youth of Orcas Island to gather and enjoy the sport of skateboarding? Where are we supposed to go? The skate park is a place to chill, relax with friends and experience the insane thrill of riding a park such as this one. I have skated here since the beginning and never witnessed any inappropriate behavior. It is a knee-jerk reaction to consider closing the park - the local skaters need this park, plus it draws tourists who desire to be challenged by its vertical drops. I am disappointed that the community that worked so hard to make this skate park a reality cannot come up with a better solution. I think that this decision needs to be weighed very carefully, and its impact on the youth of Orcas taken into account.
Dear friends and community members,
The Orcas island community is amazing. After weeks of enormous economic uncertainty, and a day after the DOW went down 500 points, OPAL Community Land Trust had its most successful fund-raiser ever on October 11. We want to say Thank You to everyone whose generosity made such an evening possible.
I hope that the tremendous turnout for the assessors briefing on Thursday was proof enough that population growth in the county is very expensive for taxpayers. As our population increases their demands on infrastructure provided by the county and state increase. The tax assessor simply sees that property owners share equitably in the cost that the County and State will have in supporting the increased demands for that infrastructure. We are somewhat fortunate as many people own vacation homes and do not greatly impact our infrastructure. However, on the mainland, it has been calculated that, on average, every new home costs that community in excess of $30,000. So it takes a good many years to recover that amount in taxes unless you have $30,000 in impact fees.
You face very difficult decisions in the current budget crisis. I am writing to urge you to maintain funding for the Orcas Recreation program.
San Juan County has just begun its annual budget process and the outlook for all County services is grim. The County has felt the pressure of the weakened economy and needs to make adjustments to its spending. Many of us are already cutting back on discretionary spending like travel and entertainment, economizing on necessary expenses such as transportation, shopping more diligently for bargains and, for some, reducing spending on essential requirements like food, heat and medication. For many people, reduction in spending on essentials is the only recourse available. These are the same people who must also depend on the County to make their lives bearable. These people are the most vulnerable in our community, generally elderly, often not in good health, in need of medications, lacking transportation, occasionally requiring assistance for daily tasks and frequently unable to make ends meet. These are the people who will be severely affected by the proposed 23.1 percent reduction in Health and Community Services. The County has proposed to reduce the few services it now provides to these members of our communities. For example: elimination of transportation for seniors; reduction of congregate senior meals; reduction of nursing staff/clinic hours: elimination of immunizations/vaccinations; reduced nurse home visits and travel assistance to Medicaid clients; and finally, reduced staffing at our Senior Centers. Each of the items I mention is a line item for reduction in the County Administrators 2009 Budget Proposal.
While water may be a scarce resource on Orcas Island, controversy over water seems plentiful. Of course the scarcity has a great deal to do with the controversy. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding of both vagaries of Washington water law and our island hydrogeology also play a role.
Everyday heroes are rarely acknowledged, and often, when they are singled out for credit, the response is “I was just doing my duty.”
To our new Rosario caretakers, in my letter to the editors (Sept.24, 2008 issue), regarding the re-visioning of Rosario to reflect a community dream, I neglected something. I failed to convey what I understand to be the Rosario/Moran Legacy. Largely ignored by previous owners of the Rosario Estate, the vision-as-resort has been unsuccessful for numerous and practical reasons. Now, with a plummeting economy, the challenges can only be magnified.
I was saddened by the death of Natalie White of Deer Harbor. She has been a valued friend of my family for many years and an important part of our community for all the years I’ve ben here. I was positive her passing would be acknowledged with an obituary worthy of her visit here on planet earth, in our tiny island community.
2009 Annual Budget Message: Washington’s Shrinking Counties
With reference to Guest Opinion by Shawn O’Bryant in your Oct 15 issue, I want to express my strong support for Shawn’s article which I think is well done and expresses very sound argument to keep the Skate park open.
First, there is a ballot drop box at the Orcas Senior Services Center in Eastsound. It is free to use (no postage required). The box is located at the north end of the driveway that directly abuts the lobby doors.