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Island Guardian

Running Down The Dream Without Becoming Comfortably Numb

Along with about a hundred others I attended the library presentation on black-tailed deer by Ruth Milne, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife. It promised to be interesting given the obvious problems and the mish-mash of opinions and quirky notions here. Who doesn’t have an opinion about deer?

The central theme of the presentation was clear. From event ads, to her nice introduction by Boyd, to the child-friendly slides, her commentary was very careful and respectful of all views in setting the stage for what must, by nature, be a community decision. As an area management biologist, Milne hoped to focus audience comments on how to better deal with way too many deer. There can be no debate that we live with a significantly unhealthy overpopulation of deer adversely impacting the already pummeled ecosystems of this trans-border archipelago.

After a number of questions and the usual unfocused statements of personal values and pipe dreams (each painstakingly repeated and reflected upon by Milne), a few fellows who enjoy hunting deer and rightfully feel pride in continuing the island tradition of using natural resources for the family table broke their polite silence. They spoke of frustrations regarding extremely limited areas to hunt (very little state land, etc.) and dealing with adversarial views toward hunters, as key parts of the overpopulation problem. Yet before they could finish their thoughts, the ugly genie of off-topic provocation and identity politics oozed out of the bottle. To some extent I hold Ms. Milne responsible for the cacophony of voices that ensued, in that she failed to delimit off-topic statements and keep the focus on dealing with too damned many deer.

The anti-hunting diatribe in Ms. Lance’s current column expands upon her scattershot views she shared with us at the library, with additional vitriol toward management biologists (“biostitute” I assume is a “biologist-prostitute”?) as well as those of us who treasure nature and embrace hunting as a legitimate use of public resources. Her screed is chock-full of imagined straw men to knock down in relaying what took place at the library. As well as the expected snarky innuendos. To be fair, perhaps she and her friends thought that they were attending a “Share your Extreme Dietary Preferences” seminar?

Harvest for the larder is a very deep, necessary tradition for some of us that makes us feel whole in a post-modern, overpopulated America, a substantial fund source for the greater public good through licensing and equipment taxes, and a viable population control tool in most circumstances. Increasing hunter harvest is the one realistic tool compared to the ludicrous rigamarole of field sterilization, professional snipers, relocation (where to? Waldron?) or free condoms for local bucks. Or as Lance suggests; rewilding our island with turning loose large fanged predators and replanting existing private land pastures with trees. As much as I have lived a life of dreaming of “turning back the clock” that is a public planning meeting I would pay to see!

Of course, humans and their best management practices are imperfect, but hunter harvest is a proven tool with far fewer negative externalities than wasteful and messy vehicle slaughter, ecological collapse from over-browsing, or deer suffering through starvation/disease.

Sure, island biogeography exacerbates our local problem of deer populations without natural predators. Hand in hand with high private land ownership (85% of San Juan County), untethered exurban social values, declining interest in hunting, illegal feeding of wildlife and ignorance of the ecological damage we have wrought. It all favors ravens, expensive fencing contractors and local car repair shops though!

I, too, grieve daily for the excruciating demise of the richness and diversity of the natural world. I knew when we left interior Alaska after 33 years, my outdoor experiences here would be severely diminished in these un-wild and un-natural islands but I did not imagine how over only 12 years we could slide so much further down the slippery slope of ecosystem destruction. Yet, I still hope to make some small differences for the unfortunate future generations who will have to live with our actions today.

But in the few and far between opportunities that come around, most of us try to respect the sideboards in community forums and the personal dignity of other people who take the time to attend public meetings and express their feelings on the topic at hand. If I just can’t contain my inner demons on a particular community interest issue, perhaps I should just be smart enough to stay home or at least keep my mouth shut, rather than display a petulant need to rattle people’s cages and increase tension among neighbors.

I am going to continue to work toward expanding the allowance for hunting deer on larger Land Bank parcels, maybe does only, maybe bow only, and am personally exploring options for quietly importing a few breeding pairs of coyotes or bobcats next spring.

Steve Ulvi
San Juan Island

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

It is with great enthusiasm that I offer my endorsement of Nick Power to be San Juan County’s next Prosecuting

Attorney. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Nick and his family for their love of our community and their willingness to work tirelessly toward improving the quality of life in their many areas of expertise.

As a 30 year resident of Friday Harbor, I have witnessed the results of our criminal justice system NOT taking a hard stance against drug trafficking. Crime has increased significantly to support the purchase of drugs. It is my understanding that drugs are readily available for purchase at our schools. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE

I share Nick’s concerns regarding the epidemic of hard drugs on the island. I have read many reports by islanders

who witness drug sales and other nefarious activities in their neighborhoods; they report the the incidents, giving names, dates, time, vehicle license numbers and descriptions AND NOTHING IS DONE!

If the problem is the current laws make it too difficult to prosecute drug dealers IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE LAWS! The status quo is not acceptable!

We need a Criminal Justice System that meets the needs of the community. I fear the refusal to meet the drug trafficking & drug use issue head on might be, at least partly, to protect the local tourist trade. To be known to have serious drug issues might make San Juan County less desirable as a destination. However, pretending it does not exist is harmful to everyone.

I highly endorse Nick’s plan to bring more mental health treatment into the system for those addicted to drugs. Punishment does not solve the problem.

In his own words, Nick Power, “wants to make San Juan County a safer, fairer and better place to live, work and be.” I know Nick to be a man of high integrity, a man whose word can be trusted.

Other supporters (who happen to be attorneys or in law enforcement & want change) have been quoted: “Nick does the right thing whether anyone is watching or not.”; “he is highly qualified for the position…”He is dedicated to fairness and transparency...We encourage voters to elect Nick Power for our next Prosecuting Attorney.”

Please join me in voting for THE P.A. FOR THE PEOPLE: NICK POWER.

Respectfully submitted,

Doris M. Sumner
Friday Harbor

Supports Jeff Asher

To the Editor:

This election has brought out the worst in some very vocal people and it's gone on long enough to make it clear that the current campaigns are being used by an unscrupulous few to get even with "their enemies." Alternatively, others are panicked by the prospect of change and have taken to making statements by those who disagree with them into an indictment of moral failing.

As an island community, we want a Sheriff who will do the best job. We are voting for the future, I surely hope we are not voting based on negative internet comments. We all have to live together after this election, and it's time to remember that.
My question is: Does Sheriff Ron Krebs really want the job? He missed the deadline to submit his statement to the Voter’s Pamphlet, showed up to the debates in faded jeans and a polo shirt when every other political candidate wore business attire, and acknowledged written messages where he degrades his staff have surfaced that he attributes to his being “human” and “venting,” but for which he offers no public apology.

I support Jeff Asher because he has done more to fight crime in our community than any Sheriff’s personnel I have dealt with in the last three years. I have yet to meet anybody who does not respect Jeff Asher. He condemns personal attacks on his opponent. Jeff Asher has run a positive campaign with integrity and a plan for the future.

Vote your conscience.

Glenn Storey
Friday Harbor

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Steve Brandli for District Court Judge.

After 19 years prior legal experience, I moved here in 2005 to take the position of Chief Criminal Clerk of the District Court and in 2011 took a Deputy Clerk position in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office. I have known Mr. Brandli and his family since 2006 when he was hired as the Deputy Prosecutor for the District Court. I have had weekly contact with Mr. Brandli through the years and have found that he has the experience and utmost respect for the Court and the public whether you are a defendant or plaintiff, an attorney or a visitor to the courtroom. He has the experience and perspective of a Prosecutor, a Public Defender and as an attorney all with the same goal of protecting the rights of the people.

Mr. Brandli and his wife are very family oriented and have deeply rooted themselves in the community. They have put in numerous hours volunteering and helping with community events They have opened their home and hearts to foster children, some of them with special needs. They have raised their children here.

With my experience I know first hand that District Court is not just about trials and criminals. There are many other layers of the law that the District Court Judge needs to consider such as protection/harassment orders, civil and small claims, traffic violations, name changes, fish and wildlife violations, felony law, etc.

Do the citizens of San Juan County want to have someone sitting in judgment of individuals with only the tunnel vision of experience they received as a prosecutor which in turn might create bias and conflict? I would hope not.

Steve Brandli is the only clear choice for District Court Judge based upon experience, qualifications, integrity, compassion, and dedicated service to San Juan County for the past 12 years.

Please join me in voting for Steve Brandli for District Court Judge.

Jeanette Longan
Friday Harbor, WA

5 or 42 SJC Bar Assoc Members Respond To Past Bar Poll

To the Editor

In response to the Recent Letter regarding the results of a poll conducted by the San Juan County Bar Association:

The bar poll results for the San Juan County Bar Association are not reliable indicators of a candidate's qualifications by reason that the pool of participants is so small. In fact, for that reason it has been a matter of debate in past elections whether they should even be conducted.

Further, by reason of the fact that six of the participants were from the same office - the prosecutor's office - it is easy to skew results if that group of participants votes as a block. Similarly, it is easy to skew results if one law firm in Friday Harbor of four attorneys also votes as a block.

Finally, Ms. Jewett was not a candidate in the subject bar poll. It is mere speculation how she would fare under the scrutiny of her peers in the local bar association. To conclude that she would have done better, as the two letter writers have suggested, is far from likely.

Lawrence Delay
Mark Kaiman
Colleen Kenimond
Jeffrey A. Lustick
Jonathan Rand

Supports Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

We have known Randy Gaylord for over 20 years. We have known his family for those decades. When we think of Randy, we do not think of him as the county prosecutor, we think of him as one of the most honorable, honest, hard-working people we know.

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about transparency in the prosecutor’s race. Let us repeat: Randy is one of the most honorable, honest, hard-working people we know. Those are the very qualities that define “transparency” in context of the job of prosecutor.

We do not know Randy’s opponent. But on the subject of “transparency” we have concerns. We are at a loss to understand how Power will function in a county position given his incredible conflict of interest. It seems he has lawsuits filed, or pending, against San Juan County. So what now? Power claims he will recuse himself. Is he suggesting we vote for him, and then allow his lawsuits to continue; all the while he is serving the county. What??

Please join us in voting for the candidate whose character and experience make him the most qualified to serve as San Juan’s County prosecutor. Please vote for Randy Gaylord.

Lance Evans & Janet Brownell
Orcas Island

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

As women, it is important to exercise our right to vote. This is not the time to be an armchair activist. It is a time to use your vote wisely. Research and listen to each candidate before you complete your ballot.

Steve Brandli is a candidate with strong foundations in the community. I have personally known Steve for 20 years. Steve was a business owner in Friday Harbor before he and his family made a permanent move to San Juan Island twelve years ago.

Steve represents experience, integrity and a very strong knowledge of the law.

Steve wears a strong cloth of justice knowing that each case is unique to each person involved.

I encourage you to join me in voting for Steve Brandli for San Juan County District Court Judge.

Mary E. Mager
Friday Harbor

Local Bar Had Rated Brandli's Candidacy

To the Editor

A survey distributed by the SYC Bar to its members rated Mr. Brandli and three others who sought the governor’s appointment to the Superior Court bench. Seventeen of twenty three respondents (74%) said Mr. Brandli was either “deficient” or “poor” in judicial temperament. Half also felt he was “deficient” or “poor” in fairness. Overall, 60% of respondents rated his candidacy as either “poor” or “deficient.” These are disturbing results which I hope voters will consider in the current District Court race between Mr. Brandli and Ms. Jewett.

Ms. Jewett is very smart, caring and passionate about public service. Her experience as Deputy Prosecutor has been in District Court so she’s well equipped to meet the job requirements. Jewett will be 100% committed, unlike Mr. Brandli who will maintain his private practice. While young, she’s only two years junior to John Linde when he was elected to this same position. Please vote for her!


David and Sondra Bayley
San Juan Island

Carolyn Jewett Responds To Brandli Charges Of Future Conflicts

To the Editor:

Any attorney practicing in District Court who runs to be the District Court Judge will have conflicts [Related letter, 3rd below -Ed], whether prosecution or defense. Luckily, in District Court the cases move quickly. After November 6, my office will begin the transitioning process and will begin assigning new cases to other attorneys, so that I won't have a conflict on those cases. Many cases that I am currently handling will resolve in that time as well. By the time I am sworn in as judge in January, I will still have cases that I will need to recuse myself from, just as Judge Loring did when she was sworn in last year. But over the course of just a few months, the majority of those conflicts will be resolved.

In contrast, a judge who keeps a legal practice on the side is continually creating new potential conflicts. Even if the judge never appears in court as an attorney, a lawyer shares a confidential relationship with each client. If that client comes into court on another matter, the judge may need to recuse himself because of his knowledge of that person and his representation in another matter. When I'm elected, I will dedicate myself to being a 100% judge, even though it's a three-quarters-time position. I will not keep a side practice and will not have a continuing source of conflict.

So, will I have conflicts? Of course. The same kind of conflicts that any attorney who practices in District Court would have: limited in time, and already resolving before I even take the bench. Furthermore, I'm proud to follow the tradition of our current District Court Judge in not keeping a side practice so that I do not create new conflicts while sitting as a judge.

Thank you,

Carolyn Jewett
San Juan Island

Supports Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

If you haven't voted yet, please please do so. There are two distinct choices for County Prosecutor, and by far the best choice is Randy Gaylord. I have lived and operated businesses in the San Juan Islands for over 40 years. For the last 24 years, Randy Gaylord has been one of the best elected officials this county has had. He is a knowledgeable, competent, compassionate and highly ethical prosecutor who knows and is in touch with the community he serves.

Randy's accomplishments for the citizens of the San Juans are numerous. They include writing the first ordinance that established a distance requirement between our killer whales and vessels and other objects. This became a model for subsequent state and federal regulations. Randy's office has enforced this law and urged the adoption of amendments by the state to enhance protection of this critically endangered signature species.

Randy wrote the ordinance prohibiting jet skis in San Juan County, and then defended that ordinance in challenges brought forth by the jet ski industry. Almost every year Randy receives inquiries from other states or countries asking for support as they address similar issues with jet skis.

Randy has been instrumental in helping island-centered solid waste programs. Lopez residents faced the closure and privatization of their garbage and recycling facility. Listening to the community, Gaylord crafted a plan to carve out a Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District from the countywide district. He then presented it to the County Council and wrote the enabling ordinance.

Randy’s opponent has made empty promises about being tough on drugs. The sheriff’s office, not the prosecutor’s office, investigates drug cases and then refers them to the prosecutor. Mr. Gaylord’s office files charges in every drug case that they are able to make a provable case on.

Mr. Power says he would file charges even if he would not be able to prove the charges. Someone running for prosecutor should know that a prosecutor who charges people without sufficient evidence abuses the power of his office and wastes valuable County time and resources.

Power’s criticism that Mr. Gaylord failed to prosecute Detective Parker is a misleading accusation. To ensure that neither bias nor improper influence played a role in the decision, Mr. Gaylord had a neutral and independent Skagit County Prosecutor determine whether charges should be filed. Randy made the right ethical decision in handling this difficult case.

Randy's opponent, Nick Power claims to be a progressive, a Democrat, and a supporter of Bernie Sanders. Those who believe that he is a progressive have been duped. Power’s words don’t match his actions.

Power joined the unsuccessful efforts of local property rights and anti-environmental protection individuals and organizations. He challenged the Critical Areas Ordinance, opposed the charter reform, and brought a frivolous lawsuit to unseat Jamie Stephens - Power still owes the county $10,000!

Power also represents ardent opponents of Democratic and progressive candidates, organizations, and elected officials. Power represents numerous frivolous lawsuits filed against San Juan County including the recent one by the Orcas school teacher for $10,000,000 that that has already been ruled against!

The San Juan County Democrats have endorsed Randy Gaylord, who has the experience that matters.

Dan Christopherson
Orcas Island

Nick Power Responds To Dehlendorf's Claims

To the Editor:

I have had absolutely no involvement in any way, at any time, with Mr. Morgan's campaign activities. I have, however, successfully represented Mr. Morgan in several pieces of campaign finance litigation.

I understand that Mr. Dehlendorf [See subject letter below -Ed] does not "like" Mr. Morgan because Mr. Morgan reported a Political Action Committee for which Mr. Dehlendorf was the treasurer to the Attorney General for various campaign finance violations. That PAC was then found to have been in violation as alleged and was fined by the AGO. (I might note, I was not at all involved with that case either and learned of it only after its conclusion).

It is a fact of life for attorneys that in many instances parties blame the attorneys associated with opposing parties for their legal troubles. This is what is happening here. Mr. Dehlendorf is conflating the values and beliefs of his political adversary with those of his his adversary's attorney.

Attorneys are hired to represent the interests of their clients and present cases based on fact and law. Indeed, the rules that govern the practice of law require us to represent our clients' interests without substituting our own interests and preferences for theirs. This is required by law.

I have represented hundreds of clients with hugely differing political viewpoints -- from extremely conservative to extremely liberal. Were I to somehow "adopt" my clients' world views and political beliefs as my own I would literally be schizophrenic. Rather I do what all ethical attorneys do -- represent as best I can the interest of my client.

Make no mistake, I have been a life-long Democrat. Indeed I was, in fact, a delegate for Bernie Sanders in 2016 -- and still have the faded bumperstickers on the family car to prove it. But I fear that Mr. Dehlendorf's required orthodoxy is precisely the sort of exclusionary sentiment that is at the root of the party's recent stumbles.

Underlying Mr. Dehlendorf's critique is a presumption that the Office of Prosecuting Attorney should be wielded as some sort of partisan tool. To me this is the anathema of what the philosophy of the Office should be. That is it should be to prosecute and advise without regard to partisan or political interests.

The fact that I have successfully and faithfully represented parties from across the political spectrum is exactly what qualifies me to discharge the duties of the office faithfully and in the furtherance of justice.

Nicholas Power
San Juan Island

Supports Randy Gaylord

To The Editor:

Dirty campaign tricks and other forms of voter suppression are the hallmarks of current
nationwide Republican election strategy. The national press abounds with examples of these

For a particularly egregious example in our state, read the Seattle Times article dated 10/19/18
at recent bogus campaign
mailers created by right-wing Republican Glen Morgan designed to deceive Democratic voters
in races for our state legislature in the 6th, 19th, and 26th legislative districts. Particularly
disingenuous is the newspaper’s statement that “Morgan on Friday said he sent the mailers
because he believes Democrats didn’t nominate candidates who were as progressive as that
party wants to be, and he wanted to highlight that.” Since when did Democrats anoint the antilabor
and anti-Democrat Morgan to make such decisions for us?

You may ask: Why should this article concern the voters of San Juan County? For starters,
local Republicans and Democrats alike should be outraged whenever there is a subversion of
our electoral system and democracy by either party anywhere in the country.

Moreover, their is a link between the activities described in the Seattle Times article and our
county’s November 6 election for Prosecuting Attorney. The perpetrator of the described
activities is none other than Glen Morgan, whom local candidate Nick Power represents in four
legal cases against Island County Democrats and three Democratic Legislative District
organizations. (Power also represents the anti-labor Freedom Foundation in a lawsuit against
Service Employees International Union 775.) I believe that thoughtful Democratic voters for the
Prosecuting Attorney position will disqualify Power, as the San Juan County Democrats did,
from consideration of their vote.

Please vote for Randy Gaylord for San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney.

David Dehlendorf
San Juan Island

Brandli Responds To "Will Keep His Law Practice If Judge"

To the Editor:

I write to correct some inaccurate information concerning my campaign. I have been very open about my intention, if elected as District Court Judge, to continue a very part-time practice. That practice will be limited to transactional matters, e.g. largely document drafting and advising. Transactional attorneys never see the inside of a courtroom. And my transactional practice will not create significant District Court conflicts.

I ask that voters consider the following facts:

• Our District Court judge is part-time (.77 FTE). Our retiring judge Stewart Andrew has been working part-time. There is no way to make it a full-time position without incurring additional costs for the county, e.g. staff time.
• The law allows part-time judges and commissioners to practice law. This is commonly done around the State.
• Our retired judge Donald Eaton practiced law for around 20 years while a juvenile court commissioner. Our first District Court judge, John Linde, also practiced law during his 20 year tenure.
• My intention is to practice very part-time, on average one day a week. I will only take non-urgent matters that will not create ethical or time conflicts with my District Court service.
• My current practice is 10 to 20% transactional, as it has been for the last 10 years. So I will essentially be discontinuing my litigation practice.
• In the entire 10 years that I have had a small transactional practice, not one of those matters gave rise to a District Court case. If I had been the District Court judge these last 10 years, I would have had no conflicts as a result of these transactional cases.

If conflicts are the concern, my opponent will have many of them due to her current work in District Court. About three-quarters of the weekly Wednesday criminal calendar involves cases that are more than 2 months old, and nearly all of the cases on the twice-monthly Tuesday criminal calendar are more than 6 months old. If elected, my opponent would not be able to hear these calendars for months, and will have significant conflicts for years. The county would have to hire a pro tem judge at considerable county expense to substitute on these cases while my opponent continues to draw her salary.

At least one supporter of my opponent has alleged that I am running for financial reasons. If I am elected, I will receive less, not more income. If money were a motivation, I would not be running.

I invite anyone with questions or concerns on this or any other subject to contact me. I will be happy to discuss my candidacy. Please call (360) 378-5544.

Steve Brandli
San Juan Island

Brandli Will Keep His Law Practice If Judge

To the Editor:

At the recent League of Women Voters candidates forum on Orcas one of the most disturbing statements emerged in the race for District Court Judge, between Carolyn Jewett and Steve Brandli. Brandli admitted that if elected he would keep open his private law practice “for transactions.”

Do we really want a judge who has a private law practice and all the potential conflicts that presents? Is Brandli just looking at the judgeship as a way to supplement his income? Is this not evidence of injudicious judgment?

My sense prior to the forum was that Carolyn Jewett is the superior candidate. I now have no doubt that Carolyn Jewett should be our next District Court Judge. I urge you to vote for her.

Richard Grout
San Juan Island

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

I have known and worked with Steve Brandli since he moved here. I have worked with and against Steve many times over the years and I have seen first-hand the respect with which he treats others, even opposing parties. Steve’s depth of knowledge and experience is just what our Court needs. As a lawyer whose practice includes District Court in many Washington counties, I see the desperate need for an experienced judiciary in other counties. Small Claims and District Court is where many people who cannot afford expensive legal help end up for resolution to their legal issues. A District Court Judge with compassion, experience, and large breadth of knowledge is required. Because many litigants in District Court are self-represented they depend on the Judge to know the law and apply it to their cases fairly. Our local court system will be lucky to have an experienced attorney handling District Court. I hope you vote in any event and I think you should vote for Steve Brandli for San Juan County District Court Judge.

Shawn Alexander

We Support Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

We are former Victim Advocates who worked closely with Randy Gaylord in the Victim Services Program, and we write to support his re-election. Randy Gaylord has proved his commitment to victims in the criminal justice system.

Randy applied for grant funding to create the Victim Services Program for San Juan County, which opened its doors in 1998. Since then, each of us has had the privilege of working with victims in a Prosecutor’s Office that commands an understanding of the complex and sensitive needs of crime victims; that brings respect and empowerment to victims; and that properly uses the criminal justice system to hold offenders accountable and protect the rights of those harmed by crime.

Those of us who were present know that his opponent misrepresented Randy’s leadership in uncovering the misconduct of a detective. From our perspective, Randy did the right thing in that difficult case and time and again he has correctly balanced his ethical duties, responsibility to the victim, and safety of the community.

Having worked with Randy and the victims who come through his office, we support Randy as the Prosecutor who will continue to competently uphold the law, diligently protect victims, and honor their rights.

Sandra Burt
Christine Miller
Liz Pillow
Susan Kimball
Karen Kunde

Supports Ron Krebs

To the Editor:

I  do  not  “Rant  and  Rave”.    I  rarely  talk  politics,  and  I  cannot  remember  ever  writing  a  letter   to  a  newspaper.    I  do  not  enjoy  arguments  and  conflict.    Despite  this  fact,  after  attending  the   League  of  Women  Voters  candidate  forum  on  San  Juan  Island  last  week,  I  must  break  from   this  practice.    While  there,  I  listened  in  disbelief  as  Jeff  Asher  explained  that  the  reason  I   (and  21  others)  voted,  as  a  member  of  the  Sheriff’s  guild,  to  support  Ron  Krebs  for  sheriff   was  because  I  wanted  to  “go  along  to  get  along”.      I  understand  that  he  repeated  this  theory  
at  the  forum  on  Orcas  Island  this  week.        

Let  me  set  the  record  straight.    I  voted  to  support  Ron  Krebs  because  I  respect  him  and  feel   he  is  by  far  the  best  candidate  for  the  job.    

 For  Asher  to  imply  that  25  out  of  26  guild  members  did  not  support  Asher  because  they   feared  retaliation  from  the  Sheriff  is  not  only  ridiculous,  it  is  insulting  to  every  deputy,   dispatcher,  sergeant,  detective,  and  corrections  officer  in  the  group.    This  is  not  a  group  of   passive,  submissive,  insecure  people.    Truth  is,  it  is  difficult  to  bring  this  group  to  consensus  
on  anything.    

stated  he  “has  not  met  most  of  the  officers”  who  voted  and  “has  not  worked  with   them”.    There  are  17  members  of  the  guild  on  San  Juan  Island  alone  that  have  worked  with   Jeff  daily,  most  of  them  for  years.      And  I  would  be  shocked  if  there  is  a  single  member  that   Jeff  “has  not  met”  at  one  of  our  trainings,  qualifying  days,  or  in  some  other  work  situation.        
Jeff  did  say  two  things  that  were  true.  He  said  that  Krebs  “has  tremendous  control  over  this   [guild  support]”.    Krebs  does,  through  his  performance  as  Sheriff,  have  tremendous  control  
over  the  way  we  as  a  guild  vote.    If  he  is  a  good  leader  and  manager,  if  he  treats  his  people   with  respect  and  justice,  if  he  is  the  best  candidate  for  the  job,  we  will  support  him.    If   anybody  felt  Jeff  was  the  better  man  for  the  job,  they  would  have  voted  to  support  him.     They  did  not.  

 Trying  to  explain  away  the  nearly  unanimous  guild  support  for  Krebs,  Jeff  also  said,  “people   are  indebted  to  him  [Krebs]”  as  though  we  only  supported  Krebs  because  he  allows  us  to   work  here.    Well,  I  am  indebted  to  Krebs,  but  not  the  way  Jeff  says.    “People”  should  be   indebted  to  Krebs,  and  not  just  the  guild  members,  but  the  public  as  well.    Ron  has  done  a great  job  raising  the  level  of  performance,  professionalism,  consistency,  accountability,  and   morale  within  the  Sheriff’s  Office.    All  these  things  contribute  to  a  safer  community  and   better-­‐served  public  in  San  Juan  County.  

 I  will  be  voting  for  Ron  Krebs  (of  my  own  free  will)  in  November,  and  I  strongly  encourage   you  to  do  the  same.    

Andy  Urbach
San Juan Island  

Supports Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

I'd like to share three things that stand out for me about our Prosecuting Attorney/Coroner Randy Gaylord.

When a family water crashed their small airplane just off the northwest tip of Orcas three of the four escaped from the plane before it sank. Randy rallied all of the governmental resources he had nurtured over the years and within hours had the Coast Guard and US Navy on site. He had pledged to the family that he'd be there for them to personally recover their young daughter from the wreckage, and he did.

A body was smelled by hikers in Moran Park. The person was so decomposed that only a few obscure clues were available for investigation. Most people would have given up on trying to locate family or friends of the deceased. Randy was like a dog with a bone rounding all resources to maintain his standard of doing everything possible for everyone who dies.

A young island family facing the terminal diagnosis of the father wanted him to be buried on their multi-generation farm. Randy worked with passion to enable the family to accomplish their loved ones legal burial on their private land. Thanks to Randy we now all have the unique option of green burial in San Juan County.

I feel so fortunate to be able to vote for Randy Gaylord's reelection to the office of Prosecuting Attorney!

Bill Wulff

Supports Candidate Not Misleading Voter

To the Editor:

I received a dire email from a candidate for prosecuting attorney warning of Methamphetamine and Heroine in our schools. This is a fear tactic to get your vote and is not supported by data.

The state of Washington has an active, ongoing survey program of drug use in schools. While I can’t speak to the entirety of San Juan County, the data for Orcas Island Schools shows (1) a decline in overall rates, (2) a decline in the frequency of use and (3) an overall delay in first use by students.

You can vote for any candidate you choose, but if you’re doing it because of drugs in our schools, you’re being misled.

I personally will vote for the candidate who is not misleading the voters with fear.

Anthony Simpson

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

his election cycle, on both the local and national level, has presented us with some very divisive rhetoric. It seems to be the political standard. Too much is written and gossiped about why we shouldn’t vote for one candidate or the other and not nearly enough about why we should. On a local level, I truly believe that anyone willing to put themselves before the public as a political candidate is worthy of praise. Local politics involve pointed, specific and often personal attacks that have as much to do with the candidates ability to do their job as they do with their chosen attire on any given Saturday morning.

And so it is with this in mind that I write in support of Nick Power for the office of Prosecuting Attorney for San Juan County.

In my interactions and discussions with Nick I have found him to be a thoughtful and concerned citizen that has chosen San Juan County as a home for his family for many of the same reasons that I have. His understanding of the role of the Prosecuting Attorney as not only an advisor to the county offices but an advocate for county residents aligns with my beliefs of the intent of the office. His interests in the application of both county and state law are not rooted in affiliations to outside or special interests, but instead in assuring that law is applied equally, fairly, and above all transparently. I believe Nick will hold himself and his office to those same ideals. His willingness to step into difficult discussions such as addiction and mental health in our community, seeking to work towards creative solutions, is necessary to make forward progress on these complex and difficult issues. I believe he is the right candidate for right now.

It is with appreciation for the efforts and contributions of both candidates that in this election, I encourage a vote for Nick Power.

Justin Paulsen
San Juan Island

Supports Jeff Asher

To the Editor:

You need to elect Jeff Asher for Sheriff!

No, I’m not someone trying to get a friend elected. I’m not personal friends with Jeff and only know him through a professional relationship. I worked with Jeff when he was assigned as the lead detective with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

Jeff is someone I really appreciated working with. I found him to be extremely thorough and determined, something really needed in a law enforcement administrator. He showed me that he really cared about the community that he lives and works in and not just as a cop but a member of that same community.

Jeff is not just a nice guy who cares. He is also a professional. With 30 years experience behind him, he had the breadth of knowledge needed to manage the Sheriff’s Office. Experienced in patrol, investigations and marine services, Jeff understands of a community like San Juan County surrounded by water and on an international border.

Jeff Asher has taken the time to build great relationships with other agencies, both local and federal; which is how I came to meet him. He is honest, sincere and will do his best to honor the community by being the respected Sheriff you ask for.

Vote for Jeff Asher. You’ll be glad you did.

John Pritchard

Supports Ron Krebs

To the Editor:

I have had a very gratifying career in law enforcement for forty-five years. I worked for the U.S.A.F, the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office, University of Washington, and San Juan County Sheriff’s office. I retired as your Undersheriff in March 2018. During my many years in law enforcement I worked under a number of different leaders. Sheriff Ron Krebs is one of the best.

Sheriff Krebs is focused on the needs of the office and the community. He is a fair and caring leader. When Sheriff Krebs first took office, he understood the need to set standards and policies for the deputies and dispatchers to follow for both the good of the office and the community. He established obtainable standards and for the first time for many employees, he enforced them.

The stress of a campaign will reflect the true personalities of the candidates. I have been following the campaign although I no longer live in San Juan County. Sheriff Ron Krebs has demonstrated a positive, focused campaign whereas his opponent, Jeff Asher and his supporters have become negative and hurtful in their attacks. The office of Sheriff is stressful and demanding. Who do you want to be your Sheriff? I recommend and urge you to re-elect Sheriff Ron Krebs, lets continue excellence.

Brent D. Johnson
San Juan Island

Supports Brandli

To the Editor:

We first met the Brandlis when we had just moved to the island and were checking out various day cares for our son Henry. It was on our final stop that we met a little boy named Ro, who walked right up to Henry and began to play with him as we talked to the teachers and the director. They became fast friends as 2 year olds often do. A couple of days later when I was picking Henry up, another couple came to pick up there child. I was surprised to see that this white couple was picking up their African American child. We learned that they were foster parents and had Ro with them since he was an infant. Right away I was struck by the bond they had as a family, BJ was outwardly sunny and friendly and Steve was polite and calm. Ro clearly adored them and they him. In fact, it was because of the Brandlis that we decided to begin our own journey as foster parents and asked them for lots of advice and looked to them for basic information and comfort when navigating the complex foster care system.

When BJ and Steve were presented with the opportunity to adopt Ro, they chose instead to work with a family who Ro could more easily identify with growing up. I know what some people might be thinking, how could they "give away" the child that they raised? It was simple, Steve and his wife knew that Ro's life and his future was more important than what they needed for themselves. They knew that having Ro grow up with siblings and parents who looked similar to him would help him find his own identity easier.

A few months later we brought home our first foster child (who we would end up adopting a year later). She was really shy, she was nervous and scared. I kept her close to me, carrying her around on my hip everywhere we went. She spoke just a little bit and was clearly nervous. One day that week, I took her into Market Chef, Steve was there sitting with his wife having lunch. I said hello to them and introduced our foster daughter and our foster daughter literally DOVE out of my arms and right into Steve's lap.

What is that saying? Never trust people that animals and kids don't like? While Steve talked to her and asked her questions, his wife doted on her and I just watched as our girl just began to shine in all the light they cast upon her.

Over the years we have had 2 legal issues where we needed advice, Steve was always the first one we would call. What I liked best about him was that even though we considered him a friend he was very straightforward, professional and realistic with us. He delivered information to us in such a calm way that even if the news was bad, we felt safe and trusted the choices he made.

I am so thankful that we met little Ro that day (incidentally Steve and BJ give us updates on Ro and are still very much involved with him as family friends), and that the Brandlis came into our lives. Without them, we would not have our daughter. We know that no matter what is going on, if we need help with our kids, someone to join our fundraiser, legal advice or just a kind hello on the sidewalk we can count on them.

I can't imagine voting for anyone other than Steve Brandli. I know that he has the heart and mind to listen, carefully organize facts, be sensitive to a person's story and so many other factors when it comes to making sometimes hard choices in a court room.

Sara Jensen
San Juan

Yes For Homes

To the Editor:

Yes on Homes in San Juan County? YES!

It’s critical that we vote ‘Yes' on this initiative so that residents of all financial levels may have housing. Many people have little assurance that they can both work and live in San Juan County. Many employers are unable to find employees due to the housing crisis. Each needs the other; it is incumbent on the voting public to help change this problem.

November 6th is an opportunity to do that at the polls. Yes on Homes in San Juan County? Vote YES!

Eileen Drath
San Juan Island

A reluctant Yes for Homes

To the Editor:

It doesn't take a history degree to see that tax increases are primitive attempts at problem solving. Yes San Juan County has a bad affordable housing situation. It's been this way since we moved to Friday Harbor in 1999. Proposition 1 is a lame way of kicking the problem down the road. It doesn't help working families trying to buy their first home. At least the resolution could have set a threshold (say $500K) and only taxed purchases above that price. I give San Juan County Council a C for effort and a D- for creativity on Proposition 1. Get back to work! This is a supply and demand problem. We need more homes. We need more rentals. A Yes vote for Proposition 1 is better than doing nothing.

Jay Ibold
San Juan Island

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

I met Nick in 2013, when he first began his legal practice in Friday Harbor. He represented me in a particular situation at that time. Nick was completely available, clear about his intentions, creative in his method and a great person to have at my back.

We remain on friendly terms since that time and my opinion of Nick has not wavered. What I have grown to appreciate over the past few years, is his passionate commitment to some of the very serious problems facing the county. My own experience of SJC is an attitude of "if we don't mention it, it doesn't exist", far too much of the time. The islands are not immune from the foibles of the larger culture - quite the contrary. I believe that Nick Power understands this completely. I also believe that he will do what he says he will do - and prosecute those who blatantly endanger our citizens to the full extent the law allows.

Nick and his wife, Penelope, have demonstrated full commitment to their chosen home. Raising young women in our current culture is not an easy task. Our children are the proof in the pudding. I believe that they both represent something fundamentally good about us all.

Nick will make an outstanding Prosecuting Attorney. Change is good. I support him wholeheartedly.

Susan Weiss
San Juan Island

Washington Law Enforcement Says Vote NO on I-1639

To the Editor:

Proponents for I-1639 say it is an initiative for ‘Safe Schools and
Communities’ gun control. However all three major law enforcement
organizations in the State of Washington are asking you to vote NO. As
a recently retired officer with 30 years of experience I can tell that
no one is more interested in ‘Safe Schools and Communities’ than law
enforcement, but the Washington State Sheriffs Association WSSA, the
Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs WACOPS and the Washington
State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association WSLEFIA all

WSLEFIA says I-1639 will do nothing to stop criminals “and is only
directed at our good citizens, who already pass multiple background
checks before owing a firearms” and it is “an attack on civil rights
and is an attempt to marginalize all firearms owners, including law
enforcement” and “will impair public safety”.

“WACOPS believes that I-1639 contains provisions that are in clear
violation both state and federal individual Constitutional Rights,
which as law enforcement officers, WACOPS members are sworn to
uphold.” They further state that “if passed I-1639 would impose
significant restrictions on a citizen’s ability to possess and access
commonly owned firearms for lawful self-defense”.

The Washington State Sheriffs Association has the unique perspective
of being made up of law enforcement leaders directly elected by the
residents of Washington’s various counties and with this broad range
of interests and experience and they oppose Initiative 1639.

Washington Law Enforcement says Vote No on I-1639.

Scott Brennan
San Juan Island

Detectives Support Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

Since Ron became Sheriff he has implemented considerable change within the office, particularly when it comes to the accountability of our officers. The habits and perspectives of the past have given way to newly hired proactive officers who are dedicated to their responsibilities.

The members of the Sheriff's Guild have voted overwhelmingly to support Ron in this election. It was recently suggested by a citizen that this may be due to fear of retaliation from Ron should he win, which could not be further from the truth. This simply is not in Ron's character and such an opinion certainly does not reflect the integrity of the women and men of the guild, who incidentally voted to support Ron in his first election as Sheriff as well.

The morale in this department has never been as strong. There have also been some irresponsible and damaging missives, written in a toxic and hypercritical manner about our office and investigations. It would be far more productive that before one digresses to such wild and negative conclusions, they base their opinion on fact rather than rumor and conjecture or their own political agenda. There's far too much vitriol within the discourse of our society as it is. Our offices are open to anyone who wishes to understand our investigative procedures.

It is our responsibility to complete a thorough and comprehensive investigation before taking the liberties from someone suspected of committing a crime. Simple accusation is not enough. A sound case must be presented to the Prosecutor's Office in order to ensure a successful prosecution. Of course, if a crime has been committed and we have Probable Cause to arrest a suspect, this happens in a heartbeat while at the scene. That said, we understand the frustration of many because we in law enforcement live it every day in our efforts to find the truth and ultimately become the victim's advocate.

Our suggestion is that we keep Ron around and allow him to continue to do his best for us all.

Detective Lukas Peter
Detective Lachlan Buchanan

Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

I have lived on San Juan Island since 2002 and have been practicing law for nearly forty years. I have known Nick Power since I began practicing law in Washington, starting in 2013.

Nick is tremendously imaginative, articulate and smart. He fights hard for his clients to make sure his client gets a fair shake. He does quality work, has broad experience and has litigated in a number of Washington counties. I have no doubt he will do a good job as Prosecuting Attorney.

I have also seen examples of the work of the current Prosecuting Attorney. In a few matters involving people I know, I have witnessed what I consider to be bullying conduct over what should have been easily-resolved disputes. In matters where Nick has represented individuals seeking to vindicate their rights against the County, I have seen the current Prosecutor take a dogmatic, stubborn and uncompromising attitude, needlessly driving up litigation costs, especially where the County has to spend tens of thousands of dollars on outside counsel. I assume this waste will continue if the incumbent remains in office.

I wholeheartedly endorse the candidacy of Nicholas Power for district attorney of San Juan County.

Supports Brandli

We hired Stephen A. Brandli as our attorney in a local boundary dispute. I was floored by the depth and breadth of Steve's real estate knowledge and I continually refer clients to him. He's a great attorney but he's also a great person who's truly committed to fairness and justice. He helped us win our case while encouraging us to be respectful of the opposite party, in this case the defendant. We couldn't be more thankful for his wise counsel and know that he'll be an exceedingly fair judge as he is an attorney.’

Lauren Sands
Friday Harbor

Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

I support Randy Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney because has demonstrated exceptional leadership during his many years in that position. He has continued to advocate for the rights of the members of our community and for environmental protection of our islands. Just two examples: Randy has been a leader in protecting the rights of victims of crimes and in protecting our environment and our quality of life including many land use cases and protection of Orca whales. In addition, he has held leadership positions as president of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Washington Association of County Officials, which in both cases increased his knowledge and expertise as our prosecuting attorney.

Randy has the personal qualities of an exceptional leader: honesty, integrity, passion, compassion, creativity, pride in his work. He brings energy, experience, wisdom and talent to this important position.

Today, it is critical that we elect to public office: a) someone who is genuinely committed to serving all the people they represent, b) someone whose motives we can trust, c) someone who understands what their position requires of them and has demonstrated the ability to serve the members of their community well.

Randy Gaylord has consistently demonstrated these leadership qualities time and again in many challenging legal contexts. He will continue to serve us well with our support.

Art Lange

Supports Carolyn Jewett For Judge

Tot the Editor:

The recent political drama over the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice has added another dose of angst to our society, in part because of the standards we expect from our Judiciary - no overt political partiality, calm demeanour, and honesty. I share the following from the American Bar Association:

A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

A judge shall perform the duties of judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently.

A judge shall conduct the judge’s personal and extrajudicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with the obligations of judicial office.
I believe that Carolyn Jewett exemplifies these qualities, attributes, and values, and will continue to do so as District Court Judge. These qualities can be found in a person regardless of age or sex. Please do not dismiss her because of her youthful appearance. If you have any questions about her abilities, qualifications, experience and dedication to the judicial system, I encourage you to contact her at or, visit her website at, or send a letter to the Committee to Elect Carolyn Jewett for District Court, P.O. Box 3378, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.


Judith L. Chovan
San Juan Island

Supports Asher For Sheriff

To the Editor:

I am a recently retired law enforcement officer with nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience, preceded by six years of Police Explorer and a Police Cadet prep work. I write this letter of endorsement for Jeff Asher in his candidacy for Sheriff of San Juan County. I do so after reviewing the clear written plan of action Jeff has developed for the Department as well as interviewing and talking with him over the course of his race for office. In addition, I do so without reservation as, in the 6 1/2 years I have known Jeff, I have found him to be an honorable and caring man who has always done what he says he will do.

Transparency and community policing are just some of what Jeff Asher will bring to the San Juan County Sheriffs Office with his over thirty-three years in law enforcement experience. He will lead with professionalism and has already developed a blue print to lead the agency into modern policing with the community.

He will guide and mentor the Deputies and staff to a professional level. He will emphasize family, their own and their law enforcement family, into the organization to bring pride back to the Sheriffs Office. He will treat Department members with dignity,respect and professionalism. He will honor those that serve, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

He will bring transparency to the organization with community partnerships, networking and programs. His leadership will emphasize true community policing and problem solving at all levels of the organization. He will hold all personnel accountable while being firm but fair; including substantiated citizen complaints and avoidable accidents. Jeff will set the standards high and utilize personnel appropriately for the community and organizational needs. New employees will go thru a vigorous vetting process to include a standardized field training program for all hired sworn personnel. All supervisors will be working in the community to effectively nurture the community partnerships by listening to their needs, responding to calls but also to supervise their personnel.

He will find innovative ways for recruiting including a youth program, reestablishing the Reserve program, and continuing recruitment to find the best qualified personnel for the next generation of Deputies for the County.

He will look for modern, contemporary and relevant training for personnel to bring back in to the agency and community. Personnel will receive live training in Crisis Intervention and work with mental health and chemical dependency organizations to help those persons in need. He will work with the Prosecutors Office and the Judges to establish specialty diversion courts and put an emphasis on treatment before incarceration. He will ensure that the agency meets or exceeds training requirement and laws regulating the organization.

I urge you all to vote with me. You vote for your community when you vote Jeff Asher for Sheriff.


Steve Johns

Supports Asher For Sheriff

To the Editor:

I write to wholeheartedly endorse Jeff Asher for the position of Sheriff of San Juan County.

I have known Jeff for over 20 years, having met him in my then capacity as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I was stationed in Bellingham from 1997 until my retirement at the end of 2010.

Jeff, as a detective with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, was extremely helpful whenever I had to contact people on the Islands. He guided and accompanied me, and literally made boats and airplanes available to me when needed. In my 34 years if FBI service

around the US, I met few law enforcement officers who were as helpful to me as Jeff. In addition, we collaborated on investigations from time to time. I found Jeff’s skills as an investigation to be second to none.

I know that Jeff, as a lifelong resident of the islands, cares deeply about the community.

In particular, he is concerned about the effects of drug abuse, including the distribution of illegal drugs, as well as the illegal sale and use of prescription narcotics.

I find Jeff to be a man of the highest integrity, and of the highest professional standards.

It is my pleasure to give Jeff the highest recommendation, without reservation or hesitation, in his bid to become the next Sheriff of San Juan County.

James T. Powers

Call For Civility

To the Editor:

This will have been a hotly contested election. There have been allegations of errors, omissions and behavior, some of which but for the public stature of the targets, might arguably be libelous, and in the time-honored tradition of one corner of our community, are posted anonymously. I’m not commenting on the allegations themselves, I’m concerned about the tone.

Our community is already economically stratified, itself a major challenge. Do we really want to make our internal barriers higher? As a community, we have serious issues to deal with. You all know them so there’s no point listing them here.

Whether or not we agree on politics, we’re all in this together. If everyone expects to gain, everyone must contribute. We have to make things work, not just as they are but the way they must. When the smoke of this election clears, opponents must become allies. Simple civility suffices. We could start now.

Bill Appel

Questions On Sheriff's Guild Endorsement

To the Editor:

How do I Fairly Navigate the Sheriff’s Guild Endorsement?

I recently read the endorsement from the sheriff’s guild and am trying to determine the importance of the letter on both sides. It’s very clear the letter was specifically written to show the support for Sheriff Krebs and the lack of support for Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Asher.

What worries me is everything surrounding the letter and what the letter doesn’t say. Deputy Asher was a whistle blower that has reported retaliation within the department (as shown in Asher’s letters to Gaylord). Most of the letters from previous employees in the department are critical of the department under Krebs. There are numerous community concerns - from increased drug issues, improper vetting of employees, improperly investigated domestic violence welfare checks, excessive Facebook usage, and, among other things, overall improper treatment of women, especially victims of sexual assault.

When we review the Guild Endorsement, we are not just looking at employees that support Krebs because they feel he’s the best. We are also looking at:

1. Deputies who may have cleared an inferior background check in this county and worry that upon review they will be brought under scrutiny (may not be able to get a job elsewhere)
2. Deputies who may have participated in retaliatory behaviors upon Asher’s whistle blowing and are concerned about their jobs if new leadership enters
3. Deputies who have witnessed the treatment of Asher and former employees that are scared to put a target on their own back by voting against Krebs.

I am pro law enforcement. I think it’s amazing to have people in the world willing to risk their lives for the people in their community. I understand it is a difficult job and a lot of people don’t really understand the process of law. Furthermore, it is difficult in a small community to not be protective of deputies you know on a personal level, but it shouldn’t make them immune to oversight.

Everyone should be asking questions about Sheriff Krebs lying to the counsel and why the background investigation on Parker wasn’t completed to basic nationwide standards, among other things. Everyone should be interested why Deputy Asher has had to send representatives to different debates/speaking events - is it because he is being refused the time-off requests. If so, why are we allowing the supervisors (department leaders) to manipulate the community’s ability to make an informed decision. That behavior is unethical and, if the command structure allows that type of manipulation when trying to protect the status quo, how will we ever know if they do the same behind closed doors with defendants?

Some of these deputies have a lot to lose if the leadership changes. Let’s face it, changing the Sheriff could mean disciplinary action for deputies, dispatchers, or corrections deputies. Losing a job here isn’t like on the mainland - you can’t just lateral to a neighboring department and keep your family in the same house and kids in the same school district. It means a move off-island, and that is scary. The unknown is scary for these deputies and their families, and they are defending the status quo with full force because it protects them.

Are the members of the Sheriff’s Guild able to separate what’s best for them from what’s best for the community? Can a department where there has been any type of credibility related indiscretions really remain impartial? I don’t believe so.


Jenny Fouquette
San Juan Island

Yes For Homes

To the editor: October 6, 2018

YES FOR HOMES " because:
The Land Bank is one the best things about this county, and indeed was one of the things that drew us here over 11 years ago. It was and is an indicator of some of the values we deem critical for a healthy community. Now a huge bonus is that it is an avenue to address a critical need. That is the ability to piggy back on the same legislation to set up a mechanism for helping to solve the undeniable issue of housing, most importantly low- and medium income housing in our county. This is a critical issue for the entire community.

Lack of housing is a very well-known challenge, no matter what your situation. We have seen teachers, health care workers, service industry people and all kinds of other diverse professional members of our community be scared off or profoundly discourage by the problem of finding housing, let alone affordable housing.

I don’t know about anybody else but I have a strong desire to having a healthy mix of cultural, social and income demographics with which to live and thrive. So much more enriching and emotionally fulfilling. We cannot be whole without this spectrum of folks.

I urge all voters of San Juan County to support this opportunity to attract families who will enrich our communities.


Lynette Roberts
San Juan Island

PROP1: “FIX” Cost Of Housing By INCREASING The Cost Of Housing??

To the Editor:

We all agree that finding “affordable housing” in San Juan County is difficult. Living in these islands has always come at a high cost.
When it comes to housing there are several factors that have added to this challenging problem.

A major factor in the of loss of affordable housing is due to the lack of affordable rental units. One cause is the transformation of affordable rental space into V.R.B.O’s; after all, renting by the night or week is much more profitable than long term rental. This is in part caused by subsidized housing itself. Subsidized housing takes away more than the best reasons to own instead of rent property; building equity and the increased value of your private ownership home. But these subsidized houses have caused a far greater problem: a lack of capital investment in our community. The need for more rental property should be covered by private investment and building of rental units. Government housing has failed miserably all over our country and the world for that matter. From the ghetto's of the east coast to the “commie blocks” of Eastern Europe. Government housing creates no increase in personal equity or value increase. In fact in most cases traps the very people they are designed to help.

Additionally the land bank/land trust consumes large amounts of land and not only takes these lands off the tax roll but limits the amount of free market land available. An additional cause to the high cost of housing is that to obtain funding for the land bank a 1% surcharge (tax) is assessed to every private land transaction; creating a double whammy! Yes I know... we all love the open land that has been set aside. However, these beautiful open areas could have been preserved by proper zoning in the first place.

How is initiating an additional real estate excise tax at 0.5% going to “lower” housing costs or encourage developers to create affordable rental units? This seems nuts to me and I hope everyone will join me in voting no for this ridiculous proposal.

Proposition 1: Affordable Housing Real Estate Excise Tax - The local SJC initiative for "Affordable Housing" by making housing less affordable by tacking on a .5% excise tax on all real estate transactions.

It gets worse, they want this increase to go on for TWELVE YEARS.

Cal Bucholz
San Juan Island

Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

My 12 years of service as civil deputy prosecuting attorney in San Juan County gives me a certain perspective on the upcoming election for Prosecuting Attorney.

There are key questions voters should ask when deciding who should be Prosecuting Attorney.

1. Does the candidate have enough experience to execute the responsibilities of the job? The job of Prosecuting Attorney involves criminal misdemeanors and felony cases and a wide spectrum of areas that constitute municipal law. This includes the representation of the Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff and Treasurer as well as all county departments ranging from Health and Community Services to Public Works and the Land Bank. The Prosecutor is responsible for complex issues regarding the adoption and defense of land use regulations. He must be knowledgeable in all these areas in order to give effective representation.

The Prosecutor supervises four attorneys and seven support staff including Victim Services. The office budget is over a million dollars.

Randy Gaylord has been an attorney for over thirty years and has successfully run the office for twenty four. He has expertise in all the many areas of law required to be Prosecuting Attorney. Nick Power has five years of experience as a practicing attorney; all of it as a solo practitioner in Friday Harbor.

2. Can the candidate unequivocally advocate for San Juan County as its elected attorney? Power is currently representing seven clients with lawsuits or claims against the county totaling twelve million dollars. This creates a morass of ethical problems that will severely limit his ability to represent the County as its elected advocate.

Randy has the high level of legal experience required to do the job. He has no conflicts that prevent him from being a strong advocate for the County. I support him wholeheartedly for the office of Prosecuting Attorney.

Karen Vedder
San Juan Island

Supports Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

Although I have not entered the fray regarding the election of our Sheriff in the years past, I feel that I should add my perspective, not only as a citizen but also as a concerned member of our law enforcement community. Over the last fourteen years, I've worked as a Detective under the command of three Sheriffs and four Under Sheriffs. Coming from experience with two large police agencies prior to my employment here, I understand the either productive, neglective or oppressive styles of more supervisors and command staff than I can list. I've experienced the dedication and honesty of some supervisors or the lack thereof, and readily recognize when such persons carry the integrity of a real leader.

My experience with Ron when he was a Deputy and then as our Sheriff over the last several years rivals the best qualities I've seen in any of those who are dedicated to this kind of work. It's a constant challenge, as some may know. It may sound like a cliche to call our path "a calling", but for some of us that's exactly what it is. For Ron, particularly so. I'm constantly impressed by comments I hear from him around the office, about reports that come in, people who have a complaint, victims who need particular attention and every Deputy who is responsible for an investigation. The man is hands on. He somehow involves himself in virtually every investigation, from an animal complaint to a homicide or sexual assault, he's there asking questions and making suggestions.

I see him in the community interacting with everyone from the business owner to the school student, from a visiting tourist to someone in our lockup who needs to be heard. Ron cares. He cares about his staff and although he can be quite critical at times, he's always encouraging and stands by his adage that his door is always open. This is true not only for us who work for him, but equally so for anyone off the street. If he's in a meeting or addressing an issue with one of us, he takes the time to ensure that the stranger who walks into our lobby wishing to speak to the Sheriff is made to feel welcome and that their concern is as important to him as it may be to them. Truly outstanding qualities.

The members of the Sheriff's Guild have voted overwhelmingly to support Ron in this election, which is a statement from all that things are working well. I don't recall the morale of the Sheriff's Office to ever be this strong. My suggestion is that we all keep Ron around and allow him to continue to do his best for everyone, as you won't find anyone more qualified or who understands and cares for the needs of our community as much as he.

Lachlan Buchanan
San Juan Island

Not Supporting Gaylord

To the Editor:

In voting for County Prosecutor, please consider the following:
The defining moment in Gaylord’s current term was the disposition of the accusations made against Detective Stephen Parker.

Due to perceived conflicts of interest, Gaylord delegated the investigation to prosecutors in Skagit County. Skagit initially concluded that Parker’s sexual relationship with the victim was “not substantiated”. Conflict of interest or not, San Juan County intervened and Skagit re-opened the investigation. In the words of its County Prosecutor, he “considered a few criminal charges”. He did not consider all charges and ultimately declined to file any charges. According to Mike Carter of The Seattle Times, Skagit’s County Prosecutor did not for example investigate the charge of perjury, assuming Gaylord would do so.

In sum, no charges were filed against Parker - not for rape, abuse of power as a police officer, misappropriation of County assets, disclosing privileged documents, committing perjury under oath, pressuring a witness, or violating multiple sections of the Rules of Conduct of the Sheriff’s Office. Parker was not incarcerated and did not pay any fines. Recently a State commission slapped Parker on the wrist, revoking his officer certification.

The case gives the appearance of the unequal application of justice when applied to a police officer. It gives the appearance of an investigation not vigorously pursued.

Gaylord’s decisions, his lack of clear direction in delegating the case to Skagit prosecutors, and his closed-mind before the County Council raise serious doubts about his leadership of our County’s criminal justice system. Most fundamentally, they question his commitment to truth and justice.

Gaylord has also demonstrated that he is not, as he asserts, compassionate. He prosecuted a respected person I know who was then incarcerated at the Coupeville jail and later transferred to the privately-operated Yakima jail. As part of the transfer, Coupeville recorded a reduction in his sentence for good behavior and Yakima posted this earlier release date. San Juan County immediately objected and directed - on November 2, 2017 to be precise - Yakima to ignore the reduction in sentence for good behavior. This is contrary to State law which states that the facility having jurisdiction determines time-off for good behavior. The prisoner retained counsel, and in late December Gaylord acquiesced (after the prisoner had incurred $6400 in legal bills) to an early release date - a date however a week beyond that posted by Yakima and one or two days beyond the prisoner’s eligibility to apply for citizenship. He would not agree to the posted date unless ordered to do so by a Court -" a process with ruinous legal fees for the prisoner.

Gaylord’s actions were callous, punitive and extortionary - brutal words, but an honest assessment.
One further point. The Yakima jail is a dirty, crowded holding tank -" distant from family and friends, zero educational offerings, rare recreational opportunities, poor food, ethnic division, clean clothes once a week. No one enters this facility and returns a better citizen. Gaylord bears partial responsibility for incarcerating our young people in this Dickensian tank.

Rob deGravre
San Juan Island

Supports Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

I’m endorsing re-electing Ron Krebs for San Juan County Sheriff. Let me tell you about this bloke!

As many of you know, I have been a whale watch captain for 17 years. Recently I started a non-profit, Orca Protection & Rescue, because I have become disenchanted with the whale watch industry and how it continues to grow, and how bad some operators operate around the whales.

Recently I met with Sheriff Krebs for some advice, he asked me about the Southern Resident Killer Whales, and it was clear that he knew nothing about them. About a month later we reconnected over lunch and he said to me, I had no idea Orca Killer Whales were so intelligent, and they are such advanced, matriarchal societies. He told me all kinds of other facts that he had learned. This man went out of his way to school himself about our local orcas and other whales! He now knows that the SRKW’s are declining and will most likely not bounce back -- although they have surprised us before. He wants to do something about it.

In addition, since he’s been the Sheriff, when I call the Sheriff’s dispatch/office to report when any kind of whale, or group of whales, are transiting inter-island, they are so wonderful to deal with, and accommodating when they can, about getting a patrol on the water or at least contacting the USCG. They really care.

Ron Krebs, “The Sheriff That Cares About Whales,” is my, and Orca Protection & Rescue’s, choice for Sheriff. Thank you Sheriff for caring and having a square head on your shoulders.

Please vote for Ron Krebs, for us humans and the whales!

Hobbes Buchanan
San Juan Island

Not Supporting Ron Krebs

To the Editor:

Ron Krebs is NOT the man he portrays himself to be.

I believed and supported him during the last election telling people he was an honest man of integrity. He is NOT. And, hearing from others, I see a pattern of his deception that shows me he can not be trusted. He will say one thing and do something completely different without batting an eye.
I have known Ron since he moved here and became a deputy. He made me believe he was friend, a man with integrity and good intentions and someone who cared about people. It turns out that Ron is just another politician w
ho smiles in your face and tells you what you want to hear and only wants to promote and serve himself.
There have been several situations, on a variety of calls, where opportunities were presented for Ron to show some kind of concern or compassion for members of the Sheriff’s Department for what they had gone thru on the job and he did NOT…or even seem to realize he should.
My husband, Scott Brennan, is a retired 30 year veteran with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department. He put his life on the line hundreds of times for the people of San Juan County and always thought of the community first, before himself.

We are a tight knit community and many of us have known each other for decades. Recently my husband and another deputy were the first responders on the brutal murder of a woman he had known for almost 30 years. Afterwards, Ron showed no concern for their emotional health and no awareness that this may have been a very traumatic call for them.

After three decades of service, my husband’s last day was celebrated with…..nothing. Ron showed no appreciation for his years of service and commitment to this community. He showed up in old jeans and a t-shirt, gave him a handshake and left. Later, in a conversation with a citizen, Ron said there were deputies that he had ‘moved on’ because they didn’t want to meet his expectations. He then felt compelled to say my husband was one of them, even though, by his own choice, Scott had already been honorably retired for 3 months.

My hope is that the voters will not be fooled into believing Ron is the man he portrays himself to be. He claims to be man of his word, but from what I know, first hand, of Ron’s words is that you can’t believe what’s coming out of his mouth while he’s smiling in your face.

Ron seems to be a man without any awareness, concern or compassion for the people who work closest to him. I doubt he can be trusted to have any for the community. The pattern I see in Ron is truly disturbing and he is not the person he portrays himself to be.

Leslie Brennan
San Juan Islands

Supports Steve Brandli

To the Editor:

In choosing our next District Court Judge, it is important to think about the following qualifications: someone who knows the law, a person with well rounded legal experience, a person who confidently makes decisions, a person who is an integral part of our community, and a solid person grounded in integrity and family values. Steve Brandi checks all those boxes. Please join me in electing Steve Brandli our next District Court Judge.

Lauren Franciosi
San Juan Island

Supports Steve Brandli

Steve was a godsend in a very bad situation. He is exceptionally competent in the law producing a better than expected outcome. He and BJ, his beautiful wife and legal aide, were gentle and supportive of me throughout the process. Steve was always the coolest head in the room.

I have had the pleasure of recommending him to friends and family for legal services and now recommend him to you as District Court Judge.


Marian Ford
San Juan Islan

Sheriff's Guild Supports Sheriff Krebs

To the Editor:

We, the Members of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Guild, by majority vote endorse Ron Krebs for re-election as Sheriff.

We believe Ron Krebs has met our expectation of “community policing, responsiveness, communication and has improved morale in the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office”. The Guild anticipates he will build on established relationships within the community and the department. Our hope is to continue to foster strong relations with the public and agencies our department works with. Ron Krebs will continue to ensure the department has the tools necessary to continue to be effective in our line of work.

This election has been tough, as they often are. We stand almost unanimously to endorse and re-elect Sheriff Ron Krebs.

The Guild Members had an opportunity to attend, listen to, and field questions to both candidates running for Sheriff. The forum addressed items including proactive policing, reserve deputy programs, hiring obstacles, improved morale, competency of the department, community interactions, as well as concerns raised by the public via various avenues.

The Sheriff’s Guild consists of 26 members including candidate Jeff Asher; 22 members endorse the current Sheriff, Ron Krebs; 1 member endorses candidate Jeff Asher, and 3 members abstained. The Guild members consist of 3 Sergeants, 2 Detectives, 11 Deputies, 2 Corrections Officers and 8 Dispatchers.


Dan Easley -President
Jason Gross - Vice President

Supports Asher

To the Editor:

Anger and pain are two negative experiences so closely bound together it can sometimes be hard to know where one ends and the other begins. For those watching, it is often perceived as anger. Recently, I was asked why I was so angry with the current Sheriff. Apparently Krebs himself has asked others this question, though never me directly. I want to clear up once and for all . . . I am not angry. I am hurt.

I have spent 22+ years as the partner of a nearly 30 year law enforcement veteran. I have worn that title proudly in the face of much adversity -" it is not an easy life for the families of officers. My children were raised in a family of more than 750,000 members. For my husband, it was not a job but a calling. For us, it was not his profession, but our way of life. When my husband was training new officers, they would join us each night around the table for dinner. This was not done to feed them, it was done to invite them to our family. To host them at our table. To demonstrate that they were part of a bigger family now.

At any time and any place in the country, I have always known that if I needed anything I could call on the local department. I have always known that if my husband had ever lost his life in the line of duty, my family would forever be taken care of. Until we came here.

In 2014 I was one of the most outspoken supporters of Krebs. I wore the TeeShirt, put up the signs, invited him to stay at our home while he campaigned, walked the parade, wrote the letters, and asked the questions that he requested I ask at voter forums. About a month after he was elected, I had my first face to face meeting with him since the election. During that meeting I expressed concern that it was appearing he got what he needed from his supporters and then moved on. I expressed concern that we, and others, were feeling as if the “friendship” was all for show. In addition, I shared that I was disappointed he had lied to me about his selection of undersheriff. He had said throughout the campaign that he did not know who his undersheriff would be and we later found out he had offered the appointment to Brent Johnson prior to even announcing his candidacy. I also expressed concern that he was hiring someone into a detective position without first vetting them as a deputy on the department for a period of time first to get to know their character and work ethic. My concern of this later proved valid, that detective was Stephen Parker. During that meeting, I received lip service to my feelings and concerns. That was really the last time I talked to him until about three years later.

Though multiple opportunities presented themselves for Krebs to demonstrate his care and concern for his department members, I never saw or experienced those. I went to talk to him again in a face to face meeting about 2 ½-3 years later. This was following my husband experiencing a life threatening medical event that included CPR. I expressed to him the hurt I felt when he never once reached out to my family during or after. My fears were realized, if something happened to my husband we did not have the law enforcement family behind us. We had been betrayed. In that meeting, he promised to do better, to try harder. A few months later, he had another chance when an Orcas deputy was involved in a car accident that would later prove to be career ending. He never once picked up the phone to call him. He did not ever reach out to the deputy’s spouse. He did not send someone over to check on him or offer rides to appointments or help in any way. The wound that I felt a few months prior, had salt poured in it. Fast forward to another deputy sustaining an on the job injury when a piece of shrapnel became lodged in his arm at the gun range. Knowing that deputy was in the emergency room, Krebs again did nothing. He had an opportunity to drive down the street and check on him, call him, text him, even send his favorite method of communication via a Facebook message . . . he did nothing.

I share the same concerns of job performance as a majority of residents I have spoken to: hiring decisions, employee management, failure to forward cases for prosecution, lack of follow through on campaign promises, lack of a clear plan and vision for drug enforcement, no change in handling mentally ill, facebook usage on work time, different standards for different people, etc . I also understand that the hurt I feel shapes the lens by which I look at the department. But I cannot help but to think, if he treated his “family” the way we were treated, the culture within the department is also shaped by that leadership and sets the tone for every interaction with everyone.

There is no vendetta. There is no coordinated effort between myself and anyone else. There is no plotted next move. There is no coalition of people who have joined forces (if there is, I have not been invited). Pain fuels my anger, anger fuels my strength, and my strength prompts me to tell my truth. My truth is this, from the beginning I was lied to by Sheriff Krebs.

Jeff Asher has not once, that I am aware of today, lied to me. I was used for political gain by Sheriff Krebs. Jeff Asher refused to talk to me about his campaign while we were going through an injury to our daughter and, instead, answered only with “how is your daughter.” Sheriff Krebs never once reached out to my family, or members of my law enforcement family, when tragedy hit our homes. Jeff Asher’s communication regarding these issues, and more, was immediate, constant, compassionate, and genuine.

This is my truth. And that is why I endorse and will vote Jeff Asher for Sheriff.


Marla Johns
Orcas Island

Supports Gaylord

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in support of Randy Gaylord for County Prosecutor. I have lived in San Juan County for over 20 years and have gotten to know Randy as a parent and as a prosecutor. I appreciate his willingness to engage in conversation when I have stopped to ask him about current cases in our courts. Being able to engage elected officials is important. After taking a group of 4H students to Olympia for 4 days to study the Judicial system through the “Know Your Government” program (KYG) Randy was more than happy to meet with them and discuss his job, cases he has tried and answered their questions. His candor and friendliness was appreciated by the students and we all learned a lot.
Thank you for reading this and please join me in voting for Randy Gaylord for County Prosecutor.


Kathy Morris

Supports Brandli

To the Editor:

Being a judge is an extremely difficult and challenging job. I sit as a Judge Pro Tem in the Whatcom County District Court for several days each month, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of what the demands of the job are, and what is required to be a fair, reasonable, and effective judicial officer.

Steve Brandli has what it takes to be a great District Court Judge for the people of San Juan County. He has over a decade of experience in criminal and civil law. He knows the law, and he has the temperament and maturity to apply it fairly to everyone. I’ve known Steve Brandli since he began practicing law in Friday Harbor, and I am confident that he has the ability to make difficult decisions that will abide by the principles of fairness and justice.

Sitting in judgment of others is a tremendous responsibility that should only be entrusted to an individual who has demonstrated wisdom gained through experience. We can put our trust in Steve Brandli. I heartily endorse his candidacy for District Court Judge.

Mark A. Kaiman

Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

I like to take a common sense approach to many choices I make. When it comes to what kind of Prosecuting Attorney I want for my county I think of experience in the courtroom, a commitment to truth, justice and the rule of law, experience in government (VERY different than the private sector), compassion, and experience in managing people. These should be basic requirements for this kind of job. But if the only requirements for this position by law are to be a member of the WA Bar then it is up to us in this community to hold this position to a higher standard.

So, I ask you to ask these questions to whichever candidate you favor, or even better, ask both, and then make your decision on your ballot…1) how many years served as a member of the WA Bar?; 2) how many years supervising others?; 3) how much trial experience in the courtroom?; and 4) what have you done lately for this community? The choice will be clear…RANDY GAYLORD.

Jim Skoog
San Juan Island

Supports Gaylord

Dear Editor,

I'm writing to urge the voters of San Juan County to vote for Randy Gaylord in the upcoming election. I've known Randy and his family for over 25 years. I have always appreciated the integrity that Randy brings to his job as our Prosecutor. I've also valued the support that he's offered in his capacity as prosecutor to those of us that also work for the public. I believe that Randy has the necessary qualifications that we should all demand of our Prosecuting Attorney: KNOWLEDGE, INTEGRITY AND COMPASSION - he's demonstrated his astuteness and those virtues for almost 25 years. I wonder if his opponent can do the same.
Randy cares about our county and the people in it. He has the experience and the passion to continue doing the job. You can't ask for more in a public servant!


Cathy Ferran

Happy With Jewett & Lambie In P.A. Office

Dear Editor,

Please consider the following letter for publication. If you have any questions, please let me know.

I recently testified in the court of San Juan County. I want to commend Carolyn Jewett DPA, Kim Lambie and Heather Smith for the excellent work they do for the San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

I have testified in over 70 cases and 20 different judicial venues in my career as a physician. Scheduling, rearrangement, postponements and subpoenas are the curse of witnesses. Kim and Heather work hard to make a system fraught with scheduling frustrations very human-friendly and manageable. Prosecutor Jewett knows the law, and her in-court case control is excellent. In my opinion, they and the entire SJCPA office are the best teams I have experienced in over 46 years of testifying. Kudos to Randall Gaylord, JD for his management of this efficient and witness-friendly office and staff.

Warren Appleton
San Juan Island

Supports Prop. 1

To the Editor:

You know how you always say how much you love San Juan County and how grateful you are to live here? You know how you feel when you come home from a trip off-island and the ferry touches the dock and you think, “Ah, home.” You know how you think to yourself, “I’d just like to do something wonderful for this community that would last for years and years?” Well folks, here’s your chance.

As most of us who love the islands know SJC has a severe lack of affordable homes for families and workers in need of adequate housing. Private non-profits simply can’t raise enough funds to meet the needs of local residents. Prospective teachers, trades people, emergency workers, caregivers and others simply can’t find housing that is affordable and have to turn down jobs. These are workers the rest of us depend on. Revenue from Proposition 1, the Home Fund, on the November ballot, would help fund projects to create local, permanently affordable homes. You can help make that happen.

The Home Fund will be funded by a one-time tax paid by the buyer at the time of a real estate sale " a 0.5% Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) " NOT an ongoing property tax. This REET will sunset in 12 years, at which time the voters will decide whether to re-authorize it.
Please vote YES FOR HOMES, Yes on Proposition 1.

Sincerely and hopefully,

Susan Grout
San Juan Island

Four Endorse Gaylord

To the Editor:

Readers are encouraged to vote for Randy Gaylord for Prosecuting Attorney in the November 6 election. Only Randy has the ability, experience, and true Democratic values that merit your vote.

We are astonished when people state they support his opponent Nick Power because he is a progressive, Democrat, and supporter of Bernie Sanders. Those who believe this have been duped. Power’s actions don’t match his words.

In the five years he has been an attorney in Friday Harbor, Power joined the unsuccessful efforts of local property rights and anti-environmental protection individuals and organizations. He challenged the Critical Areas Ordinance, opposed the charter reform, and brought a frivolous lawsuit to unseat Jamie Stephens - Power still owes the county $10,000!

More telling is Power’s legal representation of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) and Glen Morgan, both ardent opponents of labor unions and Democratic and progressive candidates and organizations. Power represents the EFF in protracted legal proceedings in King County against Service Employees International Union 775. Power also represents Morgan (a former employee of the EFF, now the executive director of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights) in four lawsuits in Thurston County against the Island County Democrats and the 11th, 43rd, and 46th Legislative District Democrats. To receive a copy of the corresponding court documents, email

As they say, you can learn a lot about a person by the company he keeps. The EFF is so radically anti-labor that its website brags that it doesn’t even recognize Labor Day as a national holiday. And Morgan has been engaged in a campaign of partisan harassment of anything Democratic over the last few years, including filing hundreds of complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission against Democratic candidates, organizations, and elected officials. None have been filed against Republicans.

We strongly agree with the decision of the San Juan County Democrats to endorse Randy Gaylord.

David Dehlendorf
San Juan Island

Judy Scott
Orcas Island

Learner Limbach
Orcas Island

Mac Langford
Lopez Island

Silverman Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

For 30 years I served as a criminal deputy prosecutor in Washington: 26 years for the people of San Juan County, of which 20 were under Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord. The people in San Juan County are fortunate that he wants to serve another term. In Randy Gaylord you have a knowledgeable, competent, compassionate and highly ethical prosecutor who knows the community.

Randy’s opponent has said he will do more to prosecute drug cases. That’s an empty promise. The sheriff’s office, not the prosecutor’s office, investigates drug cases and then refers them to the prosecutor. In the last three years, Mr. Gaylord’s office filed charges in every drug case that was referred by the sheriff’s office -- that is 100%!

Mr. Power says he will be tough on drugs and would file charges even if he would not be able to prove the charges -- ‘in order to send a message that the community does not tolerate drugs’. Someone running for prosecutor should know that a prosecutor acts as a gatekeeper: one who protects victims and also protects citizens from being accused of a crime when evidence is insufficient. A prosecutor who charges people without sufficient evidence not only abuses the power of his office, but is a bully.

Power’s criticism that Mr. Gaylord “refused” to prosecute Det. Parker reveals his lack of understanding of the ethical rules and procedures that all prosecutors follow. Because the allegations of misconduct involved a local deputy sheriff, Mr. Gaylord did what is required of an ethical prosecutor: he asked an outside agency to investigate the allegations. This was the right thing to do. Having a neutral and independent Skagit County Prosecutor determine whether charges should be filed ensured that neither bias nor improper influence played a role in the decision. There was nothing more for Mr. Gaylord to do. Randy is commended for the competent and ethical way he handled this difficult case.

Charles Silverman
San Juan Island

Reader Disagrees With Krebs

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on the sheriff’s recent response to the Islander and the Island Guardian newspapers concerning a recent article . In his letter he states that it is the responsibility of the sheriff’s office to “investigate all crimes thoroughly before presenting them to the prosecutor’s office in order to assure the successful prosecution of a criminal suspect”.

That is all fine and well, however I, as a 40 year resident of San Juan Island, was jailed overnight and prosecuted throughout a four day trial (in 2016) for a moped accident that culminated in the under-oath testimony of one of his detectives admitting to the fact that he had never spoken to me prior to the trial (much less advised the prosecutor’s office as to what my side of the story was), nor had any member of the sheriff’s department spoken to me after the arrest.

This, at the very least, runs contrary to Sheriff Krebs' declaration that he and his department ‘investigate all crimes thoroughly’. I had thoughts to the contrary as I languished in jail all night after an accident with a moped. Before my 4 day trial and during my incarceration not one member of his department bothered to speak to me about the circumstances of the accident. I prevailed in the very expensive trial due in large part to his department’s failure to even speak to me about the accident. And so I take issue with his recent strong stance of taking every criminal act ‘very seriously’. A very simple interview with me could have prevented a lengthy and expensive trial and a tough night in the cross-bar motel (over a moped accident!) for a resident who has probably lived here longer than anyone currently in that department.

That is my issue with this incompetent administration, among other calamities.

C.A. Bush
San Juan Island

Sheriff Responds To Story On Sexual Assault Investigation

I wish to take a minute to respond to a recent article that was posted in the Island Guardian and the San Juan Islander. While I cannot comment on the specifics of these cases as they are active investigations, I do want to set the record straight. We take every case very seriously and sexual assault is no different. The San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office would not make a final decision regarding the charging of a sexual assault until witnesses are interviewed, evidence is obtained and the investigation has been completed. Again we take all sexual assaults very seriously.

It is extremely irresponsible and damaging to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence to print inaccurate or wrong information that may lead them to believe that the Sheriff’s Office does not care about them or their cases, especially with everything going on in the news today. Stories such as this can prevent sexual assault victims from coming forward and reporting the crime.

It is our responsibility to investigate all crimes thoroughly before presenting them to the Prosecutor’s Office in order to ensure the successful prosecution of a criminal suspect.


Ron Krebs
SJC Sheriff

Six Attorneys Support Nick Power

To the Editor:

The undersigned attorneys in San Juan County support Nick Power for the position of San Juan County Prosecutor. He will bring a needed change of attitude, sensibility, and accountability to our county.

In recent years there has been significant mismanagement in certain cases, a lack of candor in dealing with the public, and questionable support for the principles and ideals of our community. This leads us to conclude that the incumbent, Randall Gaylord, who has now been in the office for almost a quarter century, needs to be replaced.

Nick Power is highly qualified for the position; he has had a broad practice over the last 21 years in both state and federal courts and has been a successful advocate for clients in both civil and criminal matters. He is dedicated to fairness and transparency. We are confident he will represent the best interests of the county departments by providing them with necessary legal advice to keep out of lawsuits, as well as protecting our citizens.

He has the courage to take on the county on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated by the county, and he now has the courage to step up and give the voters an opportunity for positive change. We applaud him for running for this office.

We encourage voters to elect Nick Power for our next prosecutor.

Garrett J. Beyer, Attorney
Lawrence Curt Delay, Attorney
J. Cooper Drady, Attorney
Carla J. Higginson, Attorney
Stephanie Johnson O’Day, Attorney
Mary L. Stone, Attorney

Three Reasons to Re-elect Randy Gaylord

1. Six years ago, when The Exchange was competing for the contract to run the Orcas Transfer Station, Randy was among the first to recognize the exciting possibilities local control could bring, and he was there to help realize that vision.

2. Ten years ago, as a new Executive director of The Funhouse, I was having problems with a certain parent who regularly showed up late -and intoxicated- to pick up his kids. I called Randy. He provided the tools I needed to work through the situation.

3. Twelve years ago, when I had been on Orcas for less than a year, I showed up for my first January 25k race in Moran State Park in a cotton sweatshirt, and with no water bottle. With a smile he explained my mistakes in preparation, dug into his equipment bag and gave me the gear I needed -saving me from what would have been a miserable experience.

Randy’s not just a great prosecutor. It is also the decades of experience and commitment to this community that make him right for the job. As he proved to me, he will also give you the (long-sleeve technical running) shirt off his back!

Pete Moe

Rita Latsinova Supports Nick Power

To the Editor:

I have been an appellate lawyer in Washington for 25 years and I will be voting for Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney. My reasons are both professional and personal. On the professional side, I have seen examples of Nick’s legal work and know him to be an effective, creative and tireless advocate for his clients. If elected, Nick will serve as the lawyer for San Juan County -- he will be our lawyer -- and I am confident that the County and its residents will be well represented. Nick has the fresh legal perspective we need and the energy and talent to implement it. On the personal side, I know Nick’s family and trust his integrity, his values, and his commitment to justice. Please join me in voting for Nick Power.

Rita Latsinova
San Juan Island

Supports Randy Gaylord

To the Editor:

Having managed lawyers with some of the largest law firms in Seattle and across the Nation, I can say with first-hand certainty that Randy Gaylord has put together a highly competent, professional, effective and seamless team of prosecutors and support staff that exhibits legal skill and acumen on par with any I have experienced throughout my legal career.

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, Randy and his team reflect the attitudes and standards consistent with those of the community which he represents. As long-time residents of the County, Randy and his family are our friends and neighbors, active in many local organizations and activities, and genuinely care about the safety and well-being of us all.

It is this combination of professionalism, tempered by a well-seasoned understanding and appreciation of the unique island community which he serves, that causes me to lend my whole-hearted support to Randy Gaylord for re-election to the Office of San Juan County Prosecutor.

Jack B. Coe
Orcas Island

Let’s retire Randy

To the Editor:

Let’s retire Randy,

Randy Gaylord should be thanked for his services for the past two-plus decades. But his trail of mistakes in judgement and obfuscation of events should not be a reason to reelect him.

Finger pointing is a typical defense Randy has used during the past few years. Most of us recall the Lt. Parker fiasco that could have been avoided if the Prosecutor’s Office had been diligent in its investigation. Randy pointed public attention off island and called in an “outsider” to whitewash the actions. It took a state agency to finally act in any way to sanction Lt. Parker for his inexcusable actions against a young Mexican American girl.

In quite the opposite situation Randy does not hesitate to find the most punitive interpretation of the law where flexibility clearly exists. In other words, don’t get on the wrong side of Randy or one of his current public interest groups from, which he believes his justifications flow. A case in point. Recently, a group of well-known local citizens met with Randy presenting a petition from sixty of the sixty-one residents of the Roche Harbor Road trailer park, pleading for him not to enforce jail time on a young man who had spent years as a volunteer worker with their children. Numerous lesser options including no jail time were available to Randy. Tone deaf to what even the judge found such public support as an unusual event, Randy endorsed a sentence that not only branded the young man with a sentence for life with no option for good behavior, but extended the jail sentence one day into the period that would cancel his pending application for US citizenship.

There are some who feel this approach is justified. Claiming to see a rapist behind every leaf blower is not my concept of justice or how we view our neighbors. Randy, in my view is out of touch with today and clinging to his past.

That is why I am voting for a change and voting for Nick Power.

Don Pollard
San Juan Island

Voting For Nick Power

To the Editor:

I’m writing this letter to urge my fellow citizens to vote for Nick Power for Prosecuting Attorney in the upcoming election this fall.

I’ve been a resident of San Juan county since moving to Lopez Island in 2012.

Nick is an accomplished attorney who cares deeply about our community. He and his wife Penelope are raising two daughters on San Juan, and the family participates in activities like the San Juan Community Theater.

As a private attorney, Nick has represented a spectrum of our neighbors and fellow residents seeking justice through our legal system, including whistleblowers and other victims.

A political progressive who was a Bernie Sanders delegate to the state caucuses in 2016, he will be a reliable public servant in the political mainstream in our special community. During the campaign, Nick has advanced new ideas for addressing the hard drug problems that have plagued our county.

Twenty four years is long enough for someone to hold the same elective office - please join me in supporting Nick for Prosecuting Attorney.

Marci Flanery
Lopez Island

Will Vote For Nick Power

To the Editor

Nick helped us with a difficult issue a few years ago and his guidance led both sides to a fair and equitable solution.

We also appreciate his concern about our quality of life on the islands. He is running for Prosecutor to confront those who bring hard drugs into our community and to increase the quality of legal advice provided to the county, protecting civil rights and saving taxpayers money by avoiding unnecessary lawsuits.

We appreciate Nick as an attorney-at-law practicing in Friday Harbor. We hope for his election to the San Juan County Prosecutor.

Don Hall
Decatur Island

Dear Rick and fellow Council members,

If you believe, as the research seems to indicate, the biggest and most immediate problem our Orcas face is starvation! lets do something. I know you as a Council and all of us as a county community can take action that will make a real difference. Pass an emergency ordinance to prohibit all commercial fishing for Chinook salmon in the waters of San Juan County.

I am well aware that the County does not have specific authority to enforce such an ordinance. However, it can create enough publicity that may force the State and/or Federal authorities to do what the whales need to survive; stop taking the main food supply for the whales for the financial gain of commercial fishers, restaurants and the backyard barbecue trade.

Back in the day, San Juan County dealt with the jet ski industry and was successful. If you also secure the cooperation of the sheriff and the prosecutor, enough of an issue can be made that will make a real difference for our Orca whales, especially if you get the media involved.

There is no downside for the County and a big upside for our whales.


John Evans
Doe Bay

Supports Gaylord

Dear Editor,

I'm writing to urge the voters of San Juan County to vote for Randy Gaylord in the upcoming election. I've known Randy and his family for over 25 years. I have always appreciated the integrity that Randy brings to his job as our Prosecutor. I've also valued the support that he's offered in his capacity as prosecutor to those of us that also work for the public. I believe that Randy has the necessary qualifications that we should all demand of our Prosecuting Attorney: KNOWLEDGE, INTEGRITY AND COMPASSION - he's demonstrated his astuteness and those virtues for almost 25 years. I wonder if his opponent can do the same.

Randy cares about our county and the people in it. He has the experience and the passion to continue doing the job. You can't ask for more in a public servant!


Cathy Ferran

Supports Gaylord

As a police officer for 34 years, the first 28 in San Diego, the last six (1994 " 2000) as Seattle’s police chief, I am honored to endorse Randy Gaylord for reelection as our Prosecuting Attorney.

I have known Randy for as long as I’ve lived here on Orcas (over 17 years) and have enjoyed several in-depth conversations with him on key criminal justice issues facing the residents of San Juan County. I’ve also had an opportunity to observe his administration of the prosecutor’s office, his handling of an ever-increasing caseload, and his commitment to community involvement and leadership.

I can say without hesitation that Randy Gaylord has the knowledge, skills, temperament, and integrity needed to lead the vital and complex work of the Prosecutor’s Office.

Please join me in voting for Randy Gaylord as our Prosecuting Attorney.

Norm Stamper

Gratitude to our County Council from FSJ

To the Editor:

On September 5, 2018 the San Juan County Council and the Islands' Trust of British Columbia sent an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. This letter urges him to reconsider his decision to triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The Friends of the San Juans are grateful to councilors Rick Hughes, Jamie Stephens, and Bill Watson for working with the Islands' Trust representatives to craft this powerful letter that describes the threats posed by 400 additional oil tankers passing through our island waters each year. Our councilors' letter conveys our deep connection to the islands of the Salish Sea and the marine life surrounding us. A major spill of tar sands diluted bitumen on the route traveled by oil tankers would not only threaten sensitive environments where salmon and orca whales struggle to survive, but also threaten islanders’ jobs and property. We thank our county council leaders for actively protecting the land, sea, and amazing natural beauty of the Salish Sea region with their eloquent and powerful letter.

Janet Alderton
Friends of the San Juans

YES for Homes

To the Editor:

Please join me in saying YES for Homes Coalition of San Juan County in the next election!I’m a lifelong Islander and I’ve seen dramatic change in affordable housing and home ownership in San Juan County, and it’s not for the better. Please consider your neighbors, the elderly, and children growing up here, their teachers, your health care providers, house cleaners, bankers and bakers, when you fill out your ballots this fall. We owe it to our community to help with the housing crisis in San Juan County. You can do just that by voting YES!

Lisa Nash Lawrence
San Juan Island

Supports Gaylord

To the Editor:

As General Counsel for the largest public employee labor union in Orange County, California, I represent working people at scores of municipal offices, including those of the District Attorney and Public Defender. I know from my own experience how fortunate San Juan County residents are to have a Prosecuting Attorney with the integrity and experience of Randy Gaylord, and I strongly support his re-election.

The qualities of an effective prosecutor - like a commitment to justice, a sophisticated understanding of people and their motivations, and an ability to determine and prioritize the needs of the public - are qualities Randy has consistently demonstrated since he was first elected Prosecutor in 1994. He understands the importance of the work performed by public sector workers and is a strong advocate for their economic security. And every day Randy models the conviction and strength of character necessary to successfully further the cause of justice with fairness, compassion and empathy.

Randy Gaylord has been a great Prosecuting Attorney. Whether expanding crime victim services, protecting our islands, or mentoring young prosecutors, Randy has served us with commitment and distinction. He has earned and deserves your vote for reelection as Prosecuting Attorney in November.

Don Drozd

EMS Same-Same

To the Editor:

During the first EMS levy, I attended the Hospital Board meetings at the Frank Wilson EMS Building. There were typically only a handful of people in attendance for these important meetings.

Years ago, I asked the Hospital Board to consider providing their meetings with audio, video or live streaming. But Chairman, Michael Edwards cited “budgetary constraints” and all members at that time, voted unanimously against it.

I spoke later with a County Council staff member about the possibility of using their equipment for the Hospital Board meetings. She presented it to a County Council Board member who graciously allowed the Hospital Board to conduct their meetings in the Council Room, where they had access to the audio, video and live streaming.

A larger number of people could now focus their attention on EMS business by attending or watching the meetings.

Sadly, the Hospital Board meetings have returned to the Frank Wilson EMS Building and I can see flashbacks to years ago when only a handful of people were in attendance with no video recordings of the meetings at all.

If this isn’t bad enough, the Board has now decided the meetings will no longer begin at 5pm when people getting off work might be able to attend. Rather, it was decided the meetings should be at 3pm which means less of the public can attend and there won’t be the needed public oversight.

It just feels like we never left!

Leslie Brennan
San Juan Island

Letter In Support Of Nick Power

To the Editor

I am Colleen Kenimond and I am the adult public defender for San Juan County. This is my sixth year in this position, and my 24th in criminal practice both as a defender and as a senior deputy prosecutor in other counties. Normally I would not broadcast my personal beliefs about who should be prosecutor in the event my clients and their families might be harmed by those personal beliefs.

This prosecutorial election is too important for me to remain silent.

I endorse Nick Power for county prosecutor. I do so from a vantage point of nearly a quarter century of experience on both sides of the courtroom and significant prior experience as a substitute judge for district court in two counties. I know what it takes to be a good prosecutor. Nick has what it takes.

I have known Nick since I first began serving as public defender here. I know him to be of high integrity and completely transparent. He does the right thing whether anyone is looking or not. He is as committed to the constitutions of the United States and Washington as anyone I know. We finally have a highly qualified alternative to the incumbent. It is time to clean house. Please pick up your brooms and dusters and join me.

“Power for the People” isn’t just a catchy phrase. It’s the truth.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Most sincerely,

Colleen Kenimond
San Juan Island

Letter in Support of Randy Garylord’s Re-Election

To the Editor:

I am compelled to write this letter to share my support for Randy Gaylord’s re-election.
Many have written about a records lawsuit filed in my name, all without benefit of a personal interview. The case did not start about records, it was about the land use code.

I went to an attorney with the expectation land use codes apply the same to each of us and Mr. Power turned it into a records case.

Shortly after signing his contract, he requested I sign a new contract with an associate, a well-known attorney he utilized in records cases around the region. Her contract stated she was lead and he would assist, and both would provide monthly billing statements which was not the case. Mr. Power was lead while co-counsel assisted. Co-counsel sent monthly billing for her small amount of time while Mr. Power never did. Mr. Power also requested I front each of them $2000 for expenses.

The County quickly offered to settle. I was to receive $22,501.00 which I intended to donate, and Mr. Power would receive reasonable attorney fees. Mr. Power asked for attorney fees of $29,942.75 ($330 per hour), which I was not made aware of until the court hearing in Skagit County. The County objected to the amount, and upon learning his charge to handle a single complaint I too was naturally upset. Rather than Mr. Power arguing his own fees, he used co-counsel to defend him and charged me. Ironically, after defending their attorney’s fees, ended up with $51,000 ($27,000 to Power and $24,000 to co-counsel for defending Mr. Power’s attorney fees).

Mr. Power claims to be the candidate of transparency and honesty but his actions reflect his self- interest.

Randy Gaylord has worked on our County’s behalf for years and deserves our votes.

Sheryl Albritton
San Juan Island

Of Signs, Land, and People


Dear Editor:

My thanks to those who voted in the primary election. Shortly after the election, Team Gaylord removed most of the Re-Elect Gaylord for Prosecutor signs from our scenic roadways. I believe residents and visitors deserve to finish the summer with a landscape without interruption.

I hope voters will take the rest from our signs to confirm the qualities you want in your prosecuting attorney. I have the proven experience, compassion, and leadership that matter. I will listen and provide independent advice unhitched from self-interest.

I have heard from citizens about the concerns about drug offenses, domestic violence, and emerging issues such as public access and protecting our marine resources.

This community demands much of its prosecutor and coroner. Sure, we defend claims and lawsuits, and prosecute criminals. But we also provide guidance and advice to independently elected officials for cutting-edge solutions. I have a record of meeting those demands as seen by the jet ski case, charter reform, unique solid waste and recycling Lopez and Orcas Island, and changes to state law inspired by the Barefoot Bandit Case so that restitution is paid to victims first.
I want to hear what you think. Look for me at the County Fair (after work or Saturday) or contact me at #teamgaylord

Randy Gaylord

Reader Believes Gaylord Action Correct


Dear Editor:

Alex MacLeod's article (August 13, 2018 "More Questions on Gaylord's Action in Grellett-Tinner Case") concerns the case involving the sexual misconduct of an Orcas Island high school teacher and his young student. In his ongoing attempt to discredit Randy Gaylord, Mr. MacLeod contends that the prosecutor should not have granted the “Certificate of Help” (entitling her to request a temporary immigration visa) on the grounds she had not suffered substantial physical or mental abuse.

In reaching this conclusion, Mr. MacLeod evidently disagrees with or misunderstands the well-recognized damage that results from a sexual relationship between an underage student and an older teacher. Fortunately, the Washington State legislature has not been so blind. The legislative history recognizes that a teacher is in a position of “trust, power, and influence” and that a young student is inherently in a more vulnerable position. By criminalizing sexual intercourse between students and teachers in certain circumstances, the legislature acknowledges that harm occurs whether it is claimed by the student, the teacher or for that matter, Mr. MacLeod. Abuse in such circumstances is implicit. That is why such conduct, consensual or not, is a felony.

RCW 7.98.020 makes it clear that the basis upon which a Certificate of Help is to be issued is “whether the victim was a victim of criminal activity and has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to the detection or investigation or prosecution of that criminal activity.” In providing testimony which Mr. Gaylord relied upon to pursue the case against the teacher, the student in this case certainly was being helpful. And there is no question that she was the victim of criminal activity.

RCW 7.98.020 also states that a Certificate of Help may be withdrawn only if the victim “unreasonably refuses to provide information and assistance related to the investigation or prosecution of the associated criminal activity when reasonably requested by the certifying agency.” But the victim never refused to provide such information and assistance, nor do the actions that later took place between Deputy Parker and the victim amount to such a refusal.

Mr. MacLeod’s objection to Gaylord’s issuance of a Certificate of Help, and to his subsequent refusal to withdraw it, seems to be based more on MacLeod’s antipathy to the criminalization of consensual sex. It is obvious that Mr. MacLeod believes that the student in this case was a devious conniver who planned out a lurid plot and was willing to have her life and reputation dragged through the mud in order to achieve other ends. Her future has been sufficiently damaged.

Mr. Gaylord had the basis to issue the Certificate in the first place, and has rightly determined that he does not have a sufficient basis to withdraw it.

Eleanor C. Hoague
Orcas Island

Dismayed By MacLeod Report


Dear Editor:

I was dismayed to see on the home page of the Guardian what is clearly an opinion piece published in the guise of a news article ("More Questions On Gaylord's Action In Grellet-Tinner Case," Monday August 13). An editor's note at the end of the article states that it is "the second in several reports about Gaylord's performance as prosecutor."

This is obviously not an unbiased news report. Rather, it is part of an ongoing hatchet job by a disgruntled former newsman meant to discredit the incumbent County Prosecutor. Alex MacLeod is certainly entitled to present his opinion, and the Guardian has the right to publish it. But it is irresponsible to publish a guest opinion as if it were a news report written by a journalist in the employ of the news outlet.

Marc Cohen
Orcas Island

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